|Mother and baby|
The health team and I ventured to a village called Mwazaro, a 15 minutes drive from our base Shimoni village. The aim of the outreach was to monitor the growth of the children under 5 years old. Because of the long walk separating Mwazaro to Shimoni, only a few families have the time to go to the Shimoni dispensary for monitoring. Therefore, the community health team decided to come to Mwazaro every month.
Onsite we began to weigh all the children and checked, knowing their age, if there were malnutrition cases, hopefully none were identified. Each child has a “Health Care Record” indicating current and past weights and also if the child has been immunized etc. If a malnutrition case was identified the parent could be informed and recommended to visit the dispensary, where the parents could receive dietary supplements for the child such as “Plumpy nut”.
I was registering the names, ages and weights of each child, as 2 other GVI volunteers were weighing the children. While monitoring all the children a local CHW (community health worker) was educating the community about different methods of contraception.
|Our GVI volunteer Sophie and a health worker|
All in all we weighed and recorded 67 children over a time period of about 3 hours, an average of 23 children per hour. The day was a success with many crying babies! And to top it all off, the car broke down on the way to pick us up so we had a sweltering, sweaty 45 minute walk on the dirt road back to Shimoni, a tiring but productive day!
Paul Petges- Health volunteer