Combining Health Care and Holiday 6-20 November 2016

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It wasn’t just work

 

Recently Alexandra Murrell, one our Health Studies Lecturers at the London Campus joined Camps International’s  2 week trip to Eastern Kenya. This was the 6th year that a group of British people went to Kenya to provide health care for a number of poor people while also having a short holiday. This year was also the  sixth year that Camps International was able to provide some intensive health care to the villages around Tsavo. This year included retired British nurses, four midwives, a number of practice nurses,

This year’s travellers included retired British nurses, four midwives, a number of practice nurses, healthcare assistants, play workers and others happy to help as needed. worked in a number of countries in primary and secondary care, this was one of the poorest regions I have worked in. The lack of rain has meant that growing crops

Alexandra has worked in a number of countries in primary and secondary care, and she stated that this was one of the poorest regions she had ever worked in. The lack of rain has meant that growing crops is difficult. Goats and cows can be sustained if there are enough plants and water and for many rural people, their livestock is their major income.Camps International had organised 6 intensive health days in various locations in Tsavo, working with local community nurses and community volunteers to provide almost a one stop shop for the residents of Tsavo. These took place in local high schools.

Camps International had organised 6 intensive health days in various locations in Tsavo, working with local community nurses and community volunteers to provide almost a one stop shop for the residents of Tsavo. These took place in local high schools.community health workers had gone round to villages and hamlets advertising the health events. Volunteers registered the local beneficiaries and gave everyone a  worming tablet and under 5s given a vitamin A tablet. Once this had taken place they were offered a number of services, dentist, health consultation, eye care, contraception, pregnancy care, and cervical screening. Children were offered foot care to include foot washing to check for an insect known as jiggers which

Community health workers had gone round to villages and hamlets advertising the health events. Volunteers registered the local beneficiaries and gave everyone a  worming tablet and under 5s given a vitamin A tablet. Once this had happened, they were offered a number of services, dentist, health consultation, eye care, contraception, pregnancy care, and cervical screening. Children were offered foot care including foot washing to check for an insect known as jiggers which burrow under the skin and can result in a number of sores and complications.

The British and local Kenyans formed teams to ensure as many people as possible could be seen, a team to help the dentist to be able to treat thirty to forty people who needed fillings for decay, another team to help the eye specialists provide glasses and eye medication, another team to provide medication after people had a consultation with British and Kenyan nurses. Health education and first aid took place in classrooms run by Kenyan Red Cross.

There was also a mobile laboratory to test for malaria, HIV and carry out urine analysis. There were no cases of malaria in 2016, an indication that the use of bed nets is providing protection against malaria. There has been concerted effects to give out mosquito nets to many households throughout Africa.

Many took up HIV screening and unfortunately there were some newly diagnosed. This year cervical screening took place by use of acetic acid, and iodine swabbed on the cervix. The use of these liquids can provide an alternative to looking for changes in the cervix. Women who had some changes found this way were referred to hospital for further cervical assessment.The health trips also included chance to relax at the local

The health trips also included a chance to relax at the local lodge, and a safari. Camps International has modified the programme, in relation to the previous programmes, and managed to reach thousands of people. This was an excellent opportunity for British nurses and others to reach out to disadvantaged people, as well as having a chance to enjoy the wildlife and find out more about life in Kenya.

 

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