Healthcare in the West African nation of Mali

Healthcare in the West African nation of Mali

     The West African nation of Mali is one of the world’s poorest countries and has extremely high rates of maternal and child mortality. The WHO has approximated that costs of healthcare are a force pushing 100 million people across the globe into extreme poverty every year. So, in the area of Yirimadio during 2008, the community implemented a free door-to-door health-care plan sponsored by the government in order to ensure wellness and combat health ailments. After 7 years of the trial, the University of California collected data from the region and discovered that child mortality in the region dropped by 95%—marking the program as extremely successful. After this news, the President of Malawi announced the goal for the entire country by 2020 to have localized, free health care for pregnant women and children under the age of 5 to fight maternal and child mortality. This program will focus on training community health care workers, providing door-to-door services, and...
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Important New Study Regarding Injectable Contraceptives

Important New Study Regarding Injectable Contraceptives

There is an unmet need affecting 47% of women in Africa who want modern contraception in order to prevent pregnancy. During the last few years, there has been an increase in the use of injectable contraceptives, such as Depo-Provera, across the continent specifically in Mali, Sierra Leone, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda. Many African women rely on these types of shots because they are more easily concealable compared to other forms of contraception such as a daily birth control pill. Also, in some health clinics, these shots are the only method of contraception offered. Many women need secret protection due to men refusing condoms and the women wanting to avoid any social, physical, and mental consequences they may endure if they are found trying to keep away from pregnancy. A specialist in HIV at Britain’s Medical Research Council, Dr. Sheena McCormack, stated that African women’s, “husbands or partners, and their families, often want them to have children.” Along with the...
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Stakeholders Meeting on Palliative Care and Treatment of Cervical Cancer

Stakeholders Meeting on Palliative Care and Treatment of Cervical Cancer

By: Jacob B. Stocks & Sandra Yvonne Oketch - June 18th, 2019 On May 23rd, 2019, a stakeholders meeting on palliative care and treatment of cervical cancer for partners in Kisumu County was hosted at the KMET Complex in Kisumu. The main objectives of the meeting were 1) to share experiences on palliative care and cervical cancer services in Kisumu County and 2) to identify opportunities for networking and collaboration among partners. The 7-hour meeting began with a discussion of structural barriers to effective referral and treatment of cervical cancer in Kisumu County. The presenter, Brenda Otieno, discussed barriers such as the complexity of intra-facility referrals and client tracking, the lack of centrally located data on cancer patients (i.e. lack of a county-level cancer registry), and the lack of financial protection for clients seeking treatment. Following this session, Dr. Chemtai Mungo, an OB/GYN from UCSF, presented the evidence for cervical cancer screening via HPV testing by citing multiple studies discussing the cost-effectiveness...
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OMEGA FOUNDATION MEETING WITH HARUN KODIAGA – HEAD OF PROGRAMS

OMEGA FOUNDATION MEETING WITH HARUN KODIAGA – HEAD OF PROGRAMS

I had the opportunity to meet with Harun, the Head of Programs at the Omega Foundation (OF) at the Kisumu Office. The OF mission is, “to strengthen the capacity of communities to live meaningful lives through integrated health and innovative livelihood solutions” across 12 counties in Kenya: Kisumu, Siaya, Migori, Homa Bay, Busia, Bungoma, Nandi, Uasin-Gishu, Kakamega, Vihiga, and Bomet. OF undertakes various projects including Sexual and Reproductive Health Service Delivery and Advocacy projects funded by Planned Parenthood Global. The projects are being implemented in Kisumu, Siaya, and Homa Bay counties respectively with an objective to increase awareness of, access to, and use of quality family planning (FP) and Post Abortion Care (PAC) services. Twenty facilities in Kisumu are supported in delivery of the services and focus on strengthening the capacity of partners to provide facility-based FP and PAC services and advocate for expansion of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) rights and services. To achieve their goals, the OF supports provision of...
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Kisumu Nurse Spotlight: Everline Oruko

Kisumu Nurse Spotlight: Everline Oruko

Everline Oruko is a nurse at Migosi sub-County Hospital, one of three sites in Kisumu, Kenya, that offers cervical cancer screening and treatment. As the Nursing Officer in Charge, Everline leads a team of nurses and staff to improve uptake of cervical cancer screening and cryotherapy treatment for those who test positive. Despite many fits and starts, Everline has remained a constant in the effort to reduce cervical cancer among women in Kisumu. Our Kisumu site coordinator, Faith Otewa, sat down with Everline to talk about her job and her commitment to her work in cervical cancer prevention: Everline was first employed by the Ministry of Health at Ahero Health Facility after she graduated in 1993 with a Diploma in Nursing. She further enrolled for certificate courses in Counseling and HIV Testing Services (HTS) because she felt these would make her service delivery better. Everline then became sponsored for a course in counseling supervision because of her commitment at work. Upon...
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South Korea Poses Amendment for Anti-Abortion Law

