Physicians for Social Justice (PSJ)

PSJ's mission is to promote community health, as well as support underserved rural communities to realize their highest attainable standard of health. This mission is borne out of our strong conviction that physicians have a crucial role to play toward the realization of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals(MDGs), especially in regard to those goals related to health.
Sep 16, 2014

Field update from rural Mashegu

PSJ malaria outreach
PSJ malaria outreach

As the rains soak the grounds of rural Mashegu this period between July and September, PSJ's team of a community physician, a nurse and two community health extension workers, also continue to hit the ground to lead the fight against malaria in rural communities of Mashegu; with malaria clinic outreach activities conducted in rural Kwati, Faje and Makera villages during this period of peak rainy season in rural Mashegu, and this year 2014 was certainly not an exception. The rains have been especially very intense in the past one month, with the resultant increase in the malaria vector breeding sites that inevitably leads to more malaria cases among children and pregnant mothers. That is why our team focused outreach activities in these three rural communities struggling with inadequate health care resources in rural Mashegu.

During the outreach, our medical team offered pregnant mothers malaria prophylaxis and treatment. 450 villagers received malaria prevention education, including environmental sanitation and the importance of sleeping under an insecticide treated net. With the assistance of the new Rapid Diagnostic Test technology, our team was able test and treats 200 children and 110pregnant mothers for acute malaria.

On behalf of the communities we serve, we express our sincere gratitude to all our donors who made financial contributions to this project so far. We know some of you have donated over and over again to this project. Gradually, we are inching towards achieving our overall goal.

Thank you very much. Through your donation, we have offered life-saving malaria treatment to hundreds of children and pregnant women. Just imagine how many more children in rural Mashegu would have succumbed to the clutches of malaria without your donation?

 

May 14, 2014

Malaria Prevention Outreach; Field update from rural Faje

Faje, one of the first remote villages to benefit from ‘Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in rural Mashegu’ hosted our mobile clinic and malaria prevention outreach team in February and March 2014.

As part of the outreach activities, malaria prevention education was provided to nursing mothers and pregnant women with the aim of boosting malaria prevention health behaviours among this group. The group health education on environmental sanitation provided a unique opportunity for the malaria team to educate families about malaria prevention. In particular, elimination of mosquito breeding sites was emphasized as we approach the onset of rainy season from May to October when malaria transmission and mortality is highest. Our malaria team continued to emphasize and educate families especially mothers on how to recognize early symptoms and signs of malaria and on the need for sick children to receive prompt medical attention. This is particularly important because most of the deaths due to malaria among infants is due to delays in instituting treatment for such children.

Children under-5 and pregnant women are the most vulnerable groups to malaria attacks and deaths in this region. National statistics shows that more than 50percent of pregnant women from rural villages such as Faje will experience at least one episode of malaria during pregnancy. And this often contributes to severe anaemia (shortage of blood in the body) in the pregnant mother, resulting in increased risk of maternal and child deaths, and low birth weight.

The malaria team provided every pregnant woman in the village with intermittent preventive treatment, and sensitized them on the absolute need to seek early treatment from health workers at the earliest suspicion of malaria (whenever they develop fever or generalized body weakness or feel generally unwell as these are often the first symptoms of malaria). All pregnant mothers and children had the opportunity to get tested; thanks to the Rapid Malaria Diagnostic Test Kit that is now available at no cost. Eighty seven children and pregnant mothers were diagnosed and received malaria treatment using the Artesunate-Combination Therapy (ACT) as recommended by the Ministry of Health (FMOH) and the WHO.

Our outreach to remote villages such as Faje would not have been possible without the support of our donors whose financial donations made it possible for us to procure medical supplies such as the malaria medicines and pay for transport costs to visit these communities. Your donations have made such a huge difference in the lives of dozens of these poor rural mothers and children. Donations like yours have added up to save the lives of dozens of children, pregnant mothers and their babies in these communities we serve. We are very grateful to you our donors who support the work we do. Your relentless support to our work has been our biggest strength. On behalf of the communities we serve, we say thank you for making it possible for us to reach remote communities like Faje on continuous basis.

Jan 28, 2014

Update from malaria outreach to rural Sahon-rami

malaria outreach sahonrami
malaria outreach sahonrami

In December 2013, Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths conducted a malaria prevention outreach in Sahon-rami, the village that could be considered as the birth place of the project in 2007. The setting was the community primary school, where the malaria team set up mobile clinic tents to receive and treat sick women and children who had earlier been told about the visit by the mobile clinic team.

At the end of the outreach, 198 children were treated for malaria using the standard artesunnate combination therapy (ACT). Also 82 nursing and pregnant mothers received targeted malaria prevention education, prophylaxis, treatment. Nursing mothers were also educated on how to recognize early symptoms and signs of malaria and on the need for sick children to receive prompt medical attention. This is particularly important because most of the deaths due to malaria among infants is due to delays in commencing treatment for such children. Thousands of young children who suffer acute attacks of malaria frequently develop complications such as anaemia and convulsions, because they do not receive prompt treatment, and such complications are usually the cause of their death.

We are very grateful to all our donors who support the work we do. We thank you very much for donating over and over again to this project. We are very grateful to you. Thank you for supporting the work we do. Your continued support to our work has been our biggest strength. On behalf of the communities we serve, we say thank you for all your support.

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