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, May 13, 2013

Improving maternal health in Shimoni through antenatal care workshops

Kopa is a resident of Shimoni and joined GVI through our national scholarship program.  He has been working as field staff on the Health Project for nearly six months and is incredibly passionate about furthering public health initiatives in the Shimoni area.

Kopa hangs out with his favourite folks in Shimoni
I really appreciate what Safe Shimoni does, especially in terms of organizing training for the community members to educate them on various health issues. I was very happy when I got the news from Davis, the Safe Shimoni group chairman, that there was going to be antenatal care training.  The training was to be provided specifically for pregnant women in the Shimoni area.  The training was held at the newly constructed youth centre at the public dispensary, which was also constructed by Safe Shimoni. The members of Safe Shimoni were asked to mobilize all pregnant women in nearby villages to attend the training. The attendance was outstanding; there were 30 pregnant women present.

Excellent attendance turnout at the training
The training was to take three consecutive days. The training started on Monday and was facilitated by a doctor from Msambweni District Hospital.  He started by explaining what ante natal care [ANC] was and also talked about individual birth plans. These are essential to prepare women to give birth with reduced risk of complications.  A list of essential items were also discussed including things like razor blades, clean new 'kangas' (cloth worn as a skirt), some money, gloves, and contact details of your close family members.

Public health officer Patrick facilitates the workshop
The facilitator explained that expectant mothers should start attending Antenatal clinics by the latest at the fourth month of pregnancy. He warned the participants that by not attending the clinics or by attending late could lead to problems. He listed the major symptoms in pregnancy which include severe headache, nausea, convulsions, dizziness, vomiting, etc. One thing the facilitator said that I won't try to forget is, if the pregnancy is in the fourth month and you can't feel the baby playing in the womb,  you should visit a health facility immediately. This is because in just 28 days you can lose your baby's or your own life. I really enjoyed the training I hope I can attend another one soon.   

Eager faces taking all the information in during the training
Kopa Mchasa – Health field staff