South Korea has fostered an anti-abortion law for 66 years which names abortion a crime with repercussions of heavy fines and women facing up to a year in jail and doctors facing up to two years. Last Thursday, South Korea’s Constitutional Court ruled this law unconstitutional and concluded that Parliament must revise the law by 2020 or else it will become invalid. There are a few exceptions to the law which allow for abortions under the situations of pregnancy from rape or incest, pregnancy which poses great risk to the mother’s health, or pregnancy that will result in a child with a serious deformity. However, a study does prove that since the law has been enacted, there have been huge amounts of illegal abortions—49,7000 abortions took place in 2017 and an estimated 94% of those were performed illegally. There also seems to be a general shift in trends of what South Koreans think of abortion because a poll shows that...
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Introducing the New mSaada Mobile App for Community Health Volunteers

Introducing the New mSaada Mobile App for Community Health Volunteers

Guest Blog by Catie Grasse Meaning "help" in Swahili, the mobile "saada"  application aims to improve the efficacy and efficiency of community health volunteers screening patients for cervical cancer in Kisumu, Kenya. This project is the extension of a previous project for the Duke class CS408: Delivering Software to Client, which pairs student developers and designers with a client team to build a specialized application. The mSaada developer team is composed of four Duke seniors: Our designer, Rachel Settle is a Computer Science major, Visual Media Studies minor, and pursuing the Information Science certificate. Working on the user experience is Carly Levi, a senior studying Computer Science and Global Health who is particularly interested in women's and reproductive health and hopes to use her background in technology to come up with effective interventions around the world. Focusing on the back-end database design is Catie Grasse, a senior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Visual Media Studies.  Also working on the...
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Tumaini La Maisha Health Services Organization

Tumaini La Maisha Health Services Organization

This is a non-profit organization that works jointly with Kisumu Hospice Center established at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) on cancer projects. Breast, cervical, prostate and esophageal cancers are its focus. The Kisumu Hospice serves the local community and supports a satellite hospice center at the Siaya District Hospital. On average, the hospice aids 50 patients each month. The organization promotes cancer awareness and helps navigation through patient referall by community screening and linkage. The foundation has established an accommodation unit in Nairobi that hosts a total of six patients at a time who have been referred for radiotherapy. It has also established a school in Nyakach (Kisumu County) for vulnerable children and offers support to the school. The organization works with partners like Aga Khan Health Services, JOOTRH and Oncology Department to offer services to cancer patients. The organization takes the lead in participating in national events, organizing medical camps and community outreach programs with an aim to...
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World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day

Yesterday, on February 4th, the world celebrated World Cancer Day. Initiated in February 2000 at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium in Paris, the event is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control. The Paris Charter aims to promote research, prevent cancer and raise awareness. 2019 marks the beginning of the organization's "I Am and I Will" campaign, which will last till 2021 and emphasize each individual's personal commitment to reducing cancer's impact. In concurrence with World Cancer Day, the UN World Health Organization released a statement explaining that incidences of cervical cancer will likely increase by almost 50 percent in 2040. It noted that the number of new cases could be reduced if all girls between the ages of 9 and 14 are vaccinated for HPV. The organization stressed the importance of collaboration between governments, UN agencies and healthcare professionals to preventing increased rates of cervical cancer....
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Plan International Meeting

Plan International Meeting

I met with Plan International on January 17th. Plan International is an independent children’s rights organization committed to supporting vulnerable and marginalized children and their communities. The organization directly works with the community, schools, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and County Government. PLAN International works in 18 counties across Kenya: Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Tharaka Nithi, Siaya, Bungoma, Busia, Taita Taveta, Kilifi, Mombasa, Kwale, Vihiga, Kakamega, Kisii, Migori, Homabay, Kisumu and Marsabit. PLAN’S key areas of focus are; Child protection Improving access to basic, quality education and early childhood development Quality healthcare including water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as adolescent and child health Youth employment and economic opportunities Resilience-building through disaster risk management To achieve part of this core activities, PLAN implements an Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (ASRHR) Project in Kisumu County, in the 2 sub-counties Kisumu West and Seme. The project targets children, parents and the community at large to enhance the wellbeing of the youth. The project implements: Training...
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