AMURT Educational Support Program, Likoni, Mombasa In 2007 AMURT opened a nursery school in our Likoni center. We provide 55 poor children with basic education, food, and healthcare. We are currently expanding the school building with help from AMURT Italy and other supporters in the community.
HIV/AIDS Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s Program, Nairobi Many children in Kenya are affected by the HIV pandemic. Either they are born with the virus, or they acquire it through their mother’s milk, or they are orphaned due to the death of their parents to the disease. According to the National Aids Control Council (NACC) 2005 report, 1.9 Million Kenyan children are AIDS orphans.
AMURT provides a daycare program for children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS in its community center near the Kangemi slum area of Nairobi. Kangemi has a high incidence of HIV, with one in seven people infected.
AMURT provides HIV+ children with wholesome meals, education,
medical treatment, and the support of counselors.
The daycare center was inaugurated by F.K.A. Segai, the Provincial Commissioner of Nairobi, on 16th April 2003. It now cares for 106 children, providing counseling, education, nutritious meals and healthcare. Our counselor advises the children on coping skills (in the event of both parents dying), dealing with discrimination (people with HIV are still ostracized in Kenya) and healthcare issues. This program is supported by AMURT Italy, AMURT USA, Lions Greater Nairobi, and individual donors.
Training Program for Healthcare Professionals, Nairobi AMURT organizes training programs for health care professionals in various Nairobi clinics. In 2006 we trained 250 nurses, laboratory technicians, pharmacists, VCT counselors, and HIV/AIDS managers.
AMURT Healthcare Center, Nairobi AMURT ‘s Healthcare Center was inaugurated in 2003, funded by the Embassy of Japan, Prakash Patel Foundation, Giants Group of Nairobi, Singh Retread Ltd. and Abacus Pharmaceuticals. The 26 staff members make good use of the building’s 34 rooms for a wide range of medical services, including medical consultations, pharmacy, laboratory, X-ray and ultrasound examinations, dentistry, and voluntary counseling and testing of HIV carriers. In partnership with the Government of Kenya, Family Health International, and Pathfinder International we provide services in maternal and child health, family planning and treatment of HIV/ AIDS, TB, and malaria. Presently we treat 4,000 outpatients monthly at a 50% cost sharing rate, provide antiretroviral therapy for 1,800 HIV/AIDS patients and assist over 2000 patients with opportunistic infection (OI) treatment.
AMURT Healthcare Center, Likoni, Mombasa AMURT recently built this health facility in the Likoni slum near Mombasa. The clinic has 9 medical staff, and serves as the base for 15 community based health workers who provide home based care services to over 2000 HIV patients. In partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Health International we are provide treatment for TB, Malaria, and HIV. The major donors are AMURT Italy, AMURT USA, Palm and local sympathizers. The training program for the community health workers was provided by Pathfinder International.
AMURT Mahaya Hospital, Mahaya, Kisumu With support from the Ministry of Health, AMURT recently finished construction of this hospital in the village of Mahaya, 72 kilometers from Kisumu in the Lake Victoria region. The main function of this hospital is to support pregnant mothers and reduce the risk the child mortality. According to our survey, 95 % pregnant mothers deliver their baby at home, often in unsafe conditions. Our maternity ward provides mothers with a safe place to give birth. The hospital has 23 beds as well as a pharmacy, laboratory, pediatric section, and small operation theatre. An average of 50 patients get treatment daily at a nominal fee.
The major donors for this project are the Embassy of Japan, Embassy of Egypt, Hyarbisan Construction Company, CDF, Kenya Concrete, and Skylark .
Primary Health Care
AMURT Kenya and the Lombardia Region of Italy partner of the project is the ASL of Mantova, through the Area Environmental Prevention of the Department of Prevention under taken a primary health care project in Kenya through the local supervision of UNICEF and Ministry of health in Kenya.
Project Intervention areas
The project covers the areas surrounding the three AMURT hospitals in Kenya:
Urban area of Nairobi, Kangemi district
Urban area of Mombasa, Likoni district
Rural area of Nyanza province, surrounding of Kisumu
1. Project Objectives and Strategy
The project main activity is awareness raising and training on health issues, of the population living in the surroundings of the three hospitals, by means of field agents opportunely trained. They operate through periodic training sessions with groups of residents, using participatory methods, identifying together the main health problems and the possible solutions.
