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Friday, March 23, 2012

The need for health education becomes apparent on our Dawakpersebi trip

Submitted by Michaela Sholes

The MoM team shared an encouraging experience having been invited to visit Dawakpersebi, one of the future recipients of the ETCHE bag-drop program! Noah, our local contact, introduced us to the community and their leaders and helped us facilitate group discussions to identify relevant health challenges and needs. During the discussion, we had an impromptu health education lesson after learning that Schistosomiasis and its related symptoms are highly prevalent in the community.

There were a number of health challenges discussed during our group meeting, ranging from typical issues (like asthma, allergies, and helminth infections) to more severe challenges like the situation experienced by this little girl. She was left scarred around her eyes following an infection in her face. Although she has been to the local clinic to address the infection which has somewhat subsided, she is still experiencing pain. We hope to collaborate with health professionals to help provide the best information possible regarding recommendations for clinic follow-up and prevention as much as possible.

Our host Moses and his family opened their home to us and were an absolute delight! Moses is the community youth leader and has been working with them for the last 5 years. He was very active in the group discussions and we appreciated his perspectives. His wife, Ayeki, is an amazing cook and made the most delicious palava sauce and boiled yam for dinner!

Rex, Melissa, Ben and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit (despite the crazy roads to get there!) and I cannot express how much I am looking forward to continued work with this community and others like them. This on-the-ground, community-led collaboration is what MoM is all about and we are thrilled to play an active role!

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