Reconnaissance mission to Angiya, Kenya

SAHFA president Laetitia van Haren has recently been on a reconnaissance mission to Angiya, Homabay county, West Kenya, to assess the potential for the use of JamboMama! at The Good Sheperd Hospital, run by the Medical Mission Sisters. She was impressed by all the good great work that is already being accomplished, as she explains below.

‘Unique about this primary healthcare service provider is the very respectful interaction with the patient or client in all services related to reproductive, maternal, and child care, whether for antenatal check-ups, TB or HIV control and management, or vaccinations. The synergetic organisation of the clinics that take place in an improvised space of 20 m2 involves midwives, nurses, community health volunteers, patient mentors and a Linda Mama officer. Linda Mama is a government funded health scheme to ensure free access to quality health care for all mothers and infants.

Once a month, the local school of Mirari is turned into a mobile mother and child clinic where mothers-to -be can come for antenatal check ups, control of TB, HIV, malaria and other conditions. They receive medicine and advice, and vaccinations for themselves their children. All care givers involved work closely and efficiently together and manage to make the women feel safe and listened to. This encourages them to listen carefully and become active clients rather than passive and subdued. Communication between provider and patient is excellent at Angiya, but more women in the Good Shepherd hospital’s ‘catchment area’ could benefit from its excellent services if the staff and health volunteers extended their outreach with the JamboMama! application. Also, the Angiya dispensary doesn’t have an operating theatre, so obstetric emergencies requiring surgery must be referred to Rongo. The JamboMama! app could smoothen and speed such referrals, where timeliness is crucial.

During the two workshops SAHFA organised at Angiya dispensary, participants happily practiced and were keen on continuing, but Sr Gaudencia was aware of the systemic and confidentiality implications so she asked us for more time. SAHFA left four telephones behind, two for the medical staff and two for the community health volunteers, two to practice with the English version, two with Swahili, two with the women’s app and two with the health providers’ app. In two months’ time, we’ll take stock and give you an update. In that period staff will not practice with real patient data but with self-invented avatars.’

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