This approach, which aims also to the strengthening of the local communities and the promotion of the role of the woman, brings to the decreasing of pathologies between the beneficiaries and their families. Moreover, it stimulates the participatory development, which is realized through the design and the implementation of micro projects in the health sector. A modest budget is available for their start, and it could be increased thanks to local resources or other donors.
The existing AMURT hospitals are the hearth of the project, where it is coordinated and managed. The project foresees a modest strengthening of the hospital staff and equipments, in order to create the conditions for better effectiveness.
The project is a pilot experience for Lombardia Region health institutions, and aims to define a methodology of intervention which has to be appropriate and replicable.
2. Expected Results
Awareness raising and training on health, hygiene and nutrition of about 120 informal groups of women and men, each of them composed of about 40 people. On total, each group will be object of about 5 days of training (this can change on the basis of field needs). We estimate about 600 training sessions will take place during the project lifespan. And 4800 families will get training.
Strengthening of human resources and hospital equipments, aiming to the best management of the project and of the increase of health demand from the population, which is expected as one of the project output
Participatory identification and implementation of micro projects in the health sector, through community building. Projects have to be simple and locally rooted, with large impact on the population. For example, among them we remember: safe water provision, environment sanitation, mosquitoes control.
Study of a methodology for sanitary prevention in African Countries for deprived social groups, which will be made available to Lombardia Region health institutions.
3. Project activities
12 field agents are raised and put to work (CHW – Community Health Workers). They are in charge of health promotion on field, and respond to coordination personnel. They are selected and trained where needed. Material for beneficiary training is prepared. The field training programme takes place, and training is base on participatory methods.
Each hospital has 4 CHW. Each CHW operates with about 10 beneficiary groups, which is composed of about 40-50 people, mainly women. Group identification starts from existing community experiences. Places and timing for training are defined on field.
Each group take part to a programme composed of 5 training days or more. Group member will receive small money for their time. Training subjects are defined on field, in accordance with needs. Indicatively, they will include:
Nutrition for children and adults
Safe water and water sanitation methods
Hygiene and environment sanitation
Mother and child care
Prevention of infective sicknesses (Hiv/Aids, malaria, tuberculosis)
AMURT was first assigned to Deou by the Burkina Faso Department of Health in 1986. The desert communities have no roads, electricity or telephone communications, no commercial economy and scarce access to safe water, and 90 % illiteracy in the outlying areas. Since 1986 AMURT has engaged in a variety of development works in Deou, including hospital construction, wells, cooperatives, cereal banks, and reforestation. Since 2001 our focus has been exclusively in health education.
In remote communities of the Moussi and Peuhl tribes, as many as 60 % the girls have their genitals cut at the age of 12-14. This Peuhl girl is from the Ndiawe village, a nomad community.
AMURT is working in partnership with the Department of Health to train women as village midwives. (AV for Accoucheuse Villageoise in French). The program was initiated in January 2002 and now serves more than 30 communities throughout Deou Department. The village midwives are trained and supervised by AMURT and staff from the Health Department Staff at the medical centers at Deou, Gandafabou and Boulekessi.
All the AV´s come for repetition and further training courses twice a year. The October 2006 session lasted ten days
According to the UN, 530,000 women die in childbirth every year, more than half of these in Sub-Saharan Africa, in remote villages. In the Deou project area, two tribes, the Peuhl (Fulani) and the Bella have no strong tradition of assisted childbirth. Rather it’s said that if a woman is a strong woman, she should be able to give birth alone. When the women try to assist each other during delivery, their approach has been a passive one, as they are unprepared without training and supplies to secure the hygienic conditions. The nearest delivery room with trained personnel has been up to fifty kilometers away, in an area with no roads and no vehicles. The mothers have been unprepared to face the complications that may arise. The area has seen one of the highest maternal mortality figures in Africa.
