Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thank you Walgreens

Let's give a shout out to Walgreens for donating sturdy, red bags for our training in Zambia.  The bags were perfect to carry notebooks and supplies during the training but also will have a long life in the villages after the training.

How many give-away bags do you have tucked away in your closet?  These will not be tucked away I can assure you.  #1 there are no closets. #2  everyone walks everywhere and these will be utilitarian.  And #3  they're a great status symbol!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Thank you Bic!

The new health workers are proudly displaying a magical pen that can write in red, green, or black depending on the color selected.  They had never seen anything like this before and were amazed.

The pens were generously donated by Bic to the Graceland Enactus group for their work in Africa.  Things are often sober during training when discussing pressing health issues so it's great to introduce something that is just plain FUN!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What's email?

Health workers from DR Congo who attended training
in Zambia (Andrew Murphy looking on)
At the closing activities during the July training for our 24 new health workers in rural Zambia, we posed some questions to help identify the best way to move the nascent program forward.  Trying to find a way to establish ongoing communication, we asked the question, "Have any of you used email?"

There was a long pause and finally one brave little soul held up her hand and said, "What's email?" to which there was a unanimous head nodding.    Okay, on to plan B...

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Let Food be Thy Medicine

 The 2016 Borlaug Dialogue held annually in Des Moines, Iowa, brings leaders together from all over the world who are concerned about the universal availability of food.  This year's theme, "Let Food Be Thy Medicine," a quote attributed to Hippocrates approximately 2,400 years ago, is especially pertinent and applicable to HealthEd Connect programs.  We teach nutrition in simple, easy-to-remember ways, introduce high nutrition foods, provide seeds, and initiate kitchen gardens that both children and adults can grow.

This theme particularly hits home since the opening statement for every nutrition lesson for our health workers is, "The richest person in the world cannot purchase medicine that will prevent malnutrition.  Only nutritious food provides the nutrients your body needs."

Hippocrates had it right:  Let Food Be Thy Medicine.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Dear Partners...

It's always such a delight to hear the children read a speech when they greet us each visit.  This year they gave us a copy of the script, obviously written with the help of an adult:-), and this is what it said:

To the Director, HealthEd Connect, Madam Sherri and your entourage, the Co-ordinator and School Board Management, the Head Teacher and Staffs, All protocols observed [Deep Breath!!].  Fellow Pupils:

On behalf of the entire Chiplukusu community, and indeed on my own behalf, I stand here to welcome you all at Young Peace Makers Community School and to this occasion.

Dear Partners.

We learners of Young Peace Markers Community School deeply appreciate every work done by HealthEd Connect in our community.  Your coming has kindled a positive light of hope towards our education.  Some of us are orphans, others are vulnerable children whose parents cannot be able to send them to school.  The coming of HealthEd Connect has added value to our future lives and most sincerely we do thank you for this.

The infrastructure you have brought has made a conducive learning situation at our institution and many thanks to you for it.  The wall fence has cut off all disturbances from outsiders and we feel the sense of security in our fence and we highly acknowledge with appreciation.

I wish also to extend thanks to our providers of nutritious means we get every day.  It is health foods that make us strong and alert in class.  When the teacher is teaching we don't get tired to listen.

Long live Madam Sherri
Long live HealthEd Connect

Thank you  [accompanied with a huge sigh of relief from our little speaker that he made it through the speech, followed by a quick exit back to be with his peers!]

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Why didn't I think of that?

Height being checked on child in "Measuring Box"

 Dwangwa is a small village in rural Malawi with an area of about 50 square kilometers.  There is no transportation in the area to take mother's to the clinic.

Baby being measured in "Measuring Box"
Jere, the HEC representative in Malawi, reports that people do not like to walk long distances to the Clinic and as the result there are many premature babies that do not survive.

This area suffered from drought again this year and the people do not have sufficient food and as a result many children are suffering from malnutrition.

The village lacks drinking water and the clinic lacks medicine causing many unnecessary deaths.  It does not lack ingenuity, however, on finding ways to accurately measure the height of children.

Sinkhani, Felesi Mvula and Unice Banda, regularly volunteer in this village weighing babies, teaching classes for the mothers, and bringing a ministry of hope and health.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Mother's class

These mothers have children who are underweight, have yellow,
skin and swollen bellies.  They are waiting to receive soya flour
for porridge and are being taught about the 4 food groups.

Our Malawi representative, Mkakeni Jere, visited  the clinic at Dwanga recently and made this report:

On this day I leart a lot of things that I never seen before, I see that mothers were kept into 4 groups, the first group was for the mothers came for weighing their babies, from this group it was found that there other 2 groups whose their children, are under weight and swelling, another group that have well fed babies, another group is that the mothers do not come to clinic regularly to receive vaccine and the last is for the conceive women. After all activities, mothers gathered together to receive the lessons of how they can be taking care of their babies and how they can convince their husband on family planning. 

In 2015, the Sinkhani health workers in Malawi taught classes for over 14,000 mothers.