With your help the people of West Africa have "a chance, not only to change their own lives and their own destinies, but to change the future of an entire generation".

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The buzz around the field... Updates and take downs.

The unseasonal weather has increased the mosquito population around the airfield - and with it the risk of Malaria...

Last week, Patricia was working in the MoM office when, suddenly, she started shaking and the next thing we knew she was curled up on the apron, in the sun,saying she felt ill - really ill. There was no need for blood tests, but there was a need to act swiftly - it was clearly a case of Malaria. We put her on the best medication we have, and the next day she fared much better. Within 4 days, she was full back to normal.

Last night, I woke up at 11pm, and as I got out of bed my whole body started to shake, I could barely walk - my body was boiling to the touch, the sweat pouring down my skin as if I was in the shower - a power shower. Immediately I started the Malaria course, and less than 24 hours later am on the mend.

We hold Malaria treatments on site. We take them as soon as we have the symptoms. The cost of one course is about $10. Sadly, so many people cannot afford this. When the majority of people are earning less than $100 per month, $10 is a lot of money. Put it into perspective, let us say that you earn $2,000 per month, how would you feel at just starting a $200+ course of tablets?

For us, we know the importance of early treatment to avoid complications (remember nearly 50% of all hospital admissions in Ghana have malaria as a component...). Malaria is unpleasant, it takes you down FAST. You can be right as rain, then get a bit of a headache, perhaps some joint pains, and then you are a shivering, sweaty mess.

So many people fail to understand the importance of prompt treatment, and sadly many are often struggling to afford the treatment.

For short term visitors there are prophylaxis treatments that help to prevent Malaria, but for those living here, you build up a certain resistance - but when it hits you, you have to treat it fast - if you can afford to - and, of course, not everybody keeps treatments to hand for middle of the night episodes.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Moving forward on all fronts

Our aim is to stimulate long term, sustainable change. It is not an easy path to walk. It is a path full of challenges, dissapointments, dangers, and above all wonderful people, and amazing opportunities. What we do is, however, similar to gold mining. We have to go through a lot of dirt to find the nuggets.

These past few weeks we have been sifting through applications for the AvTech Academy, many from the Afram Plains. Out of it we have offered places to 11 young women to come to Kpong on a 4 year apprenticeship, learning engineering, airfield management, life skills, first aid, EMT like training, and how to improve their own lives, whilst empowering them to become the next generation of movers and shakers in rural developments.

We have come across consistent evidence of poor quality education. These young women have graduated from school, and yet are still lacking in so much basic knowledge. As we train them, and as we drop aerial supply packages of health education to their own villages, we are creating a bond that will provide a life line towards future developments.

We are still on track to drop 1000 packages this year, and are soon going to print 5,000 posters ready for drops. We thank our supporters around the world for joining hands with us as we step up to the plate of reaching the hardest to reach people, and working with them to give them a hand up, and never a hand out!