Our trainer Madame Oubda takes time to answer questions personally after her class on breastfeeding
Fanta from Boulekessi Soum was trained in 2005 and has established herself well in her community
The AVs are earning the respect of their communities. They are assuming a position of leadership that has been unavailable to women due to the traditional separation of the sexes. The AV’s effectively fulfill the role of the health promoter for mothers and babies. Their training has also brought them to the frontline to raise awareness in this conservative society about concerns crucial to the welfare of women. For example, they are advising women in their communities about family planning and the threat of HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS is brought to the area by men who travel to find work in the dry season.
The Peuhl AV at Ndiawe village gets help from visiting UK midwife Suniiti Crowther to understand how to better use the instruments in her midwife kit
The AV’s are now using their position to combat FGM, female genital mutilation. FGM is officially banned in Burkina Faso. However in the remote villages, as many as 60 % nearly all of the Moussi and Peuhl girls still have their genitals cut around the age of 12 to 14. The AV´s are also taught about the common difficulties encountered in breastfeeding and how to assist the mothers to overcome them. Right breastfeeding is crucial to combat child malnutrition.
The AV from Bungelday gets read to practice oral resuscitation. The use of teaching aids (visuals and dolls to demonstrate/practice on) are particularly important when teaching the illiterate, who find it difficult to follow theoretical classes
COMPONENTS OF THE PROGRAM
Basic training for village midwives, equipment and supplies.
Additional training for village midwives
Literacy training for village midwives
Food assistance for village midwives: one 100 kg sack of millet annually at the time of grain shortages.
Follow-up and supervision for village midwives monthly. Monitoring of instruments and refill of supplies. Collection of data.
S.M.I. Mobile Sante Maternel Infantil: weighing and check-ups of infants and pregnant and nursing mothers, health education for women in the villages, including audio/video.
Mobile out-reach to the communities by health department team.
Ambulance: AMURT donated a vehicle for ambulance for Deou Medical Center, and assists with the vehicle maintenance and driver support.
Training and supervision of village health promoters (male) Agents de Sante Villageoise (A.S.V.)
Before the program started, virtually no women of the Bella tribe would come for pre-natal consultation or deliveries at the medical centers. With the efforts of the AV´s (village midwives) these attitudes have started to change, and the Bella tribe no longer remain aloof from the health infrastructure of the country.
AMURT relies on donations from individuals and sponsoring agencies and associations. We have two full time local coordinators, one stationed in Deou, and one alternating between Deou and the capital Ouagadougou. We are currently seeking groups or individuals to sponsor the training and equipping of more village midwives and village health agents for the villages around Deou.
To contribute you can:
1. Donate Online
2. Donations can also be sent via bank transfer to:
Account name: AMURT
Account number 012421107180850173 Banque Internationale de Burkina Faso Boite Postale 362
The AMURT-sponsored school is located in a picturesque setting in Wasswa village in the rolling hills of Mukona District, about 60 miles from Kampala. The school draws from a population of 30,000 people living in seven villages within a ten mile radius.
The school was first started in 1988 on twenty acres of land donated to AMURT. It was a simple project in the beginning, with twenty village children being taught under a tree! The first building was constructed in 1991, and now the school has 333 children from Nursery to Primary 7. Twenty-one children are boarders and eight children are orphans in our care.
The AMURT school provides a comprehensive education to 333 village children.
Gardening is one of the classes the children take. Each class has its own piece of land to care for.
The school is popular as it achieves a high academic standard. In 2003 the school stood second in academic performance out of thirty-eight primary schools in Nagajji County. This was a surprisingly good result for a rural school. The reason for the school´s success is discipline (the teachers come to work every day!) and the extra classes that are taught in the afternoon.
The school follows the government syllabus, teaching Luganda, English, Math, Science, Geography and Agriculture. In addition we offer classes in Story-telling, Art and Physical Exercise.
We are caring for eight orphans, who were screened for eligibility by the local council before we received them. Five live with us, and three are accommodated in the nearby village.
In March 2000, Amurt first went to Mozambique to respond to the floods in Xai-Xai. After the disaster phase, we constructed the roads and 254 houses in the resettlement town of Ndameine 2000.
We commenced the hygiene and sanitation program in 2001, with grants from UNICEF and the Swiss Development Corporation, building 1,400 pit latrines in three resettlement areas. Our surveys had shown that many people were unaware of the causes of diarrhea, so we also organized educational theater programs in all the beneficiary communities.
