Merlin USA

Merlin specializes in health, saving lives in times of crisis and helping to rebuild shattered health systems worldwide. We do whatever it takes and we stay for as long as it takes. Merlin works within existing health systems to realize everyone's right to accessible, appropriate, affordable health care. We are specialists in rapid medical response and rebuilding health systems, effectively taking countries from emergency to recovery.
Apr 30, 2012

Safe Motherhood, part of the vital health services

Waiting for the Merlin
Waiting for the Merlin's team & mobile clinic

Safe Motherhood in Kenya

Safe Motherhood is part of the vital health activities that Merlin offer to Turkana communities that live in the remote areas of northwest of Kenya.  These activities are simple, but effective things that make sure women live safe and healthy lives through their pregnancies and first years as new mothers.

Actions such as educating not just the women, but the whole community on a wide range of topics; why women should attend ante-natal classes, why having regular meals is important, and how having vaccinations can protect her and her new born child against preventable diseases.

Sadly in Kenya, 1 in every 12 children die before they reach their fifth birthday – it’s an even higher average in rural Turkana.  Teaching moms about how to keep themselves and their babies healthy and protected from disease will make a positive change to those stats.

- Currently, all the objectives of the Safe Motherhood project are on target and the number of baby being delivered with a qualified nurse in attendance, has increased.

- ‘Malezi Bora’ (which means ‘Good Nurturing') is a Kenyan mother and child health awareness campaign, that will run through the first two weeks of May.  Merlin teams have planned a number of activities to coincide with the rise in awareness as a result of the campaign, including a push to immunize even more children and women of child bearing age.

We’ve already seen an impact

 The Safe Motherhood Project began in April 2010 and originally, planned as a three year project. It has already seen as a success in the local communities and by government officials, and now Merlin is in discussions with the main donor (European Commission) to continue and enlarge the project for an additional three years (until April 2016). 

The initial 20 months of the Project saw a number of health successes including:

  • 5,214 children fully immunized.
  • 5,151 pregnant women counseled and over 75% tested for HIV, with those testing positive being given anti-retrovirals.
  • Over 30,000 people being given health education and being a part of hygiene promotion sessions.
  • And from Sept – Nov 2011, 2, 563 women were given ante-natal care.

“We are very grateful to MERLIN who made the exercise a success by supporting allowances for 2 DHMT members. We hope to partner in future for good healthcare delivery in the entire district,.”Officer from Dept. of Health for Turkana South and East.

Merlin looks after mothers in Kenya, but is there a special person in you life, that you want to thank for looking after you?

 Someone who looked after you when you were sick, told you to study hard and cheered at your prize giving.  There are special people to everyone, all around the world.

If you want to give your special person a unique gift this Mother’s Day – what about giving a gift towards Merlin’s safe motherhood work in their honor?  Click on this link http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/emerg-nutrition-and-health-care-e-africa-crisis/?show=gift and you will go straight to the ‘gift or in honor of’ tab, under the orange donate button on the project page.  Your chosen person will get an email, print-at-home or physical card – you can even choose to have our main project photo as you picture, so your special person will know that because you care, another mother can care for her child too.

Plus GlobalGiving will give Merlin an additional $500 for this project, if we are one of the top 10 projects with the most donors who give gifts between May 1st & 13th.  So you could be helping us even more. 

Apr 24, 2012

Merlin & families in the Philippines say thank you

Giving out hygiene kits - thanks to your support
Giving out hygiene kits - thanks to your support

Thank you for your generous gift towards Merlin’s work supporting families affected by Storm Washi at the end of last year.

With your help, we were able to respond quickly with basic health care and hygiene kits for 2,000 families who were evacuated from their homes and temporarily re-housed in storm shelters and secure buildings.   

Merlin continues to offer health care in the Philippines, but for now at least, our teams are focusing on the urban slums of Manila, the capital.  However, we are ready to respond to any further emergencies with planned disaster response strategies, so as we move towards cyclone season once more....Merlin is ready.

Looking forward

As mentioned above, the Merlin Team is now focusing on a new project in the urban slums of Manila. With the third highest population growth in South East Asia, learning about and having access to, reproductive health care is vital. Poor couples tend to have larger families, due in part to a severe lack of awareness and access to family planning resources.   Birth control allows women more opportunities and ensures better female health. 

This new program will impact over 796,000 people.

For more information and to offer your support to this new project, please check it out on the Global Giving website under the Title Giving young women opportunities in Manila, Philippines’

Mar 5, 2012

Update on Health Services in Kenya, March 2012

Mothers & babies wait at Lokichur Health Center
Mothers & babies wait at Lokichur Health Center

Vital Health Services, Kenya  

Update, March 2012

Background – Main Health Indicators for Kenya

  • Rank on for Kenya on the Human Development Index (UNDP report 2007/2008): 148 out of 177
  • Human Development Index (HDI) Value for Kenya in general : 0.521. 
  • However, in Turkana, where this program is based, the HDI Value is much less at 0.162.
Nurses and Midwives per 1000 people:     1.14       (2004, World Health Stats 2006)
Other health workers* per 1000 people:    0.17       (2004, World Health Stats 2006)
* not incl. community health workers – there is no data for this group in Kenya

The top five causes of death in Under 5s for Kenya (WHO 2008) are: Diarrhoea 20% of total number, Other 19%, Pneumonia 16%, Birth Asphyxia 10%, Prematurity 10%.

Merlin is running a Safe Motherhood Project as part of the vital health services offered. This Project aims to offer direct health benefits to:

  • 7,624 infants,
  • 7,624 pregnant women & new mothers,
  • 47,656 women of child bearing age,
  • 32,406 children under five years old,
  • 50 community health workers,
  • and 40 traditional birth attendants.

Up to the end of December 2011 the Project had already had a number of health successes including:

  • 5,214 children fully immunized.
  • 5,151 pregnant women counseled and over 75% tested for HIV, with those testing positive being given anti-retrovirals.
  • Over 30,000 people being given health education and being a part of hygiene promotion sessions.
  • In just three months (Sept – Nov 2011) 2, 563 women were given ante-natal care.

 

The Safe Motherhood Project began in April 2010 and was initially planned as a pilot project lasting three years (ending March 2013). The aim was that is could and should be expanded into other districts of Turkana in future years.

The project is already seen as a success in the local communities where Merlin works and by government officials. Merlin is now in discussions with international government funders to continue and enlarge the project for an additional three years (until April 2016). 

A member of the Turkana South, Health Management Team where Merlin staff are offering local clinic and outreach teams supervision said:

“We are very grateful to MERLIN who made the exercise a success …. We hope to partner in future for good healthcare delivery in the entire district.” Sept 2011

Mother & Child, Turkana South District
Mother & Child, Turkana South District

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