Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Hands on Experience!

This week at GVI we looked into expanding out waste management plan to look at sanitation issues within Shimoni. One of the main areas for our observation was Shimoni primary school.

In Shimoni primary school one of the main issues that they face is a severe lack of infrastructure, specifically the number of toilets that are available to students and staff alike (6 toilets for 266 boys, 6 for 244 girls and just 1 for 11 staff members of both sex). As well as this there are no hand washing facilities throughout the whole complex. This is of grave concern as it offers no barriers to prevent the spread of disease.

Throughout the survey we noted down all of the details that were presented by the headmistress and also took photographic evidence of the problems faced. This shall be presented to Shimoni Health Committee so that it can be discussed in a wider forum and so a coordinated approach to resolving this issue can be created.

In the meantime the staff members and volunteers at GVI are now brainstorming and thinking of any measures that can be taken to alleviate problems in the immediate future.

The discussion with the headmistress also enlightened us to the wider range of issues that prevail at Shimoni Primary School. Most Notably the student to staff ratio (510 student to 11 staff) leading to there being 80 students being taught at the same time. This further highlights the challenges that are faced by primary schools within the local area.

Afterwards we visited the Madrassah in Majengo to assist health workers with their outreach. This consisted of administering vitamins to the under 5’s and giving them a quick check up. This involved opening up the capsules and placing the vitamin tincture in their mouths. This proved to be a difficult task as we had very little to open the capsules with, leading to many messy hands. Luckily a local came to the rescue and we covered all 72 kids quickly once we had a clean razor to open the capsules. It is a shame that he did not have a magic cure for our hands! All of the children were healthy and all of them took their vitamins without much fuss, well except for one child who was convinced he was getting an injection.

This week has shown us at GVI that there is a lot of work to be done in order to improve the development of the local area. However, it has also shown us that even some small measures such as the provision of hand washing facilities and the administering of vitamins can make a massive difference to the wellbeing of local residents.