Friday, November 6, 2009

FARNG Updates

The volunteer house in Maroua now has internet!!! Now crazy things like youtube, gchat, and uploading pictures at unimaginable rates (just did 5 in 10 minutes!) are possible. Therefore, I also no longer have an excuse to slack on my blog. (has it really been 4 monthes? oops)

First with an update on that FARNG program I talked about in a previous entry. The goal for this program is to create support groups for pregnant women where they listen to a health message, share their experiences, rest, and eat a meal together. They would also receive prenatal consultations at a central location brought by the Tourou Health Center. My counterpart, the head nurse of the health center(Tanembe), another female nurse(Dalika), and myself trained 30 people to organize and do health presentations at the end of September. The group was made up of members of the health committee from the 6 villages, midwives, and mothers (who would actually be doing the presentations to the pregnant women). This was the first time many of them had been formally educated on health topics so there were a lot of questions. It was great because everyone

This is me with Ayuba, the translator doing a nutrition animation on the first day of the training. We had some trouble finding a good language to speak in; we ended up translating into two which made the day a bit longer than planned.

The program is based around improving the nutrition of pregnant women and their children so of course lunch had to be a good example of this. This is Matt and Tanembe enjoying some couscous and sauce made from huckleberry leaves, peanut butter, and dried fish. I promise it's good.

Everyone rocking their new t-shirts.

A month later the 6 villages had their first meeting with pregnant women from each village. Because the Tourou Health Center has only 3 regular staff members, only two of which are trained nurses, it was planned to have all the meetings in a central location. This first day 70 women showed up which was exciting and extremely overwhelming. Tanembe and I did prenatal consultations from 10am to 7pm. This month we have to find a better way to organize the 6 villages to break-up the work.

The pregnant women receiving a presentation on nutrition.

The mothers that were trained are using their manuals to give the presentation.

Tanembe and myself doing the prenatal consultations.

Thanks so much for your support in this! This program still has some kinks, but my plan is to use this pilot program as a jumping off point for similar programs in other villages around Tourou.