Turkana, West Kenya, is not an easy place to live or work. Many of the communities that Merlin serves across Turkana are very, very remote. In order to make sure these people get the health care they so desperately need, Merlin regularly operates a mobile clinic in the village of Lokicheles (a five hour drive away from the nearest hospital).
Merlin’s mobile clinics are designed to confront the particular health challenges faced by the community it is operating in. In the wake of the 2011 drought and the extreme food shortages that hit the people of Turkana, that means nutrition, as well as vaccinations to protect people against diseases like measles, polio and diphtheria.
The clinic targets children under five, as their vulnerability to malnutrition and disease is particularly acute. In addition to the vaccinations, the children’s mothers are given nutrition substitutes like Plumpy Nut ® (a peanut-based paste) and a corn soya blend, which they will feed to the children until the clinic is next in the area. The children are also weighed and measured to check for immediate signs of malnutrition.
In Turkana there are countless stories of how people have been affected by the drought. One mother told Merlin staff that her eight month old baby was cured of severe acute malnutrition as a result of Merlin’s feeding and prays the program will continue. Another - who walked for six hours to attend the distribution today – said that of their original flock of 50 goats and camels, only 20 are still alive.
Clearly, the health challenges faced by the people of Turkana are immense. Mobile clinics are an absolutely crucial weapon in the fight to overcome these challenges. That is why I’m asking you to support Merlin’s “Outreach for vital health services in rural Kenya”.
Merlin Kenya Updates
- 30 health facilities have been supplied with essential drugs & medical consumables mainly for emergency response and preparedness.
- 54,123 beneficiaries were treated for various illnesses in the project supported outreaches according to national guidelines.
- On-the-job training on rational use of drugs and for improving quality of health care is being provided to outreach teams.
- Additional outreach equipment has been procured to ensure quality services are provided. Among items procured and distributed to various outreach teams were: anthropometric tools (30 height boards and 30 weighing scales) for use by the outreach teams in screening and accurate referral of malnourished cases according to the IMAM guidelines, and foldable furniture (15 tables and 15 chairs) to facilitate the teams when providing services in the resource limited settings.
- 2 social mobilizers supported by 4 clinical officers and 4 nurses have been providing psychosocial support to caregivers of severely malnourished children admitted to stabilization centres (SCs).
- All admissions to SCs, upon discharge are referred to the nearest outpatient sites in the county (OTP) site for continued care. Cases that require specialized care as a result of illnesses are referred to specialized clinics that will provide the necessary care needed. Examples of such clinics are comprehensive care clinics (CCCs) for HIV clients and TB clinics for TB clients.
Turkana Specific Activities
- Merlin facilitated the training of 35 DHMT members, 15 CHEWs and 100 CHWs from the 3 supported districts on community strategy. This led to establishment of 2 community units in Loima and Turkana South Districts. The trainings were conducted according to the MOH curriculum.
- Merlin participated in mass distribution of azithromycin, for prevention of trachoma, which is on the increase.
Kisii Specific Activities
- Contract signed with CARE/CDC for continuation of HIV/AIDS project through Sep 2013.- During the past quarter, 10 new facilities initiated ART services in Kisii facilities, bringing decentralization to 44 of 49 Merlin-supported facilities.
- The HIV testing and counseling (HTC) project in Kisii changed its strategy from community outreach to workplaces, necessitated by need to reach tea factory workers: 637 workers at 4 factories were tested for HIV, with 11 testing positive (1.7%).
Each week Merlin teams from all over the world, report back to HQ. Our team in Kenya is based in the capital Nairobi, and there is also a sub-office in Kisii (in the west of the country.) This is an abridged version of the most recent update (week 36) from our team in Kenya :
Health, Nutrition and WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Program
Safe Motherhood Project
HIV testing and counselling (HTC)
HIV Project - Chagua Maisha
Chagua Maisha (offering HIV prevention services to the community, including prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV, in partnership with Care) year 2 is winding up on September 29, and the finishing touches are being made to ensure that the work-plan for year 3 has been completed.
Merlin can only continue to do all these and new health activities because of your support. Thank you.
The Merlin Kenya team co-ordinates a huge health and nutrition program. Teams continue to respond to the food crisis with emergency mobile and outreach teams in the arid areas of the north west of Kenya. The teams run safe motherhood programs in three districts of Turkana and malaria and primary health care projects in Kisii (in central, west Kenya). A program focusing on disabled people has just begun, to improve access to the more focused health and well being care required.
If you love our work, then tell the world! You have an exciting opportunity to help Merlin (Medical Emergency Relief International) make even more of a difference. GreatNonprofits - a site like Amazon Book Reviews or TripAdvisor - is a website where people can share their stories about nonprofits that they really believe in.
Will you help us raise awareness and support for our life saving work, by posting a review of about Merlin? All reviews will be visible to potential donors. It's easy and only takes a few minutes.
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With your help, we can gain visibility and ultimately funds for our health care work around the world.
Merlin can offer health services to women, children and families in Kenya, because of you. Thank you.
Safe Motherhood is part of our health activities in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. Merlin offer effective health care and nutrition support to make sure that women are kept safe through their pregnancies and first years as new mothers.
The health care includes educating not just the women, but the whole community on things such as; why women should attend ante-natal classes, why rest and nutrition is something every pregnant women should have and why the correct vaccinations will protect her and the community’s new born children against preventable diseases.
Sadly, in these three countries 1 in every 12 (Kenya), 1 in every 10 (Ethiopia) and 1 in every 5 (Somalia) children die, before they reach their fifth birthday. Teaching moms about how to keep themselves and their babies healthy and protected from disease is, and will continue to make a positive change to those stats.
Safe Motherhood in Kenya
- The Safe Motherhood project part of the fuller health care package that Merlin is offering to communities. Currently, all objectives are on target, and the number of baby being delivered with a qualified nurse in attendance, has increased.
- ‘Malezi Bora’ (a national mother and child health awareness campaign) is running over the first two weeks of May. Merlin teams have planned activities to coincide with the rise in awareness as a result of the campaign, including a push to immunise even more children and women of child bearing age.
Mother’s Day is nearly here
Is there a special person that you want to give a unique gift to 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/outreach-for-vital-health-services-in-rural-kenya/?show=gift to give a gift.
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.
Global Giving will send an email with a personalised message to your special person. They will know that because you care, another special person can care for her child too.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.
Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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