Penny’s grandchildren, Finn and Mali Jaschinski-Aeberhard, raised more than £40 for NHP from a pizza, cookie and card sale they held in their neighborhood park.
In May, working again with our partners at the Lutheran clinics, we held our second annual eye clinics in Gelai Bomba, Wosiwosi and Makat. Dr. Steve Friberg reports:
“Approx 50 pts were treated for minor problems. 10 pts are waiting for surgery at KCMC [Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center): 6 cataracts, 1 trauma, 1 glaucoma, 1 lid rotation, 1 advanced pterigium. Four of the referred patients were from Wosiwosi. We were happy that more complicated patients could be referred forward this time.”
We are also able to facilitate transport and partly subsidize hospital treatment. HOWEVER, we must now fundraise for next year’s clinic.
Dr. Jo and Rehema meet with a mother and her sick daughter
In May, Penny visited Makat with Dr. Jo Moore, a British doctor with a strong interest in public health education and women’s health issues. In Makat for over a week, they conducted a series of workshops including basic eye care, the importance of hand-washing, anemia, STD and HIV transmission. They also held training for Traditional Birth Attendants. A group of women walked 30 miles from Wosiwosi to attend this. Rehema Simon, a masai woman from a nearby village now working in Arusha, played a key role as translator.
In 2009, Penny’s brother, architect Mark Rankin, accompanied her on a field visit to Lake Natron. Heading for Wosiwosi, they got badly stuck in mud, and Mark found himself clambering up a wild hillside trying to get high enough for cell phone reception. He never found it; but he did find something more important: a deep appreciation for the beauty of Natron’s rugged landscape, and for the resilient people who welcomed him.
Later, in Wosiwosi’s simple mud and wattle nursery, local women presented him with an orange and white beaded crucifix. He wore this until his untimely death from cancer on March 9th, this year.
While in Wosiwosi and Makat, Mark first conceived the idea of a school desk appropriate for such remote locations. Currently, the desks used in both villages (and donated through the NHP and Mark’s Rotary Club in Godalming, UK) are bulky, heavy, expensive and difficult to transport. Mark envisioned a lightweight, slot-together design, with sustainable material either sourced regionally, or cheaply imported. If successful, the desk could have universal application.
In October, 2012, Makat’s children tasted their first safe, clean water.
A group of volunteer/donors through Challenge Worldwide travelled to Makat to help build four rain catchment tanks at the primary school. The alternative has been water from the local springs, containing 14 times the safe level of fluoride.
Water contaminated with this amount of fluoride leads to bone deformities, blackened teeth and possibly poor brain development in children. It also causes or worsens arthritis in older people. Affected children develop severe bowing of the legs, as fluoride bends the bones as they grown near the joints. Once children stop growing, the condition is irreversible.
Mobilizing Appropriate Action for Sexual Health Awareness through Images: report by Andrew Knight and Dr. Penny Aeberhard
Educating communities about their own health is a cornerstone to our project – the foundation upon with individuals may not only make informed decision about their healthcare needs, but may realize their human and legal right to adequate care.
When Mel moved to Makat in 2006, villagers had no meaningful access to any form of medical care. The situation in Wosiwosi was similar, with good doctors only available 50kms away.
Many, many deaths could easily have been prevented with basic medical intervention – and many more with prevention through immunizations and simple peri-natal care.