Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar

by Zahana
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Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
Planting 15000 trees in Madagascar
First Lady presenting certificate to Health Worker
First Lady presenting certificate to Health Worker

Our CARMMA (health center) in Fiadanana was awarded the ‘prize of excellence’ by Madagascar’s First Lady!

With great joy we congratulate all of our community health workers and the paramedic for their outstanding work that qualified them for the prize of excellence!

Our paramedic, head teacher and all community health workers undertook the once in a lifetime journey to the capital of Antananarivo to receive the reward and their certificates from the hands of the First Lady.

Our community health worker Ms. Laza was chosen to receive the CARMMA award from the hands of the Director of her Regional Health District and the First Lady. In the photo she is towered over by the two of them so you cannot see her on the stage...

Created by the First Lady last year, the prize of excellence for Basic Health Centers (CSB), was awarded this November to five CSBs and one CARMMA  (see background information below). The six centers were chosen after a thorough selection process that included a site visit.

The First Lady hosted the ceremony “Remise des prix d’excellence aux Centre de Santé de Base et CARMMA” (Awards of excellence for Basic Health Centers and CARMMA) on November 27, 2017 at the Palais d'Ambohitsorohitra (Presidential Palace) with over 400 dignitaries and 80 awardees in attendance.

In addition to the certificates, there are material prizes: Mattresses, a solar panel as power supply, 2 cell phones, a bicycle and medical equipment focused on maternal health. As our founder Dr. Ihanta said, with a happy chuckle: “We will need at least two cars to get all their ‘stuff’ back to the CARMMA. We decided, that along the way, 3 of the brand new mattresses are donated to the CSB2 in our district center of Bevato.”

We let the pictures speak for themselves. Cameras were not allowed at the event, so we thank the official photographer for providing us with images.

Background:
CSB stands for Centres Santé de Bases or Basic Health Centers. Over 2600 CSBs in Madagascar are classified level 1 or 2 according to the size of population they serve. People walk to their CSB for basic services, vaccinations and pre-natal screenings. If they cannot be helped there, they are sent to the next hospital, often hours or days away. The CSB1 are staffed by a trained paramedic or nurse. A CSB2, often located in bigger villages or regional centers and staffed by a medical do. tor, and have beds and rooms for patients.

CARMMA stands for Center on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa. CARMMA provide an additional, extra layer of care to reduce maternal mortality. Or, in plain English: do everything humanly possible so less mothers and children die during pregnancy and/or birth. In addition to the usual CSB health services CARMMA have specially trained people and equipment to focus on maternal and infant health. They offer regular pre-and post partum screenings and consultations, nutrition, and infant health check ups, combined with data collection to measure the impact, supported by trained community heath workers. A safe and sanitary space to give birth and drugs to stop postpartum bleeding or infections are part of this CARMMA package.  In a place where there is no ambulance to whisk you off the next hospital a CARMMA having these drugs at hand is literally a question of life and death.

In contrast to the Africa wide ‘Campaign’ that stands for the C in the acronym, in Madagascar C stands for actual brick and mortar Centers that provide services (or implement the goals a campaign aims to promote).

24 CSB are currently designated as CARMMA, with special focus on maternal and newborn health and trained midwifes. Our health center in Fiadanana is a CARMMA, with dedicated rooms for mothers and newborns, and (as we proudly point out) the only CSB in the area with running clean and safe drinking water.

Our 2 community Health Workers to the right of FL
Our 2 community Health Workers to the right of FL
Community Health Worker w Excellence Certificate
Community Health Worker w Excellence Certificate
First Lady presenting the CARMMA Award
First Lady presenting the CARMMA Award
Fiadanana CARMMA Team with certificates
Fiadanana CARMMA Team with certificates

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The first baby born in the CARMMA health center
The first baby born in the CARMMA health center

These pictures mark a very happy occasion: the first baby born in our maternity clinic in Fiadanana!

Everybody in her village has been congratulating the young mother that she was able to give birth in a bed in one of the two brand new rooms we just built especially for mothers and their newborns.

