Summer Health Camp and Mama-TOTO Mobile Clinic for Rafikis
My dear Rafikis,
It has been six months since I returned from Kenya and Uganda, and since I met our Rafikis in Lunga Lunga. As you probably remember, when I came back to the United States, I shared with all of you my idea of creating a mobile clinic for Project Africa that will serve the three rural communities of Lunga Lunga, Godo, and Perani.
It seemed an ambitious dream… but it kept growing and growing.
Now, after six months of working with this idea, I would like to share with all of you the last updates regarding the Mama-TOTO Mobile Clinic (Mother-Child Mobile Clinic, in Swahili). Of course, the major barrier is always to obtain sufficient funds to start projects, and the Mama-TOTO Mobile Clinic is not different. However, I had several ideas and some of them have been already put into practice.
In mid June, I’ll travel to Lunga Lunga with my sixteen-year-old daughter Sofia to move the project forward. I am positive that the mobile clinic will be launched in the summer, one way or another. We’ll start slow and with tiny steps if necessary, it all depends on how successful we are with the fund raising that I’ve already started.
These are some things I’ve been doing for fund raising: friends (one of my friends has bought 50 pairs of colorful and beautiful reading glasses for the oldest Rafikis), applied for small grants here and there, scheduled presentations with two Rotary Clubs of Madison, mobilize students to help...
I have also applied, along with one of my students, for a Fellowship of $10,000 to conduct a summer health camp for adolescent girls and women from the three communities. The idea is to conduct the summer health camp for a month, (one week of preparation, and one week health training in each of the three communities) before we launch the mobile clinic. We are hoping to hire a local nurse to work with us during the month of the summer camp and also to work for the Mobile Clinic during the entire year.
Next homework on my list is to write letters to the University Hospital in Madison to request donations, and to write a few pharmaceutical companies as well. Below you can find a list of very basic materials that will be needed for the mobile clinic, I still need to calculate amounts of different medications for the entire year. I was very concerned and hesitant to get donations from the US because shipping would be incredibly expensive. However, now that I know my daughter and I (probably my student as well) will go to Lunga Lunga in the summer, we could take a lot of staff with our own luggage.
Another homework on my list is to contact an organization from Canada that donates mosquito nets; last summer I met one of the founders.
I will send you updates every two-three weeks. Despite my stressful life and my lack of time, things are moving fast and always forward. There is a lot of positive energy among my students, my friends, and my family, and I hope to instill the same energy in all of you dear Rafiki.
Following you can find the list of “TENTATIVE PRIMARY MATERIALS NEEDED”.
Please, do not hesitate to comment, give ideas, and collaborate and contribute in any possible way you can.
• Several digital thermometers for child and adult
• One blood pressure machine (not digital)
• Disposable needles and syringes for immunization
• Mini plastic or paper bags for medications (with drawings for morning, afternoon, evening, and night)
• One scale (for adults)
• One scale for babies. This scale is secondary since babies can be weighted with mom (mom alone and subtract the difference).
• Big containers of basic medications, generic brands is fine, such as Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, amoxicillin, vitamins, de-worming medication (Albendazole and Mebendazole), prenatal vitamins.
• Panadol (paracetamol; para-acetylaminophenol)
• Malaria treatment (Artemether Lumefantrine, known as Coartem).
•Antibiotic eye drops
•Antiseptic for cleaning minor wounds
• Rubbing alcohol
• Disposable globes
• Immunizations: (Will be acquired in Nairobi)
• Printed immunization record sheets and growth charts
• Reading glasses
• Mosquito nets
• Cooler bag with ice packs to transport vaccines from Lunga Lunga to Godo and Perani.
PEACE AND JOY FOR ALL OF YOU.