OUT OF AFRICA Women’s Health in Kenya ~ Helping Those Less Fortunate.
 
Lucia Gauci (RC of Prospect) and Susan Paltridge (Pres RC of Walkerville) explained at the recent Club meeting of the work being done in partnership with World Youth International (WYI) at the Mama Odede Health Centre in Western Kenya.  Lucia outlined the 2015/2016 District Grant Women’s Health project, through which our club sponsored 62 Odede community families, for seven months of free health cover provided by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) in Kenya.
 
The Rarieda district in the Nyanza Province where the Health Centre is located is a rural area where the majority of the local population are subsistence farmers living in extreme poverty (less than $2.50 per day). The communities have limited access to basic infrastructure and services such as education and health and the maternal and infant mortality rates are unacceptably high.
 
The provision of maternal health services has been in demand and is a key focus of the Health Centre. The health cover encourages use of the centre, builds an understanding of the need for the services and improves the wellbeing of each family. In addition, it provides a much needed income source for the centre itself as the NHIF reimburses the health centre for services and treatments provided, that are often not paid for. NIA (Nurses In Action) Volunteers work in local medical clinics and hospitals as well as on Community Outreach Programs and Medical Camps, alongside local staff and community members.  The five key issued they deal with are: Malaria, HIV, Maternal and Child Health, Violent Injuries (Burns and Machete), and conditions second to Malnutrition and AIDS.
 

Susan heard about the partnership with WYI, through Lucia, and decided if she was going to get involved, she needed to go and see for herself directly, the work being done by WYI in Odede. 

She joined a group of 6 nurses and travelled to Kenya in January 2016 as part of a WYI 'Nurses in Action' program.  

Susan shared her wonderful and challenging experience in this remote community, where she spent almost six weeks providing health services including home visits and medical camps where the locals walked out of bush and queued for hours, to get their chance to see a nurse and receive medications. She had us all hanging on her words as she described in detail the place and experience, the needs and the wonderful work being done by WYI.   Thank you Susan and Lucia ~ we look forward to hearing more as future projects unfold.  Story provided by Lucia Gauci.
 
 
 
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