Our Health Center is a CARMMA with a trained paramedic that also serves the role of a midwife. CARMMA stands for campaign for accelerated reduction of maternal mortality. There are currently 25 health facilities designated as CARMMA by the Ministry of Public Health of Madagascar.

We thought it was important to post these pictures now.

You supported our projects over the years, and you may tune in when you hear the word "Madagascar" in the news. With the current outbreak of the bubonic and pneumonic plague, Madagascar has made it into most major news outlets internationally in print or TV. Unfortunately every year there are plague outbreaks in Madagascar (yes, among many other health challenges plague is still one of them), but this year it came earlier and spread much faster.

Despite its stigma as "Black Death", plague is curable in the 21st century.  A week’s worth of common antibiotics is all it takes, if diagnosed early and available in a timely manner. This makes plague distinctly different from Ebola or bird flu outbreaks that make the news, too. But, “All you need is quick and reliable access to antibiotics” does not make headlines that sell…

While our villages are thankfully not affected, Zahana is involved. Zahana's founder Dr. Ihanta is currently the director of health for the country. She is part of the plague crisis unit implementing a response. We are in constant contact with her, so Zahana is right in the middle of it, indeed. We hope that all the international attention and huge influx of experts can help curb this current 2016 plague outbreak.

For fact-based information we recommend the WHO external situation report from October 17.

Thank you for your support of our reforestation efforts.

Markus

The happy mother and her baby
The happy mother and her baby
Dad visits the newborn and mom in the CARMMA
Dad visits the newborn and mom in the CARMMA
Our Health Center -a designated CARMMA
Our Health Center -a designated CARMMA
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Our Zahana representative in Fiadanana
Our Zahana representative in Fiadanana

The man is our tireless Zahana representative in the village. For over a decade now he has been our biggest supporter in his community of Fiadanana. He is one of the people (called in the jargon) an 'early adopter'. If there is a new idea, he tries it out and implements and promotes it, if it works.

Planting Moringa oleifera in our villages is an 'old idea' from 2010. It has been beautifully revitalized in 2016/17.  Way back when, he already planted Moringa trees in and around the village. This amazing tree can grow 9 feet are 3 m in one year. Once it makes seedpods, often in the first year, it may yield up to 4000 seeds. One of the trees from the 'first round' of planting is established and growing well as you see in the picture, it is also loaded with seedpods. Even more amazing is that mother nature makes it possible for a Moringa oleifera tree to have seed pods, flowers and leaves at the same time.

Implementing the abstract idea of a 'renewable resource' he has been harvesting 'his' very own Moringa seeds and is now planting them systematically since the 2016 launch. Once the seed pods are brown and dry, they can be split open by hand, to reveal their true treasure: new Moringa seeds.

Cooking notes: Fresh leaves and young tender seeds pods can be cooked as a vegetable or added to soup, the (hopefully soon) preferred way to prepare it in Malagasy culture. Fresh Moringa leaves are best added, just in the last second of cooking, when the pot is already off the stove. Bigger seeds pods can be cooked and eaten as well, called drumsticks e.g. in ‘curries’ or rasam in southern Indian cooking. Flowers make a tasty tea, or blanched a delicious addition to a salad. Bees also cherish Moringa flowers.

Ihanta and Markus

PS: It might be noted that is has been said that he favors lengthy speeches at community meetings and events, which can be a mixed blessing…

A Moringa oleifera tree in the village
A Moringa oleifera tree in the village
Harvesting Moringa oleifera seeds in Madagascar
Harvesting Moringa oleifera seeds in Madagascar
Moringa oleifera seeds in the pod in Madagascar
Moringa oleifera seeds in the pod in Madagascar
Moringa oleifera seeds close up
Moringa oleifera seeds close up
Planting the harvested Moringa seeds
Planting the harvested Moringa seeds
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Morings Seedling in the Gardener's Plot
Morings Seedling in the Gardener's Plot

Our grand plan of growing a Moringa forests is taking shape very well. The seeds from ECHO our founder Dr. Ihanta took back to Madagascar in February 2017 are growing well (see website). Our gardeners in both villages are growing seedlings successfully that will be planted first around the villages, and hopefully in the near next to every house in Fiadanana and Fiarenana. Called ‘Ananambo’ in Malagasy you can see the photos that the seedlings are indeed taking off.

