Oct 18, 2019

Fatu and Ami's Story

Fatu is 22 years old and her daughter, Ami, is two years old. They live in a rural area of northern Sierra Leone, where we have been working with the community since 2005, supporting women and children to improve their health and nutrition. With your help, we will continue to work with families and health workers in rural Sierra Leone.

Fatu explains how a year ago, Ami became very sick with malnutrition.

“She got sick, she lost weight and I had to bring her to the health centre.”

When she arrived, the nurses first advised her to buy some fish, bananas and eggs to improve the nutritional balance of her diet. Fatu used the little money she had to do this, but there was no improvement in Ami’s condition.

“She was ill and began to get malnourished. She refused to even eat. At that time I took her to the health centre. They said she was malnourished and gave her peanuts (plumpy nut) and medicine.”

The health clinic continued working with Fatu to identify nutritional food that she could afford, and that Ami would eat. By working together, Ami was able to get better.

“Before, I was giving her rice. I think that made my child sick. Her belly swelled and bloated.”

“They told me to wash my hands properly before giving Ami her food, and to give Ami peanuts in the morning and evening…without this service, I would have lost my child.”

In the future Fatu hopes that Ami will be educated and have a good job, like a nurse or a minister in the government.

With your support, we can ensure that more families like Fatu and Ami’s are able to take charge of their health through good nutrition. We can continue to support health clinics and health workers to spread vital knowledge and provide treatment to even more vulnerable families and individuals.

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Apr 29, 2019

Final Project Report

Cooking demonstrations are run to aid nutrition
Cooking demonstrations are run to aid nutrition

Health Poverty Action would like to give a final 'thank you' to everyone who supported the ‘Laos Flood Appeal’ through GlobalGiving.

Last July, the collapse of a Hydropower dam in the Attapeu province of southern Laos resulted in devastating flooding which worsened the already drastic situation in the region caused by two recent tropical storms. With so much arable land destroyed, the people returning to their homes will struggle to sustain their livelihoods and provide food for their families.

You allowed us to swiftly support the affected communities by providing medical care, shelter and vaccinations, amongst other things, in the months following the disaster.

We remain one of only three NGOs present in Attapeu and our staff on the ground will continue to ensure that health and hygiene education remains a priority in the face of dangerous outbreaks. We have been working in Laos for over 24 years and our staff are local to the area; their understanding of the people affected by the flood informs their work, as it does all our projects.

Health Poverty Action committed to raising $25,000. With it we purchased and distributed:

  • Non-Food Items  (i.e. essential household items such as blankets, plastic sheets, containers for water, cooking items and soap)

  • Hygiene kits and medicines. 

  • Education on the most pressing health threats to the displaced communities, including dengue fever, cholera and diarrhoeal diseases.

Your support has ensured that communities are given information, education and materials to demonstrate how the prevention of these illnesses is possible. 

It remains essential to help people rebuild after the destruction, return to their homes and restore their livelihoods. Our work in Laos continues, through our malaria projects and nutrition programmes.

We are committed to the continued, long-term support of the affected communities with a focus on strengthening health systems, managing disease outbreaks, ensuring food security, restoring livelihoods, and improving access to water and sanitation.

Volunteers help to educate on nutrition and WASH
Volunteers help to educate on nutrition and WASH
Food packages and hygiene kits are distributed
Food packages and hygiene kits are distributed

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Apr 26, 2019

Final Project Report

Children take part in their school health club
Children take part in their school health club

Welcome to the final project report from Health Poverty Action's ‘Malaria Prevention for Women and Children’ project.

In the most isolated areas of Bombali, Sierra Leone, malaria is a serious problem, particularly amongst the most vulnerable members of society - pregnant women, teenage mothers, and children under five. Many remote communities lack basic infrastructure, facilities and knowledge of the spread and symptoms of malaria. This project you've supported will reach 422,805 women and children by strengthening malaria prevention and treatment in rural communities which aren't reached by existing malaria programmes.

In Bombali, malaria rates are particularly high amongst pregnant women, teenage mothers, and children under five. This is largely due to limited knowledge about malaria, a lack of support, and the long distances from health services. Health Poverty Action is working to reduce the prevalence and impact of malaria among these vulnerable groups, strengthening health systems and reducing maternal and child deaths in this remote, overlooked region.

The project not only works to tackle existing cases of malaria, but your support has helped to ensure lasting, systemic change by enabling Heath Poverty Action to: 

  • Train teachers as facilitators for 50 school health clubs – 100 teachers, two in each school - who will educate children about the dangers of malaria and how to prevent it.
  • Increase number of Community Health Workers working in the region by 325, by introducing 3 extra Community Health Workers to each healthcare facility across the 10 Chiefdoms where we work, to ensure wider reach.
  • Support and improve the way that Community Ambulance Committees monitor their progress, to ensure effective referral systems for malaria cases. This will focus especially on pregnant women, newborns and under-fives.
  • Run dialogue sessions between Public Health Unit staff and Community Health Workers on guidelines for the use of Rapid Diagnosis kits, meaning that cases of malaria can be identified quickly and efficiently.
  • Monthly community malaria dialogue sessions facilitated by our Community Health Workers. Also, training for Community Health Workers to roll out community health 'competitions' at household and community levels, encouraging engagement.
  • Partner with Independent Radio Network to develop 15 short drama series capturing generic malaria prevention messages, and 20 short dramas with specific messages based on feedback from the Community Health Workers, teachers, pupils and Village Development Committees to support the learning.

Thank you for your support in achieving lasting change.

If you want to find out more about our work, both in Sierra Leone and across the world, you can visit our website here.


Verity and the team and Health Poverty Action

A Community Health Worker uses a malaria test
A Community Health Worker uses a malaria test
A maternity ward in Bombali with mosquito nets
A maternity ward in Bombali with mosquito nets

Links:

 
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