Mucojo HEALTH CENTRE
44,000 people use the current Mucojo Clinic with around 200 out-patients a day. Our ambulances are now safely delivering people to the clinic to a team of passionate and talented nurses, however, the facilities are simply horrific. With no possible government funds on the horizon, unsurprisingly the local government and communities have asked for help to upgrade the clinic.
Mucojo Maternity Ward:
Last year 847 babies were born at the Mucojo clinic in one of two small, dilapidated rooms. There are two old beds in each of the rooms but with up to 8 births per day, many women are forced to give birth or nurse their newborns on the floor and are unable to stay for any form of aftercare. A mother is 1,000 times more likely to die in childbirth in Mucojo than in the UK and we have an opportunity to do something about it.
We are currently fundraising for the first phase of the upgrade; to develop a maternity wing. This will enable mothers to give birth in a safer, better equipped maternity wing and stay in the care of the nurses for longer. The impact for women and their newborn babies will be profound and, no doubt, many more lives will be saved.
Several years ago, late at night, an old security guard arrived at the gate in Guludo; his 15 year old daughter, who had just had a baby, had been bitten by a black mamba. There was no ambulance at the time so we quickly jumped in the landrover, drove straight to his house and took her and her family to Mucojo. She was writhing in pain and, along with her family, was petrified. The nurse and I were the only ones with torches and he rushed her into a small room with a single hospital bed, which looked like it had been there since the clinic was built by the Portuguese in the 1970s. I held the torch while he administered an intravenous painkiller but she sadly passed away soon after.
Maybe the very best treatment in the world wouldn’t have saved her but seeing the reality of the Mucojo clinic in action was harrowing to say the least. We have an opportunity to change this, and the Nema team is determined to do so.
Malnutrition is the norm. It causes children's development to be stunted and leaves them vulnerable to disease. With such poor food security, parents feel there is no option but to keep home to help in the farms, fishing or with domestic duties.
But in five of the villages we work in, this is no longer the case. 1,120 children now receive a nutritious meal every school day. A child who receives "matafome" ("hunger killer" - an affectionate name the children call their school meal) is 3 times more likely to regularly attend school, avoid malnutrition, perform better at school and generally be much healthier. It's a project which, quite literally, transforms a child's life.
Cheia Momade is a little boy from Guludo village. He’s from one of the poorest families in the village who struggle feed him just one simple meal each day. He’s always been one of the smallest children for his age and prone to illnesses. Two years ago Cheia started at Guludo primary school and hasn’t missed a day since! Without the school meals Cheia’s parents couldn’t have sent him to school but now there is no hesitation. “The school meals have made our son strong and tall. We are very proud of how he studies and so grateful for the matafome.” This project has dramatically changed the trajectory of Cheia’s life and he is one of just 1,120 children who are currently receive school meals.
To give a child like Momade a meal a day at school for a year costs just £40 (including planting 3 school fruit trees), or just £3.30 a month.
Imagine being in labour, delirious with malaria or breaking a leg and the closest clinic is more than half a day's walk in the searing heat or pitch black of night. This was the reality for the communities we work with. But not any more.
Last year our two ambulances were a lifeline for over 36,000 people and safely delivered 571 patients, 335 of them women in labour, to the medical teams at one of two local clinics.
Last November, Angelina was at home when her waters broke and labour began. She was in Cogolo, 25km from Mucojo clinic. The ambulance quickly arrived and collected both Angelina and Laura, a traditional birth attendant. On the way to Mucojo our driver heard Laura scream, "the baby has fallen" - fearing the worst he slammed on the breaks but luckily the new baby had been safely delivered in the side-car of the motorbike ambulance! With his basic first aid training, he helped Laura with the baby and they continued to Mucojo where another baby girl was born; twin girls! Both Laura and one of the babies were very ill for several weeks, but made a good recovery and now both of the girls, Nfaranca and Hawage, are beautifully chubby and healthy. Had they been born on the side of the road, like so many women have done, their chances of survival would have been dramatically lower.
It costs just £4,000 to operate and maintain each of our two motorbike ambulances for one year, this breaks down as £14 patient.
The nearest secondary schools are several hours drive for the students in our area and sadly the cost of going is far beyond the reach of local families. Support for talented students was one of the very first requests the communities asked Nema for support in. Since 2008 we’ve helped over 300 students to go to secondary school and/or vocational training.
Abudu was one of our first scholars. He is from Guludo village, the son of a fisherman, and desperately wanted to go to secondary school. But, like 98% of the local population, the cost of schooling was prohibitive. He successfully applied for a Nema scholarship and over the following five years studied tirelessly. After graduating Abudu joined the Nema team and his impact in our region has been immense. He started off running our HIV project; running over 4,000 workshops in local houses. He is an invaluable member of our team and now oversees our scholarship project; visiting all of our scholars, and their families, encouraging and inspiring them to do well.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela.
To support a secondary scholar costs £20 per month.
To support a scholar at teaching or nursing college costs £26 per month.
Link to Anfai’s lovely blog/letter: http://www.nemafoundation.org/blog/we-received-this-lovely-letter-from-anfai-one-of