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Get nurses to rural villages in Malawi to save lives

ID:
4751
  • Project details
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Our goal
We aim to purchase a vehicle to get nurses to sick women and vulnerable babies for life saving home-based care.
The Challenge

Infant mortality rates, and maternal mortality and morbidity rates in Malawi are among the worst in the world.  At AMHI our primary concern is with the most vulnerable babies and with women who are critically ill following delivery.  For those infants who are much more likely to die before their first birthday than their peers we have seen that HOME-BASED CARE AND HEALTH EDUCATION MAKES A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE IN THEIR SURVIVAL. For women who return home still weak from an often catastrophic birth experience (i.e. ruptured uterus, eclamptic seizures, sepsis), their recovery is often prolonged due to poor living conditions and nutrition.  In turn their family suffers when they are unable to resume their work of daily living, which often includes drawing water, collecting firewood, planting/tending/harvesting fields.  We have found that a few HOME VISITS BY A NURSE RESULTS IN A HASTENED RECOVERY.  These are the individuals who need our care.  Our goal is to provide them quality respectful care.  Our challenge is to do so in a setting with a critical shortage of health care providers.

HEALTHCARE ACCESS IS A SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM. Malawi's population of over 17million people is served by less than 400 physicians and approximately 7,000 nurses and midwives. For an individual seeking medical care the dearth of facilities, poor roads, limited transportation, as well as poorly equipped and understaffed facilities, adds an unwelcome layer of complexity

TRANSPORTATION.  Most roads in Malawi, even in semi urban areas are in poor condition. Dirt roads are rough and bumpy and even paved roads are spotted with potholes of impressive size and depth.  During the rainy season the road conditions deteriorate even further; many become impassable or only traversable with 4x4 vehicles.  The majority of our beneficiaries live in villages without access to motorized transportation to ferry them over the many kilometers of bad roads that separate them from the nearest clinic or hospital. Our project has a single 1999 Toyota 4runner.   Our vehicle operates five days a week, travelling on rough terrain, bringing our nurses to our clients in their homes and occasionally carrying a sick infant or mother from her home to the hospital.  Last year we spent thousands of dollars on routine maintenance and tires, it is time for a new or at least a newer vehicle.

HELP US reach our funding goal and positively impact lives of hundreds of families.  Right now we have 165 babies in our care and 22 women. A new vehicle will provide transportation for over a thousand visits every year.  By taking nurses to families with either a sick woman or vulnerable infant we are able to fill a critical gap in care. The $12,000 raised by this project will provide the bulk of the funds necessary to purchase a gently used and refurbished vehicle that will serve our project for years to come.

INDIVIDUALIZED URGENT CARE. During each visit the nurse assesses the client, their family, home environment, and community.   She offers targeted health education.  She works to mobilize both family and the community in support of the program beneficiary.  For babies who have been orphaned before 6 months of age, she brings formula and educates guardians on how to prepare and feed the baby.  For those living in homes with food shortages she brings supplemental food packages.  When a client is ill and needs readmission to the hospital, she serves as an advocate.   All the work in Malawi is carried out by our local sister organization, Joyful Motherhood or "Chimwemwe mu'bereki"

SUPPORT NURSES. Our nurses are phenomenal individuals.  Our nurses Nita, Verina, Esnart, and Eliza are dedicated professionals and compassionate women.  When working in such basic conditions every day presents its own set of challenges.  Because we are such a small organization we have one vehicle to transport them.  The vehicle usually takes two nurses at a time leaving the third to find her own means to get to her clients.  She will use a mix of public buses, bicycle taxis, and her own two feet, spending several hours every day on the road.  These nurses develop personal relationships with their clients and often exceed expectation of the nonprofit, giving generously from their own pockets and their hearts.  In supporting this project you are ensuring that many moms and babies will receive home visits that they need but you are also supporting our wonderful nursing staff and the relationships involved in that care.

SPREAD THE WORD. This is an opportunity to impact lives simply and directly.  AMHI has no employees in the US.  We work hard to ensure that your money arrives where it is needed most. Caring for moms and babies in an impoverished country is not a new innovative strategy to end poverty.  It is a response to a basic urgent need and opens the door for hope and possibility.  Please spread the word about our work and visit us at www.africanmothers.org to learn more.