Archive for April, 2015

postheadericon Kipindupindu (3)

The team of Maji Safi Group is visiting the villages in Rorya suffering of cholera. Everyday, also on the weekend. We are teaching hundreds of students in primary and secondary schools, community members in shops, restaurants and public places, hanging up posters, doing announcements and we are also visiting families at their homes.

Some days, I am in Shirati at the office of MSG to keep the „homebase“ running (as we teach lessons here as well and the disease prevention center at the hospital and the daily radio show are also going on) and other days I spend on field work. I talk to people and take pictures, as we also need a complete documentation for our board. And to support the fundraisers in the US with actual material.

Yesterday, I visited families in Nyanduga, together with Mereciana and Jacob. We met healthy families, but also families which have up to three persons actually sick of cholera or are mourning the loss of their beloved ones. It seems that adults have really high chances to recover, but as children dehydrate even faster than adults, some of them die – because their parents do not know, how to treat them and that they have to bring the child to the hospital immediately. Or they just live too far away from dispensaries or hospitals. Or they are afraid, that they could not pay the bill for the treatment at the hospital.

We give information to so many people in the region. But we don’t know, if we prevent even one single individual from getting cholera. And even if I focus on the high numbers of people we teach about cholera, sometimes it is really difficult to protect myself from thinking „could we have saved this child’s life if we had visited this family just one week earlier?“.

postheadericon Kipindupindu (2)

Yesterday was our first field day. In the morning, we prepared all needed material at the office (everything from generator, loudspeakers, leaflets, soap to food and water) and packed everything in a rented dalala (minivan). Our first stop on the way to Utegi, the village with the most confirmed cholera cases, we stopped at the districts commissioner’s office and picked up our contact person to the government. Arriving at Utegi, we had meetings with the local government and the village leaders. As the market was still closed and we were not allowed to teach a lot of people at once (there are no meetings of more than a few people allowed at the moment), we split up in groups. The village leaders accompanied the Community Health Workers and they visited households and shops in Utegi. Outside of a restaurant at the main junction we had our disease prevention center established. Totally were about 70 households/shops visited and 118 persons taught at the disease prevention center. A lot of work!

Today, the Community Health Worker are teaching at schools in Utegi and will visit households in different villages around Utegi. Additionally, in Shirati are people taught over the hotline and the radio, at the hospital we have our disease prevention center and shops and restaurants are visited.

postheadericon Kipindupindu is the Swahili word for cholera

In Rorya, the district in the Mara region of Tanzania, where I live and work, we have an outbreak of cholera. It started as a rumor on Friday, since Monday there are confirmed cases, most of them in a village called Utegi. Since the beginning of this week, we are really busy at Maji Safi Group. In this region, we play an important role in teaching community members about disease prevention and WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene). We started with an update of knowledge about kipindupindu within our organization, printing flyers and planning actions. Since yesterday, the Community Health Workers are teaching community members in Shirati: at the hospital, in restaurants, on the phone via hotline and live on the radio. Because kipindupindu is a dangerous disease out here – even if it’s treatable, there are often people dying because they do not know about the disease, prevention and treatment and live far away from medical services or hospitals. Read about cholera

After a meeting with the responsible person of the government, we will start tomorrow visiting the villages that suffers already most, to inform and teach the community. Our first trip will bring us to Utegi, the village with the most confirmed cases. Tomorrow will be market day and we will reach a lot of people. For sure, there is a risk for us to go there and a general risk for everybody here. But we will carry our own water and own food, we will have a lot of soap and chlorine with us, we know how to wash our cloth afterwards and we will take care of each other. Anyway, there is food you generally better do not eat now and you just eat food prepared by someone you entirely trust. We wash our vegetables with chlorined water before peeling and cooking, we wash our dishes with chlorined water and wash our hands so many times a day…

I also think, this is exactly the reason, why Maji Safi Group exists and is so much needed. We go out and teach people – and will hopefully prevent many of them of getting sick. So at this moment let me – for the first time – say, please support INTERTEAM if you have a little money for doing good. It’s important that INTERTEAM can send people like me in regions like this. Not just doctors or nurses are needed – right now my knowledge about logistics and risk management is really worthful and needed.

Pictures will follow soon, the internet is too slow at the moment.

postheadericon Wiki ya Maji 2015

We’ve been at the National Tanzanian exhibition during the Water Week and for sure on the World Water Day (Siku ya Maji Duniani). And I have met Tanzanian’s Prime Minister. So also work can be quite exciting here! Read all about the Water Week on Maji Safi’s Blog