AMURT is working with UNICEF on a hygiene and sanitation program in 176 rural schools in Mozambique. One part of the program involves providing pit latrines for the schools. Here an AMURT worker is preparing the concrete slabs for the latrines.
In rural Mozambique many schools are still held under trees due to an acute lack of infrastructure. AMURT would like to help such communities build simple school buildings.
We are currently working in 176 schools in Xai-Xai, Chibuto and Guija Districts, installing 1408 pit latrines. In all the schools we are forming child-to-child sanitation committees and promoting awareness campaigns about hygiene and sanitation issues with a special focus on hand washing and fighting HIV/AIDS. We have a staff of 17 people.
Infrastructure in the rural areas of the districts where we are working is minimal. There is no piped water, no electricity and many school classes are held under trees. When it rains the children have to seek shelter somewhere, thereby disrupting their education.
With the help of UNICEF we are also sinking water wells in the rural schools to provide clean water for the children. Eventually we hope to help build schools, too, so that children can learn no matter what the weather is doing!
AMURT is digging bore holes at some of the schools
to provide clean drinking water for the children.
AMURT’s involvement in the North Tongu District of Ghana’s Volta Region started in 1990 in Mafi-Dekpoe with an educational campaign to combat the Guinea Worm menace. After employing meetings, house visits and theatre, the AMURT team soon realized that the best way to help the people would be to provide safe drinking water. A dam built by the Russians in the 1960’s for agricultural purposes held enough water for a project to serve the ten villages. AMURT was able to build a water treatment plant using the slow sand filter technology to purify the dam water. DANIDA paid for the piping and distribution. The work took years, but in August 1998, the water finally started flowing.
MOVING ON TO MAFI-ZONGO
Before the Mafi-Dekpoe project was completed, AMURT was approached by the assembly man from Mafi-Zongo. The were also badly affected by Guinea Worm. They needed a similar project. AMURT got a grant from the UNDP and constructed a dam, and the water treatment plant was constructed with help from AMURT chapters in the US and Europe. Committees were organized with representatives from the communities, and these committees took the lead in organizing the communal labor and various aspects of the project planning.
COMMUNITIES COMING TOGETHER TO COMPLETE THE RESERVOIR
After building the dam, and the water treatment plant; at the end of 2002 we were looking at the daunting task of constructing a reservoir or water tower on the top of Kpokope Hill. The project design calls for the treated water to be pumped from the water treatment plant to the tower, from where it will flow by gravity to the communities. The logistical problems were considerable. How to convey heavy construction materials to the top of the mountain? The community organizers, Emperor and Kudjo, along with AMURT coordinator, Brohim, worked hard to mobilize the communities. Fifteen truck loads of sand, along with 600 bags of cement, and hundreds of iron bars and planks of wood reached the summit and the construction was completed in July. The capacity of the tank is 100 cubic meter, or 100,000 liters.
Pulling up the pipes was a dangerous and difficult job
Here are the Kpokope Mountain Heroes the local boys lifted and secured heavy iron pipes on the steep mountain side
The women of Kpokope took up the task of providing rocks and stone chips for the construction. They climbed and chipped the rocks with hammers straight off the mountain near the construction site–more than 1500 head-pans. The communities take great pride in the construction of the water tower. The Zongo water project is community owned and community managed. The participation of the communities through labor, sand and rocks, is a key component to instill the spirit necessary to make the project sustainable.
THE WATER REACHES THE VILLAGES
2005 was a pivotal year for the project. By summer the difficult and dangerous installations of iron pipes on the Kpokope hill was completed. The pumps, generators and filter media were installed, well tuned and tested at the water treatment plant. Fifteen kilometers of pipes were laid and 21 pipes stands constructed to deliver the water to the first ten communities.
The water treatment plant produced water of a clarity and quality that had not been seen in the communities before.
NETWORK EXTENDED TO 26 COMMUNITIES
With funding from Italy, the communities and AMURT set out to bring water to more communities. Phase 2 was completed in 2006, as thirteen more communities were connected. In 2008 three more communities were added. The community leaders worked hard to mobilize the people for the grueling task of digging the trenches. At the end of 2008 the network at Mafi Zongo Water Project has extended to more than 52 kilometers, with 45 standpipes serving 26 communities with a population close to 9,000.
