Project Work + Weekend Shenanigans

Project Work:
These past couples of weeks I have spent meeting with community health workers and people from the Ministry of Health. I have also finalized my budget and sent in my proposals for the SID executives back in Canada to approve.
This year I will be organizing and conducting two, one-day public health camps in the Sabatia district during July. Our proposed locations within the Sabatia district are Mudete and Chavakali. We chose these locations because they are easily accessible, highly populated and government facilities are a far distance away. The closest dispensaries to Mudete and Chavakali are about 6km walking distance, and for many individuals piki piki’s (motorcycles) are not a feasible option. We are expecting to have about 1000 individuals attend each camp. During the camp these attendees will be diagnosed, given medication, and then finally there will be information workshops to help provide necessary information to stop further illness. The month of June will be spent planning and lobbying different organizations for donations of medications.
As well I will be continuing with a research study started last year by a previous SID research associates. Last year a pilot research study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of deworming children 3 to 5 years old. It was a randomized control study, meaning there was a case and control group. The deworming medication was given every 3 months and data collection was also completed every 3 months. This year the children who were in the 2012 control groups, who did not receive the medication last year, will be given the deworming medication this year. The same data collection measurements will be taken and the results will be compared from when the children did not receive medication and when they did.
My colleagues in the health sector are also organizing an anti-jiggers campaign. We hope to treat and fumigate as many households and families as our budget allows. As well we will be completing unique infrastructure proposals at each of the dispensaries SID works in. This includes: Munoywa, Inyali, Nadanya and Linkindu.

Today, June 4, 2013, I have just received my executive approval to move forward with my projects. For my deworming projects we will be working in three regions: Munoywa, Nadanya and Inyali. At each region we will be working in one or two schools, depending on whether or not they received the medication last year or not. This week I will hold my first consent information day at Kibaala Nursery School in the Munoywa region. This is a time for the parents of the 2012 control group children to ask any questions and then sign the consent form giving permission for their child to receive the medication every 3 months for one year and have their weight, height and arm circumference measured. We also check whether they have been absent from school and why. This week we have also contacted possible organizations for medical donations.

Weekend shenanigans!
Two weekends ago on Friday afternoon, the SID team got together and played a quality mini soccer game! During our game many kids who live in the neighborhood came out to see if they could join. We then started a big game of the SID team versus the children. Guess who won? The children, by far!
On Saturday Mary, Greg and myself decided to hike the Maragoli Hills. We took a matatus (similar to a mini van) to Majengo and then piki piki’s to the base of the hill. While I thought I was well trained to hike mountains from growing up in British Columbia, I had no idea we would hike straight up the mountain. Our guide got a good laugh as we were huffing and puffing up the mountain and he made it seem like a Saturday stroll in the park. The view at the top was absolutely breath taking. You could see a 360-degree view from Kisumu and Lake Victoria and all the way to Mbale and well beyond. We spent the entire afternoon climbing the big rocks, taking pictures and enjoying our lunch. I should mention that we had spent the morning preparing a delicious lunch of avocado and egg sandwiches, pineapple, bananas and cookies. However, at the top of the mountain we 6realized we had forgotten the eggs at home in the pot (opps!). Nonetheless, we had an amazing day hiking and exploring new areas of Kenya.
Sunday was spent in Kisumu. We had an absolutely fabulous and filling Indian meal in Kisumu. After that we went to the Masai Market, where all the girls found beautiful bracelets. Before we headed home we went to Tusky’s, a favorite, to load up with peanut butter, instant coffee, and different goodies. The matatus ride home was a very bumpy, cramped ride. Boy was I happy to finally arrive in Mbale!
It is now back to work this week!
This past weekend we went to Kakamega rainforest! We arrived around four on Saturday afternoon. We stayed at the Isecheno Blue Guest House in the rainforest. We chose to get up at 4:30AM for the sunrise hike. Although it was very hard to get up, and hiking up the mountain in the pitch dark was not the most enjoyable, watching the sunrise was worth it! After watching the sunrise and taking many team jumping photos, we hiked down the mountain into the rainforest in the early morning sunshine. We arrived back at our bandas and had a lovely breakfast. We then spent the morning and early afternoon playing FYB and relaxing.


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