Moringa trees are an extremely fast-growing species and under ideal conditions can grow to 8 to 12 feet, or 2 to 3 m, in just one year. Providing the climate and the weather is right, these trees will flower in the first year and produce many seedpods, with hundreds of seeds. It is our hope that within a year or two, we will be able to produce our own seeds plus hundreds to spare and share with surrounding villages and communities.

While we’re very excited about these prospects, we also very aware of the fact that young Moringa seedlings are best described as ‘moody’. After very promising start, only time will tell how many will grow into full, productive trees.

As soon as the seedlings are 2 to 3 feet, or 60 to 90 cm, tall the first leaves can be harvested and for example be added to soup. It is very encouraging to see in one of the pictures that a woman is harvesting a few of the young leaves rom the tiny little tree that is a few months old. After all, Moringa is a vegetable growing on a tree, and people have to want to harvest and eat it for the project to be ultimately successful.

We will keep you posted in future project reports about this exciting new reforestation adventure.

The gardener growing many moringa seedlings
The gardener growing many moringa seedlings
Close-up of the morings seedlings
Close-up of the morings seedlings
ECHO's seeds are growing well in Mdagascar
ECHO's seeds are growing well in Mdagascar
Picking fresh Moringa leaves in rural Madagascar
Picking fresh Moringa leaves in rural Madagascar

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Moringa Oleifera for Zahana in Madagascar
Moringa Oleifera for Zahana in Madagascar

We are happy to report that two kilos of Moringa seeds arrived in Madagascar at the end of February. In the meantime the seeds have been hand delivered by our outstanding volunteer “Santa” to the gardeners in both of our villages.

The 2 kg will literally be the seeds for our Moringa forest, envisioned in a community meeting by the end of 2016.

We purchased two varieties of Moringa seeds. 1 kg of the most widely planted and consumed variety: Moringa Oleifera. Commonly known by many names,  just as ‘Moringa’, Malunggay, Drumstick tree or Horseradish tree, Moringa Oleifera leaves, flowers and seedpods can be eaten.

The other variety is 1 kg of Moringa Stenopetala, with much bigger leaves that are widely consumed in Africa as a vegetable.

To ensure that Zahana is growing the best variety possible, we purchased our Moringa seeds from the nonprofit ECHO. ECHO has been actively involved for the past decades in promoting and developing the best strains of Moringa. The Moringa Oleifera variety we bought from ECHO is known as PKM-1, selectively bred for high yield in warm climates.

The Moringa Oleifera leaves, flowers and seedpods are highly nutritious and hopefully will become a great tool to address rural malnutrition in Madagascar.

We will keep you updated as we embark on this new adventure of growing our new Moringa forest first in our villages and hopefully spreading the seeds all over the entire region.  

We know there is a lot of information about Moringa on the web. If you are interested in learning more, we recommend two publications that have become the gold standard for us: 'Moringa' by Ted Radovich at the University of Hawaii and ECHO. We will be happy to provide you with more suggestions should you be interested. Just drop us a line.

Dr. Ihanta, Jeannette and Markus

Moringa Oleifera for Zahana from ECHO
Moringa Oleifera for Zahana from ECHO
Moringa Oleifera and Moringa Stenopetala -Zahana
Moringa Oleifera and Moringa Stenopetala -Zahana

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Organization Information

Zahana

Location: Antananarivo, Capital - Madagascar
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @zahana
Project Leader:
Markus Faigle
Volunteer
Honolulu, HI United States
$74,645 raised of $85,000 goal
 
1,469 donations
$10,355 to go
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