MAINTAINING THE DAM
In May 2006, the heaviest rains in memory caused the flood waters to rise until the dam overflowed. The dike was damaged, and the communities piled sandbags to avert a disaster. The dam held and in 2007 AMURT brought bulldozers to make the repairs. The spillway was redesigned and relocated to the southern end of the dike. To make the dam safer and increase the storage capacity, the spillway level was raised by close to 3 feet. Additional bulldozer work to improve the spillway and the dike is planned for 2009.
Since the opening in 2005, the project has been able to function satisfactorily during the dry season. During the rainy seasons we have experienced higher turbidity and problems with clogging filters that has led to interruptions in service. The Engineers Without Borders chapter of the University of Arizona at Tucson made several research trips and concluded that our roughing filters (pre-treatment filters) were unable to handle the additional silt in the dam water due to heavy run-off into the dam during heavy rains. EWB has designed new filters that will solve this problem. After much hard work, with the help of EWB, Rotary USA and the Lanesra Foundation funds are now ready for this work. The construction is scheduled to be completed by the spring 2009.
The conveying of the pipes to the trenches was done by the women
After laying the pipes, the trenches must be filled immediately
The women did most of the work to prepare the filter media at the Water Treatment Plant
CONNECTING MORE VILLAGES TO MAFI-KUMASE WATER PROJECT
The oldest water project in the area is Mafi-Kumase Water project. Using the same basic technology and set up as Mafi-Zongo Water Project, they serve a network of more than 15 communities. In 2008, with the help of AMURT Italy and ScanCad International, we were able to extend water to the Adalekpoe community. Other communities have applied, and AMURT Italy and their partners are sponsoring more communities to be connected to the Mafi-Kumase Water Project.
A MODEL IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
The Mafii-Zongo Water Project is huge in scope and technically complex. We are facing challenges to establish the project financially, technically and managerially. The local government is doing their best to extend the electrical grid to the area. Until now the pumps are powered by generators. Electrical power will help ease the operating costs as diesel prices have gone up by 300 percent since the project started. We are also seeking a closer cooperation with the government’s Community Water and Sanitation Agency for the long term interest of the project. The communities remain determined and have assumed the management of the project. Because of the vast area, the daily administration is divided into two zones, North and South. Monthly meetings are held to give the communities opportunities give input and keep themselves informed about the developments of the project. We have a long way to go, but AMURT will remain until the project is well established. Our goal is to create a model for other community development projects in Africa and beyond.
The water is distributed on a pay and fetch basis. Here the meter reader comes to collect the weekly revenue from the standpipe attendant at Adiekpe
The water projects of North Tongu District are the result of hard work by the communities and strong determination by the local dedicated AMURT staff. However, we remain reliant on contributions from individuals and funding agencies to complete the project. We are still looking for sponsors for the finishing stages of the project, most significantly the distribution and piping.
– communities come together and open their own clinic –
As the communities realized their potential through the Mafi-Zongo Water Project, they decided to open a clinic. The preparations took a year, as the locals prepared an abandoned building, sent candidates for training, and secured the necessary permission from the health department. AMURT assisted with furniture, equipment and supplies, and staff from the AMURTEL clinic in Domeabra helped out in the first months of the clinic. The Mafi-Seva Community Clinic finally opened on 1st May, 2003. The clinic staff is sustained by the income from the patient fees.
During the first year, AMURT Italy, with the help of a grant from Jolly Casa, enabled the clinic to construct a staff quarters, install solar energy for light and purchase a Landrover truck for outreach work and to take patients to the hospital.
The clinic has an outpatient department, two small wards and a maternity ward. On average the clinic has 150 patients and 4 deliveries per month. Malaria and diarrhoea are the most common complaints, along with infections and injuries from accidents, followed by a long list of other complaints.
