Continued support from Global Giving donors has allowed RI to continue to expand the health and nutrition services to the populations across North Darfur. Through its support of the Zam Zam Clinic and 5 other health facilities across the state, RI now provides approximately 6,000 consultations each month. Children under 5 years of age account for approximately 45% of all consultations. In 2008, RI continued to strive to expand health care access and care to benefit remote populations unable to access RI’s static heath clinic. To achieve this, RI established and now operates three mobile health units to provide emergency health outreach to newly internally displaced populations, with an emphasis on serving the needs of children and pregnant women.
Construction and Operation of the Satellite Nutrition Center
Relief International continues to be the sole provider of therapeutic nutritional support to vulnerable populations in Zam Zam Camp. Over the past year RI has focused on increasing access to nutritional support in the camp through the construction of a second nutrition facility. The RI nutrition team completed construction of the Zam Zam satellite nutrition center in Jafalo in February 2008. It is strategically located on the south side of the camp to reduce the prohibitive distance vulnerable women and children must travel in order to obtain necessary medical treatment for malnutrition. This center is also focused on care that extends directly to the household through trained regional community workers who can conduct necessary home monitoring. Preliminary data for RI’s nutrition program revealed the malnutrition cure rate increased and the follow-up visit default rate decreased in the first quarter of ‘08--a great success.
Skilled nutrition teams are the front line responders the deteriorating nutritional status among Dafuris. One of the battles that face humanitarian workers at this point in the Darfur crisis is access: the nature of the conflict is such that national and expatriate staff all face risk of attack or limited movement to reach populations in need – especially in rural areas of camps and villages. So we are moving to a largely “community-based” approach for health, nutrition, and agriculture. This also builds access in remote villages and trains residents to be advocates and help with identification of emergency care that otherwise might never have been found. For a nutrition worker to function primarily in his or her home village, rather than travel daily to a central and distant worksite, reduces the risk of harm overall and maximizes those community’s access to an expert on a more routine basis.
Training of Nutrition Center Staff and Community Nutrition Workers
Zam Zam Clinic serves as a resource, education, and training hub for 7 village-based clinics. In the last two quarters RI has trained 62 nutrition staff regarding malnutrition management, home-based care, support and monitoring, as well as skills to raise beneficiary awareness of different nutrition aspects.
Support from Global Giving donors has allowed RI to expand the services of the Zam Zam Camp clinic, which serves more than 50,000 displaced people, and provide training and supplies to 7 village-run health facilities. Expanding access and care has truly benefited the people of North Darfur. The number of pregnant women visiting RI safe motherhood units for prenatal checkups has steadily increased by 4% from August 2006 to June 2007. This marks a remarkable outreach achievement for community health workers who have been conducting awareness-raising programs for tribal and religious leaders. The RI midwives are also responsible for increased prenatal care, as they have been conducting activities during household visits to promote the importance of 3 prenatal visits for good mother-baby health.
As a result of overwhelming public support, RI’s field team has been able to provide 65,000 consultations in the past 6 months through the Zam Zam clinic and the 7others. Children under 5 years of age accounted for approximately 42% of all consultations. Children in Darfur suffer illness and even death as a result of severe diarrhea caused by poor water and sanitation and hygiene. Due to hygiene promotion activities provided by RI clinics, including education of mothers on the treatment of diarrhea, cases of severe dehydration due to diarrhea have decreased by 2% from August 2006 to June 2007 in RI clinics. Overall, the 8 clinics have reached. 5,800 schoolchildren, 50 school teachers, and more than 1,500 women with lifesaving outreach.
Community education campaigns have also focused on raising awareness about prevention of HIV/AIDS. From August 2006 to June 2007, RI’s health team conducted education activities for 120 community and tribal leaders, community health workers, and youth on HIV/AIDS prevention. These representative leaders were empowered to deliver key HIV/AIDS messages to their villages.
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