Fongoli chimp Mike lives alongside Djendji village
Thanks to the generosity of donors, we continue to be able to assist people in rural Senegal seek adequate healthcare. Southeastern Senegal is relatively undeveloped compared to the western part of the country and to Dakar, in particular. We were recently able to assist a local Beudick man travel to Dakar to obtain adequate healthcare and medicines for problems related to an ulcer, which had been exacerbated by the death of a loved one. Being able to quickly assist someone in need is why this Healthcare Project means so much to us at Neighbor Ape.
Even though many of us have problems with the healthcare systems in the United States and the United Kingdom, where most Neighbor Ape donors reside - we have access to resources that people living in rural Senegal and other African nations (& many nations throughout the world, of course) do not have.
Please know that your generosity has made a very big impact for both individuals such as the man I described in this report, as well as whole villages in this area of Senegal. From providing supplies for a new pharmacy in Djendji village to funding cataract surgery for an inhabitant of Ngari-Seekoto village, which allowed him to see again (!) - your help has been invaluable.
We are happy to report that we have been able to provide the village of Djendji with a solar setup that is now used to power their new dispensary and health facility. Future plans include building a second healthcare structure that will be specifically for childbirth and related purposes (see photo!). The village of Djendji does not have access to the electric network that powers much of the urban areas of Senegal, but solar power is a reliable source in this very sunny part of sub-Saharan Africa! The village of Djendji is the oldest such hamlet in the area of the Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project, having been in place for more than 100 years. They have a long history of conserving important areas for chimpanzees, such as the Point D'Eau water source that Fongoli chimpanzees rely on during the late dry season when other water sources have long since dried up. It is only through the help of the local community in Senegal that we can hope to conserve chimpanzees for the next generation, and it is through your generous help that we can work with local people on small development projects. Thank you!
We are happy to provide an update on a couple of our Healthcare projects!
Neighbor Ape recently helped provide funds so that Msr. Sadhiakho of Ngari-Seekoto could recieve the surgery he needed to correct his vision. His cataracts had rendered him blind, but providing funds in the amount of less than U.S. $150 enabled Mr. Sadjiakho to undergo the necessary surgery in Kedougou, and he is recovering well!
At Neighbor Ape, such assistance is impossible without the generosity of donors such as yourself, and you can see that a little goes a very long way. Helping Mr. Sadjiakho has been very fulfilling, as he was one of our neighbors at Fongoli village for a very long time. He moved up the road to Ngari-Seekoto as he aged, and this village is still one that borders the Fongoli chimpanzee home range.
A second project that we are currently involved in is helping the village of Djendji in support of their new dispensary project. Neighbor Ape is funding a solar power setup that will power one of the two buildings that is going to serve as a medical facility and pharmacy for this village. Djendji is the oldest village in the vicinity of the Fongoli chimpanzees' home range, and Fongoli chimps often range within 50 meters of the outlying village fences, feeding on fruits peacefully, as they are familiar with this village (it is over 100 years old!), and they are not harassed at all by the people.
Working with people that live alongside the Fongoli chimpanzees and helping them improve their livelihoods is one of the main goals of Neighbor Ape, as conserving the chimpanzees in this area of Senegal would be impossible without the help of the people that have lived alongside them for generations. Thank you again for your contributions to this fund!
We continue to provide medical support for those in need at Fongoli - and again, none of our assistance would be possible without your generous donations, so thank you! Fortunately, there have been no major accidents, and our assistance lately has focused on more of the common maladies faced by people in this area of Senegal. So, we have aided people in acquiring malaria curative and pain reliever for headaches, which are common here and can prove debilitating.
Unfortunately, we continue to see high levels of infant mortality in the area, but we are hopeful that we will be able to move ahead in helping to establish a dispensary at the large village of Djendji, at the edge of the Fongoli chimpanzees' home range. We also plan to help identify someone in the village to go for training in basic medical care and knowledge so that they can independently operate the dispensary. This is a program that is already in place in this area in Senegal, and so we have a model in place; specifically, there is such a program at the village of Thiobo, home village to the Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project's project manager, Dondo Kante, so we will work closely with the Thiobo program to establish a similar one at Djendji.
In order to put such a program in place, we plan to host an anthropology student at Iowa State University with an interest in the junction between traditional medicine and Western medical practices. She proposes to conduct a research project in the area, and part of her research will involve working with people in Djendji to better understand their needs and wants in terms of the dispensary project.
We're very excited about this project and hope to get it jump-started this year! Thank you again for all your generous help!
Fongoli village during the rainy season in Senegal
Neighbor Ape continues to be able to provide assistance with medical costs to people of the Kedougou region in southeastern Senegal due to the generosity of donors such as yourselves, so thank you!
Much of the aid that we have provided since I last updated you went to the costs of doctor visits and medicines for children in the regional capital of Kedougou (the nearest town to the Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project base camp) as well as in Tenkoto and Fongoli villages as well.
The rainy season is malaria season in the region, and malaria is one of the biggest problems in this area, especially for children. Fortunately, malaria curative medicine can be accessed easily in the town of Kedougou, but the cost is prohibitive for many people living in the rural areas of southeastern Senegal (cost of a box of malaria cure is about US $5.00).
We were also able to cover the cost of X-rays for an infant that, it turns out, swallowed some pebbles (everything came out fine!). I won't provide you details of all the medical costs were able to help with but, suffice it to say, your generous donations go a long way!
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