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Mission Madagaskar - medical help and reproductive health

It is estimated that 99% residents of Madagascar is on the verge of poverty and lives on ca. 2 dollars per day. The island is at risk of repeated natural disasters: hurricanes, floods, draughts and locust plagues that hinder the development of agriculture. Hence the constant hunger threat. Madagascar is described as the sixth country in the world that experiences chronic under-nourishment of its residents. It is the most problematic for children that constitute approx. 70% of the country's population. 50 % of children below 5 years of age were diagnosed with curbed development. Due to the shortage of necessary nutrition elements in the diet and problems with access to drinking water, illnesses spread. Mortality is high.

Parasites, malaria, denga, skin diseases, calcium deficiencies (due to total lack of milk products), conjunctivitis, urinary tract infections are common in Madagascar, followed by appendicitis, accidents and strokes. Leprosy is also present.

All and any medical services in Madagascar are payable, both in state and private units. Patients must buy medication in private pharmacies.

Mampikony has a mission centre run by Holy Ghost Fathers Congregation from Bydgoszcz – Mission Catholique, which supervises: a clinic, 3 Catholic schools: primary school, junior high and senior high schools for 1,500 pupils, and a boarding house for girls and an orphanage for boys. Apart from the 3 schools in Mampikony, there are 17 more Catholic schools in the bush for approx. 6,000 children in total. The majority of these areas lacks medical care.

Beneficiaries of the project are the communities of all age groups residing in Mampikony in Madagascar. Women of child-bearing age will participate in information meetings related to family planning and reproductive health. Clinic's patients will be informed about diseases that are typical in the Madagascan society. Children will be taught a healthy and sanitary lifestyle.

Mission Madagaskar - medical help and reproductive health

"Mission Madagascar – medical assistance and reproductive health" project is implemented in the area of Mampikony in Madagascar. Volunteers perform their tasks between 9 September and 7 December 2014.

Thanks to the operation of the mission of the Holy Ghost Fathers Congregation from Bydgoszcz, the patients have access to basic medication, often brought from Poland. Also, it is possible to transport critically ill patients to the nearest hospital in Mahajanga (260 km away from Mampikony). The clinic has only one Madagascan doctor, who sees 40 people every day. The mission covers 120 km (approx. 50 villages). Home visits for the elderly and the bedridden are thus necessary. Any medical help is important.

Living conditions also reduce access to education. The mission's school teaches 1,500 children. The children can learn and eat one warm meal during the day. Apart from the medical objectives of the project, the volunteers also help in classes and organising free time for the children.

The project's priority is to ensure basic medical assistance for the entire society, regardless of their age. These measures are addressed to persons coming to the clinic and patients visited during home visits. Educational meetings are mainly addressed to women of child-bearing age, as one of the objectives of the project is spreading information about family planning. Recruitment for the meetings will include the clinic, nearby schools and women met during home visits. Recruitment for educational meetings for children will include the clinic, the schools, the boarding house for girls and the orphanage for boys.

The volunteers are responsible for providing emergency medical assistance in the course of their work in the clinic or at the mission institute, and making it easier to get access to a doctor, in particular in the areas where going to a doctor is difficult. Moreover, they run educational operations intended to improve the health awareness of the residents, to promote the idea of a healthy lifestyle and basic information about infectious diseases as well as about prevention, diagnosing and treatment.

During the meetings with the local community, the issues of family planning are also raised. Moreover, the classes are intended to create development opportunities for women by making them more self-reliable. Health education and supporting development of children attending schools covered by the mission's scope and children from the orphanage for boys. This task is implemented through interactive classes, games and playing regarding preventing diseases and first-aid.

Mission Madagaskar - medical help and reproductive health

Within the scope of the project volunteers made it possible to improve the health of people, thanks to complex providing the patients with the access to basic medical care. Purchasing of the medicine enabled the treatment of poor people, who could not afford the medicine offered by the local clinic. Volunteers also bought surgical accessories and disposable materials, what helped in improving the quality and safety of medical services.

Within the framework of the project, volunteers carried out home visits in rural regions in area of 120 km from the mission. Because of that, they could provide medical assistance to people, who were not able to get to the doctor on their own.

Long-term effects of the project, result mainly form trainings carried out by the volunteers, which purpose was to raise the awareness of people living in Mampikony. Volunteers carried out separate trainings in groups of women and children. The trainings were mostly about basic issues of carrying diseases and factors causing them, basic matters of reproductive health and hygiene. In the clinic, volunteers took care of pregnant women, who did not have basic information about their reproductiveness and the process of giving birth. Volunteers explained physiology and pathologies of pregnancy, and advised on planning the family.