Quite an accomplishment! The Community Health Promoters have worked very hard to teach their communities about proper sanitation and hygiene, proper hand washing and using latrines. The health promoters have introduced the concept that the water the villagers are drinking may be making them sick.
At these sessions, villagers have been introduced to the concept of the bio sand water filter. Those who are interested come to a half day training session on the filter and find out how it works and how to maintain it in their home. They then sign up for a filter and pay between 500 and 800 kwacha which is about $2.50 to $3.00 US.
Once they have signed up for a filter, the implementers take the filter to their home and install it for them. They are shown how to correctly use and maintain it. The Community Health Promoters follow-up to ensure the filters are working and being used properly.
The follow-up also ensures the families are using proper sanitation and hygiene techniques. The concept of “micro organisms that you can’t see are making you ill” is not an easy one to explain. Will Phillips from Tyamike Children’s center in Malawi uses a comparison by asking “Do you think that an elephant can see an ant? ” They always laugh and say “no”. It is a comparison that they can relate to.
Jerry Hamilton, his sister Valerie and Murray Mitchell were over in September and brought the above pictures back. They also helped a young man named Master Notice who doesn’t have use of his legs. The tires on his hand operated bicycle were worn bare and soon he would have to pull himself around on his arms. Jerry and his team purchased new tires for Master Notice’s bicycle and as you can see by the look on his face, that he is very thankful, (as Jerry said, you would think that he won the lottery!).
Valerie and Murray with friend Victor and Master Notice’s with his new bike tires
Jerry and his team took medical supplies from Health Partners International to the clinic in Mfera
Reviewing medical supplies for the clinic.
They also visited a Community Feeding Center for orphan’s and vulnerable children.
The needs are so great in the country, it can be overwhelming at times.