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"Ili Wawe Na Afya" (That they may have health) - The growth of the level of the medicare of the inhabitants of Kiabakari and of the Butiama district in Tanzania

Kiabakari is situated in the region of Mara, in the north-eastern part of Tanzania, in the vicinity of the Musoma- Mwanza highway. The current project is related to the former ones that were performed in Kiabakari in the years 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 with the aim to facilitate access to medical services for the poorest residents of the District of Butiama (330 thousand persons), in the region of Mara, while completing the construction and equipping the health centre in Kiabakari, and providing health education, medical and paramedical volunteering programmes.

The health centre in Kiabakari has been operating since 2007 now. It was built by means of a donation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland under the Polish Aid Programme (Project No. 670/2007). In 2011, the efforts of the Kiabakari Foundation and the co-financing by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs made it possible to perform a project "Afya Bora” (“Perfect Health”) (1283/WPP/2011). In 2012, a project "Huduma ya Kwanza" was performed and settled (“First Aid”) (931/WPP/2012). Under the Small Grants Programme in 2012, the Mission in Kiabakari in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Nairobi performed a project “A new delivery room for the health centre in Kiabakari – A chance for life”, while a project co-financed under the Polish Development Aid Programme “Upendo Unaojali” (125/PPR/2013) was performed in 2013. The project “Ili Wawe Na Afya” (“May they be healthy”) (783/WPP/2015) is the continuation of former projects. In the opinion of the local authorities, the health centre in Kiabakari is the best medical institution in the region. The project was to address the need for professional support and equipment of the centre and training the staff in order to cope with the number of patients increasing every year, including HIV-infected patients, as well as patients with diabetes, hypertension, and spinal column pain. It was also an intent to perform first cross-matchings, first ultrasonography and ECG examinations in the region, as well as to ensure pro-health education.

"Ili Wawe Na Afya" (That they may have health) - The growth of the level of the medicare of the inhabitants of Kiabakari and of the Butiama district in Tanzania

During the period from 1 August until 31 December 2015, the Kiabakari Foundation performed a project aimed at carrying out volunteering activities to improve health and living conditions for residents, as well as to improve access to medical care for local communities in the region of Mara in Tanzania. The project was performed in Kiabakari, a locality situated in the region of Mara in Tanzania. The project directly covered approx. 3,200 persons in the age between 0 and 100 years.

The project directly referred to the Millennium Development Goals:

1) Education: Activities for the education and development of children and teenagers (MDG 1, 2, 3, 8);

2) Health: Activities for the improvement of health and quality of life and the improvement of access to medical care for local communities (MDG 4, 5, 6, 8);

3) Work: Activities inter alia for the improvement of the social and economic position of teenagers and adults from the poorest social classes, in particular girls and women (MDG 1, 3, 5, 8).

The above mentioned goals were achieved by:

  1. Ensuring professional medical care during the performance of the project for over 3,000 patients (approx. 50 a day) in order to improve the health condition of residents of the District of Butiama;
  2. Diagnostics and improving the health condition of patients with hypertension and diabetes, as well as eye diagnostics for children;
  3. Identifying possibilities to create a local blood bank and performing blood cross-matching before a potential transfusion;
  4. Improving the level of knowledge of the local staff in the treatment of hypertension, diabetes, pain relieving, intensive medical care, operation of medical equipment and interpretation of examination results, including blood testing and cross-matchings;
  5. Improving the level of knowledge of residents of Kiabakari and the District of Butiama on hygiene, including oral and eye hygiene.

"Ili Wawe Na Afya" (That they may have health) - The growth of the level of the medicare of the inhabitants of Kiabakari and of the Butiama district in Tanzania

The basic result of the performed project consisted of the work delivered by 3 volunteers in a health centre in Kiabakari – during a 3-month period from 2 October until 30 December 2015, 40 hours a week. The volunteers managed to receive 3,197 patients. They performed small surgeries, dressed wounds, received pregnant women, women who had recently given birth, as well as assisted them during labour. They diagnosed tropical diseases and HIV by patients.

Each of the received patients was diagnosed of hypertension, diabetes and eye diseases (in case of adults). The assumed results of the project were possible to achieve only and exclusively by equipping the heath centre (under the performed project) with appropriate medical equipment.

A head was purchased for the ultrasonography unit gained before the performance of the project. A treatment lamp was purchased that enabled the performance of treatments, as well as autoclaves for sterilization, 3 pressure gauges, 3 sets of surgical instruments, 3 Snellen tests for sight testing, sets for urine testing and a set of reagents for blood grouping testing. Blood examinations and cross-matchings raised the awareness of the local staff of the possibility to create a blood bank in future (upon fulfilment of appropriate conditions – purchase of a fridge and security of uninterrupted power supply). Furthermore, by saving money for the purchase of new equipment, a new small ECG unit was purchased upon consent of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that was used to examine 160 patients complaining about heart diseases. Myocardium hypertrophy was diagnosed by a half of patients.

The basic result of the performed project consisted of the work delivered by 3 volunteers in a health centre in Kiabakari – during a 3-month period from 2 October until 30 December 2015, 40 hours a week. The volunteers managed to receive 3,197 patients. They performed small surgeries, dressed wounds, received pregnant women, women who had recently given birth, as well as assisted them during labour. They diagnosed tropical diseases and HIV by patients.

Each of the received patients was diagnosed of hypertension, diabetes and eye diseases (in case of adults). The assumed results of the project were possible to achieve only and exclusively by equipping the heath centre (under the performed project) with appropriate medical equipment.

A head was purchased for the ultrasonography unit, which was acquired before commencing the project. A treatment lamp was purchased that enabled the performance of treatments, as well as autoclaves for sterilization, 3 pressure gauges, 3 sets of surgical instruments, 3 Snellen tests for sight testing, sets for urine testing and a set of reagents for blood grouping testing. Blood examinations and cross-matchings raised the awareness of the local staff of the possibility to create a blood bank in future (upon fulfilment of appropriate conditions – purchase of a fridge and security of uninterrupted power supply). Furthermore, by saving money dedicated for the purchase of new equipment, a new small ECG unit was purchased upon consent of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that was used to examine 160 patients complaining about heart diseases. Myocardium hypertrophy was diagnosed by a half of patients.

The completed training blocks will enable the 15-person staff of the health centre in Kiabakari to successfully perform examinations and diagnose patients. Four training blocks were completed, whereby all employees of the centre participated in each of them:

1) Diagnostics and treatment of hypertension and diabetes;

2) Intensive medical care and treatment;

3) Blood, methods of examination and cross-matching, transfusion;

4) Operating medical equipment and reading results from the ECG and ultrasound unit.

Apart from trainings, volunteers provided instruction directly on patients while examining the knowledge gained by the staff during trainings at the same time.

Trainings were directed to employees of the centre, as well as residents (according to the assumptions of the project). Three trainings were devoted to eye and oral hygiene and additionally mobility hygiene, as requested by patients.

A result of the project is also a blog diary kept by the volunteers during their stay in Tanzania and 3 exhibitions organized by them while working on site, as well in Kraków and Toruń in Poland:

  • Kraków – from 28 November 2015 until 20 January 2016;
  • Voivodship Hospital in Toruń - from 28 November until 20 December 2015;
  • Hanza Cafe in Toruń - from 20 December 2015 until mid-February 2016.

The performance of the project makes all the results become of a long-term nature. The knowledge gained, the equipment purchased, the residents made aware of – all that stays in Kiabakari while giving a chance to diagnose additional patients and raise the awareness among the society.