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

Monday, December 10, 2012

Health Project: Growth monitoring outreach

The anticipation’s been building for a new outreach and we finally got one! It was time for a Safe Shimoni growth monitoring outreach in Majengo and we had 4 eager volunteers and community and health staff as our ammo.  The objective was to receive as many mothers and their children as we could to monitor the growth as a means of keeping check on malnourishment numbers in the village.  At the same time we could keep track of those that were not fully immunized with meningitis, polio, measles, and TB and refer mothers to the public dispensary to ensure everyone received what they were lacking.  These are some of the main aims of the Safe Shimoni CU and it was awesome to help them out with it.

Health field staff Kopa with one of the children being monitored
We reached our destination expecting to see some of the community health workers setting up shop but we found only one who was actually ready to give instructions and leave us to it.  “Sawa”- OK, we got this! It was amazing to see the volunteers step in on their delegated tasks and work through the stream of mothers with their children. I can’t blame them, weighing babies is so much fun. Some were weighing, others were recording the weight as well as personal details such as age and gender. The rest were going through the health cards to check the immunizations received and receiving money from the patients. Despite the scorching heat they all pushed through and found a quick and efficient way to accurately record all necessary details.

Volunteers record growth monitoring information

The kids were so precious even the ones that refused to step on the scale without their mothers.  My favorite is the “pole... pole... bas!”—sorry… sorry but enough when they refused to stop bawling. That cracks me up every time. It’s said with so much sympathy yet no time for nonsense. One girl came alone with her card and 10 shillings determined to get her card filled out, too sweet.  Overall it was really successful we went through 37 kids; none of them were underweight and only 5 were confirmed to not be fully immunized.  Unfortunately day 2 of the outreach was cancelled due to the torrential downpour but in typical Kenyan fashion… “Hakuna Matata”- No problem. There will be more to come. 

Matata Diomande – Health Field Staff