Sunday, September 14, 2008
Special Trip To Kenya Is Rotary At Its Best!
Merrimack Valley Rotary Member Carl Good is part of a group of Rotarians and non Rotarians from around the world who will be talking a trip to Kenya on September 19 to help the people in that country who are victims of AIDS.
Carl will be part of a group called RFFA (Rotarians For Fighting AIDS). The focus will be on children who have been orphaned due to the AIDS epidemic and those who are vulnerable due to their socioeconomic circumstances.
Several Rotary clubs have organized this medical mission in partnership with RFFA to serve as many of them as they can. All of the children they will be seeing live in the slums – many in child-headed or adolescent-headed households, others with elderly grannies who barely have the means to support themselves, much less to support their grandchildren. Education is the only way out of poverty for these children, but unless they are well enough to attend school, that opportunity is lost.
As well, most of the kids receive only one meal per day and they get that meal at school. So again, it's important to keep them in school. Their plan is to set up a temporary clinic in one of the slum areas (either Mathare, Korogocho or Makuru) in Nairobi. They will conduct general health, dental and eye screenings. Illnesses and injuries that they can treat will be treated onsite. Those that they cannot treat will be referred to hospital or to the care of Rotarian physicians in Nairobi, some of whom will be working alongside then in their clinic.I
They will be working closely with Rotarians in Nairobi. They expect to see a lot of upper respiratory illnesses, a well as malnutrition, anemia, amoebic dysentery, skin conditions of various kinds (especially scabies and ringworm), minor injuries and wounds, malaria, typhoid and possibly TB.
The CDC also will be providing them with HIV/AIDS test kits. A Rotarian pediatrician in North Carolina, who is part of the medical team, is looking into obtaining rapid serum TB testing kits. (TB treatment in Kenya is free, but testing isn’t.)
They also have arranged to have Kenyan-certified HIV/AIDS educators on site every day of the clinic. The health educators will teach proper hand washing, tooth brushing, HIV/AIDS prevention, and general disease prevention. Each child will then receive a toothbrush, a bar of soap, and a 60-day supply of multiple vitamins and iron.
The team will have a variety of options for lodging: home hosting by local Rotarians or hotels. Lunch will be provided to the team each day by the Kenyan Rotarians. As well, I have arranged to rent enough mini-vans to transport the team back and forth from their places of lodging to clinic every day.
With the help of the Kenya Rotaries, most of the supplies they will need will be purchased in Kenya and will be available upon their arrival. Other supplies will need to be purchased or otherwise obtained here and taken along with then. Any supplies/medications we don’t use for the clinic will be donated to other medical professionals in Nairobi.
GOOD LUCK TO CARL AND THIS TEAM!