2016 March Newsletter – Health Centre Improvements and Community Health Education
NEWSLETTER March 2016
Dear Loyal Supporters
Firstly a huge THANK YOU to all involved in our fundraising Barn Dance last Saturday, donating, preparing, serving, dancing and clearing. Special thanks to the wonderful Steve Upstone and band ‘Myckryck’ and caller Malcolm, who have supported us so well for so many years.
We raised a fantastic £2379, thanks to the generous support of the 119 who attended and the donations of those who could not attend.
The Barn Dance money raised will be spent completing teachers’ accommodation in Nainokanoka Primary School, enabling class sizes to halve from over 100 to nearer to 50 pupils. They have been waiting for this building for 12 years, whilst class sizes have got bigger.
Recent Visit to Tanzania
We have recently returned from another great visit to Nainokanoka ward, myself with two of our UK trustees, Ruth Mason and Helen Williams. Ruth is a GP here in the UK and Helen a researcher into ways of improving maternal health in low income countries. Our aims were to visit the health service facilities, the schools and attend one of the Community Health Education Programme (CHEP) classes.
Community Health Education Programme (CHEP) classes
The CHEP class was great. We saw the lively interaction between staff, teachers and participants. The film, songs and drama made for a very entertaining lesson! The subject was about the building and use of toilets in the homesteads to improve health.
The government had instructed the community to construct toilets, pit latrines, but the people didn’t see the need. After this session they could definitely see the need. The drama was of a girl with sickness and diarrhoea staggering around the village paths vomiting etc, supported by her mother. The sound effects were very graphic and went on for longer than was strictly necessary : )
The mother then took her daughter to the health centre. The nurse there was very annoyed with them, berating them for letting her spread her contaminating bacteria around the village for others to catch.
The ensuing discussion showed that the people understood the issues. They made contributions demonstrating they had retained information from the previous lessons. One woman explained that diseases are caused by bacteria and viruses that can be spread by faecal contamination and from hand to hand and hand to mouth. Another person said that if they used toilets their children would get less diarrhoea.
The next part of the lesson was a film demonstrating how to build a pit latrine, how far it needed to be from the water source, how far from their homes and how deep etc.
Since our return we have heard that these families have started building their toilets and are spreading the word to neighbouring families and relatives.
The CHEP classes, designed by our Maasai staff in consultation with the community will cover many areas of health of concern to the community, such as how to avoid getting worms, health and nutrition, hygiene, how to avoid and to treat sickness and diarrhoea, the importance of antenatal care, the harmful effects of the widely practised FGC (Female Genital Cutting), child marriage, family planning. We also continue with regular training of the TBAs (Traditional Birth Attendants)
We are hugely grateful to the support of Aylesbury Soroptimists (http://sigbi.org/aylesbury-and-district/) and Womens’ Microfinance Initiative (http://wmionline.org/) for their financial support and encouragement with these classes, which are empowering women and girls to improve their lives.
Health Centres and Schools
Our visits to the health facilities and schools brought forth many requests of us for:
- Classrooms for primary schools
- Bunk beds for children currently sleeping on the floor in the secondary schools, which are all boarding schools
- Accommodation for teachers to bring class sizes down below 100 pupils
- Improvements to Health Centres such as plumbed in sinks, none of the health facilities have any plumbed in sinks. Also laboratory furniture and testing equipment
- Facilities for birthing rooms such as delivery beds, heating and somewhere to prepare food
We are very grateful to a generous individual donation this month covering the funding for all the improvements to the medical centre. This includes laboratory tests and furniture, a water pipe system and plumbed in sinks, the birthing room bed, heater, kitchen, stove and even a toilet to be built at the local school, which is also in great need. We have now sent the money to start this project and look forward to the first pictures and reports.
The upgraded birthing room will be so much more comfortable for the increasing numbers of women wanting to deliver in the health facility since our health education classes.
The needs are daunting, but with your help we can fulfil many of them and in the longer term these people will be able to escape poverty and we can just visit as friends.
We are hugely grateful for all your financial support and your encouragement of our work. Without you we could not do any of this.
With much love and thanks
WTWT trustees here in the UK and staff in Tanzania:
Rachel, David and Daniel Blackmore, Michael Hasler, Ruth Cornish, Suchita Raja, Viv Pangalos, Ponja Tayai, Embapa Oloishiro, Laangakwa Twati, Esupat Oloulu, Peesoi Runguna
As always, our flights, expenses and administration are paid by ourselves, so all of your donations go directly to the community projects.
If any more of you would like to make a donation or set up a standing order, we would be extremely grateful, as would the people in Ngorongoro.
Our bank account is: ‘Weston Turville Wells for Tanzania’ at Lloyds TSB, account number: 00087400, sort code 30-90-38. Cheques can be made payable to ‘WTWT’ and posted to our address below:
Weston Turville Wells for Tanzania (WTWT)
Registered UK charity No: 1125141
Registered office: Old Crown, West End, Weston Turville, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP22 5TT
Phone: +441296 614751 (land line) or +447792 475094 (mobile)
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