Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Health clinics at Feeding Centres - Update

Malawi is one of the world's poorest countries in the world, 74% of the population live below the poverty line and access to clean water, education and healthcare facilities is limited - only 46% of citizens live within a 5km radius of any kind of health facility.

Joshua is dedicated to improving access to healthcare in rural areas and for some time now we have been running under-five clinics at four of Joshua's feeding centres.

Recently these clinics have started working in the villages of Chigwaja and Mwandika. The clinics take place every Friday morning in the villages' feeding centres and are run by two Joshua volunteers. Children under five have their weight, temperature and height recorded, as well as receiving a general check-up to monitor any skin infections, wounds or other signs of illness they may have.

Since these clinics started we have seen very positive results. Common childhood illnesses are being caught and treated early, the burden of travelling long distances to access healthcare is being lifted from hard working mothers and because of our training sessions and wound care advice less children are suffering from skin infections, and wounds are being thoroughly washed and dressed, resulting in quicker healing times

As well as the under-fives clinic, the two volunteer doctors also run a training workshop every Friday afternoon. They teach the local community about important health issues, such as: first aid, hygiene, malaria, HIV/AIDS, diabetes and blood pressure. These sessions make people aware of the causes of diseases like diabetes and blood pressure and how to take care of an HIV/AIDS patient. 

Taking healthcare into the heart of rural communities like this is key to saving lives and improving health long term.