More than fifty percent of the patients at Seva are babies and children. Here Bernice is checking a baby at the maternity ward
The staff at Seva Clinic with Dada Daneshananda from AMURT
The staff is composed of people from the project area with little or no formal qualifications. Since 2005 AMURT’s role has brought in qualified medical volunteers to give training to the local staff and improve the standard of care at the clinic. Many of the volunteers have come through the Kids WorldwideVolunteer Network – www.kidsworldwide.org. The volunteers have also played a key role in health education outreach programs that have reached more than forty villages.
Volunteers nurses from Canada; Chloe and Mandy, admire newborn twins in Alavanyo village.
Homeopathy at Seva Clinic
After a 2005 visit from Linda of the Ghana Homeopathy Project www.ghanahomeopathy.org, Emperor, the director at Seva, started learning and following regular teaching visits from Sheila Ryan, homeopathy is now integrated into the treatment on offer at Seva Clinic. Staff members, Gideon and Christopher are also learning. The response has above all expectations. Patients now come specifically for homeopathy as a result of the word of mouth news of the effectiveness of the new treatment.
Pre-natal counseling and check-ups is available at the Mafi-Seva Clinic
Prevention is better than cure – Health Education in the communities
Since 2005, AMURT, the Seva Clinic and volunteers have cooperated to bring health education to villages in the project area. More than forty villages have benefited from programs addressing a wide range of health issues. We started with malaria prevention, followed by hygiene and sanitation awareness. Teenage pregnancies and unsafe abortions pose a great risk. Volunteers from AMURT have conducted sexual health education in all the secondary schools in the area. Close to one third of women over 30 in the area have high blood pressure. There is little awareness of the dangers posed by high blood pressure, and AMURT and Seva Clinic have addressed this by offering blood pressure test and education throughout the communities. On Sundays, Seva Clinic staff and volunteers are invited to speak in churches about health issues.
AMURT volunteers conducted sexual health education for teenage girls in all the secondary schools
Teaching hygiene and sanitation at Horkpoe village
AMURT Kenya and AMURT USA launched a project in Kenya called “KENYA INTEGRATED HIV/AIDS PROGRAM” funded by USAID. This project reflects ambition and optimism for making a measurable difference in the health status of communities members of Bondo, Mbita,Kendubay (Oyugois), Malindi, Ukunda Likoni, Kikuyu, Thika, and Nyeri. It consists of three provinces with 9 new AMURT centers.
Through this program, AMURT will launch a series of activities to promote the adoption of healthy behavior and an increased use of HIV/AIDS health services. This will prevent the transmission of HIV and to bring sustainable services to those infected and affected by HIV in targeted areas by
1) providing needed OVC services and strengthening community capacity take responsibility for the care and wellbeing of OVCs aged 6-18 years
2) institute a strong prevention program to protect those that are not infected
3) improve treatment, care, protection of rights and access to effective services for those infected with the virus.
3,000 OVC enabled will be supported to lead productive lives as accepted members of society
Local organizations and neighborhood committees strengthened to create sustainable support structure to oversee the development of the 3,000 OVC
1,000 PLWA provided with home based care and access to required services; and counseling and preventive education provided to their care givers and friends.
Mass education in abstinence and fidelity provided to 1,000,000 people that includes 100,000 out-of-school youth
2,000 youth affected or infected by HIV provided with hope by engaging them in society through youth clubs or vocational training programs.
Training program for 120 OVC counselors, 90 community resources persons, 120, HBC counselors, 18 chiefs and paralegal staff will be trained.
Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV, Nairobi
This HIV+ mother received milk from AMURT
HIV/AIDS has caused the death of more than 1.5 million Kenyans since the 1980s. Currently an estimated 500 Kenyans die daily as a result of the disease.Many mothers carry the virus, which puts their children at risk, too. 40 – 50% of transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their children takes place during breastfeeding. This can be prevented if the mothers are given treated cow’s milk or infant formula. However, most women in the Nairobi slums are unable to afford breast milk alternatives.
AMURT is currently providing pasteurized cow’s milk to women in the Kangemi slum. They come to the AMURT community center every day to receive one liter of treated whole cow’s milk. They receive this allocation of milk for the first 12 months of their child’s life. After 12 months the baby is given unimix, a nutritious mixture.
The women are referred to this program from the AMURT Health Care Center, where they receive counseling in ante-natal care.
