Our Health Post - Step 1
Over the past year I've transported many seriously ill people to the Chambishi Health Clinic, some who are alive today because they made it just in time. Receiving medical attention at the onset of illness would have, in each case, minimized much suffering but for most the distance is prohibitive. When I'm feeling sick I just want to rest beneath a nice comfy duvet but if necessary I can ride just a few minutes to a clinic or hospital. If I had to get up and walk for a few hours, well, I'm thinking I'd succumb. So- after recently making an emergency run twice in one week I asked the director of the clinic about the possibility of bringing health care into Mbayi.
To my delight I found out it's really not that complicated. The director, who is also a medical officer, offered to come to us and address this issue if I could arrange for a group of residents to gather and consider a proposal. Within two weeks I was picking him up and we were in Mbayi putting together a plan of action!
Step 1 was to assemble a Neighbourhood Health Committee of honest, committed individuals with a heart for the project. Within a few hours this determined group had voted in a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer to lead a procedure aimed at establishing a Health Post. They were advised to begin making bricks and erecting a building asap - before planting begins.In the meantime I agreed to raise funds for roofing sheets and nails, cement for the floor, a strong frame and door and lock (we'll be keeping medication ), a table and a few chairs. In January a group of volunteers will be trained to recognize simple illnesses and provide meds. With a Health Post established not only will babies be weighed regularly, illnesses detected and treated earlier, but referral and emergency procedures will be put in place.
All this was presented in much more detail than I've included. Suffice it to say this is possible! It's been done before in another village with such success that a home is now being built for a full time nurse. With the first step completed we've made a good start towards the goal of sustainable health care provided for Mbayi!