Vocational Training Center for HIV/AIDS Infected and Affected Vulnerable Children, Nairobi.
Our vocational training center supports HIV/AIDS infected and affected children aged 13 to 18, by training them in tailoring, hairdressing, computer skills, and handicraft making. In 2006 we trained 16 young boys and girls who are working in different commercial places and earning their own livelihood. This program was initiated by Pfizer Austria.
Micro-Credit, Capacity Building and Skills Training, Nairobi
The Sister’s Self Help Group started with 12 mothers in July 2003 under the leadership of Lillian Mochama, herself a widow with eight dependents. The intent of the project is to help the women with HIV/AIDS, who are desperately poor, find the means to better provide for their families.
AMURT has now trained 48 HIV-infected women to make tie-dye fabric, shirts and children’s clothes. In January 2004 AMURT provided the group with 4 sewing machines so they could decorate their items with lace.
Many of the women suffered from discrimination, even from their own families, due to HIV. In the self-help group they find a supportive community, a means to earn an income, and hope for the future. This program was initiated by World Conference on Religion and Peace (WCRP).
Participatory video made by the Kekkeli women themselves
Kekeli Women – women together for health and development.
In early 2007, AMURT and Seva Clinic introduced the Kekeli Woman Program. For true development, it’s essential that the local people are empowered to charge of the health education. Kekeli means ‘brightness’ and symbolized the light of knowledge dispelling the darkness of ignorance and superstition. The program trains women village health promoters. The candidates are special as they are chosen by the women in each community. After the training they go back as a health resource person in their communities. A 120 page illustrated manual summarizing all the topics covered in the course has been translated into Ewe and given to each of the Kekeli women.
Graduation of the 2nd batch of Kekeli women with volunteer trainers Olivia and Jennifer
Teaching through drama and fun
The 30 Kekeli women have divided themselves into six groups. In small groups the women come together to give health education programs in each other’s communities. To make the presentations more interesting and fun, they have abandoned dry lectures, and chosen present the topics through drama and role play. The women write the plays and act themselves, as they know very well the psychology and culture of their own people. Presentations on AIDS awareness, the dangers of alcohol abuse and superstition have been received very well.
At Dafur village the Kekeli women’s drama exposed the dangers of relying in magic and juju instead of going to the clinic to get help for health problems.
The Kekeli women’s hour long epic about the dangers of AIDS was performed at Somekpe and made deep impact.
Reproductive health in focus – combating the spread of STD’s and offering choices in family planning
During the summer of 2009, the health education effort focused on sexual health. We were shocked to find that the prevalence of STDs very high. In meetings throughout the project areas, the women expressed their interest and need for choices in family planning. In January we opened the Kekeli Reproductive Health Center in a new building at Seva Clinic. Clinic staff and volunteers teach sexual health in the secondary schools in the project area through the sexual health game.
Sexual health game at Zongo secondary school
Teenage boys after sexual health game at Wudzrlo
The reproductive health center brings awareness and choice
Maternal Health in focus – training of Traditional Birth Attendants
Starting in 2005, AMURT and Seva Clinic started to support the local TBAs with regular training programs led by Susan Crowther, an experienced UK midwife. Many women in the area don’t go for check ups during pregnancy, and often come to the TBA in the middle of the night. The TBA’s are not well prepared and all to often fail to identify the complications in time. The infant mortality remain high. AMURT, Seva Clinic and the Kekeli women are doing their best to promote the importance of pre-natal check ups. In the summer of 2008, Lisa Dalporto conducted a three month program for TBA’s. In all 25 TBA’s have received birth kits and completed the training. They have joined with the Kekeli women, and are known as Kekeli TBAs. Lisa facilitated the opening of dialog and communication between the midwives at the Adidome Hospital and the village TBA’s. We hope that this new coordination and improved mutual understanding will save lives and improve the health of mothers and infants in the area.
During the summer of 2008 the weekly all day sessions were attended by 20-30 TBAs. Here, Holali and Selassie from Seva demonstrates as Lisa explains about delivering the placenta.
Susan and Bernice instruct TBA Margaret about the use of the equipment in birth kit given to all the traditional birth attendants.
To contribute you can donate online here for the Kekeli Women and the Maternal Health Program.