With your help the people of West Africa have "a chance, not only to change their own lives and their own destinies, but to change the future of an entire generation".

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Faces of MoM

Submitted by Michaela Sholes

Writing about the 'faces of MoM' would not be complete without mentioning Ofori. originally from Accra, he and his family moved to Kpong several years ago where Ofori works hard as a taxi driver. Ofori has two adorable children of school age and supports MoM and airfield activities through his tireless efforts as he always provides a smile and a fair price. He takes MoM staff to visit the Queen Mothers, at times the fulani camp, handles all transportation needs that are not covered by MoM cars, and can always be counted on to be prompt..a luxury that is easy to take for granted until you have been left stranded.
The sticker on the back of his car says it all..'survival'. Ofori says it is there to encourage himself to remember to keep going and whatever he works hard for, he has faith that he will achieve. Thank you for your hard work and support, Ofori. You are invaluable to what we do.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

VFR on-top

On Monday we pushed out on a tight schedule, dodging weather and working to a new drop route. Michaela added two more drops to the run. Climbing out, the only safe route was VFR On-Top to clear the ridge - the views magnificent, as was the turbulence. In this image we are barely at 2500', and the cloud formations are rapidly growing.

During the drops we achieved some of our most accurate deliveries, Patricia's flying improving on every run - so much so that she surprised me on one drop where the bag fouled and she appeared to almost reverse the aircraft with deft use of throttle and pitch, enabling a perfect targeted delivery.

We set out with extra fuel, planning for a deviation to Kumasi, in the event of weather breaking from the East. Fortunately for our day, on the way back we dodged weather and made a safe return.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Drops continue

Submitted by Michaela Sholes

The MoM team was up early today as the pilots departed for the next round of ETCHE bag drops! Although the weather presented some challenges, the drops were 100% successful and we look forward to hearing from communities! This week's drop included information targeting malaria awareness as well as a malaria-targeted health poster and an invitation to the next training session, scheduled for Friday June 22.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Akosobo Dam

Submitted by Hallie Paige Arrigon

To celebrate the Ghanaian holiday on Friday, I ventured off the airfield to tour the dam at Akosombo. The dam was constructed during the 1960s to generate electricity for rural communities across the region. Lake Volta, the world’s largest artificial lake, formed as a result of this intervention in natural processes. Electricity from the dam certainly has a positive impact on the health and safety of some individuals and communities who have gained access to refrigeration, electric lighting, and similar luxuries. However, many of the communities that are situated along Lake Volta and served by MoM remain without electricity and have instead suffered health threats imposed by the dam. Transforming an active river into a massive lake created the perfect environment for the snails that carry the schistosomiasis parasite. Schistosomiasis (also known as bilharzia) can cause many unpleasant symptoms like blood in the urine and stool as well as a variety of long-term consequences, including impaired growth and development in children and infertility and cervical cancer in women. The disease remains alarmingly prevalent around Lake Volta. For this reason, MoM recently distributed health education materials targeting schistosomiasis to the communities participating in the ETCHE Project and remains active in the Bilharzia Control Forum Implementation Committee.

Friday, May 25, 2012

How do you say............ ?

Submitted by Michaela Sholes

As MoM works towards ensuring that all our materials are appropriate for community understanding and context, we rely on those who know Ghanaians best....Ghanaians themselves! During part of our class session today, the AvTech girls went through our most recent information sheet regarding Malaria and provided valuable insights to wording and perspectives. Although it might sound easy to do, it can be rather tricky to find simpler terms than "parasites" and "immune system" and even "unconscious"...especially when one attempts to find the local word for such things, much less the English word! Good work today, girls!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Knowledge is empowerment, and a means to help yourself

Submitted by Michaela Sholes

Do you know people who don't like answering phone calls from "unknown" numbers? Until the ETCHE program got started here at MoM, I was actually one of those people...I don't know why, it just made me uncomfortable to answer a call, not knowing who was on the other end. But it's days like these in a job like this when a simple call from a strange number can just make SUCH a difference!

Needless to say, I got a call today from one of the communities. As we were talking, I asked him how the information was being received and if he felt like the community was benefiting from the ETCHE drops. He responded by telling me, "Madame, the community was very moved by the pictures you sent! They looked at the behaviors and realized among each other that they themselves also do these harmful actions (direct contact with lake water and urinating/defecating in the water sources). So, a meeting was gathered and the people have decided that because they know it is harmful for them and their children, they want to stop it in our village."

There simply aren't the words to describe how thankful, and how very honored we are to be a small part of this change in people's lives!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Amina and Alai, helping Mom make a difference

Submitted by Michaela Sholes
Readers who are regular followers of the MoM blog have no doubt heard me mention Alai and Amina on a few occasions. For those of you who are a bit new, Alai and his wife Amina are not only our main contacts in the Fulani camp, but are also a lovely family as well! They have three children, the most recent of which is baby Hamidu, who is the most adorable chunk you've ever seen! Alai keeps watch over some of the cattle in the community while Amina tries to bring in a little extra income by making and selling a local food called "Wagashi." They have been invaluable supporters of our work in their community and quite frankly, we wouldn't be able to do much at all without them! In the group sessions, they are always the first to enthusiastically join in whatever new topic we've introduced that day, even if it means being a little silly (like when we taught the community the Handwashing Song).

I wanted to write about them today because they are a huge part of what makes up the "faces" of MoM. Whenever we seek insights about the community or how to improve our efforts, they are always willing to talk candidly with us, especially if it involves a cup of tea!. They have supported our efforts to the best of their ability, working with us to find sustainable ways to manage getting the community children to school and being willing to at least try our taught health education activities. They have also been very kind in helping us with developing our ETCHE posters! This week, both Alai and Amina were a part of our Malaria health education poster, and modeled behaviors like sleeping under bednets, wearing appropriate clothing (closed shoes with long sleeves/pants or long skirt/cloth) in the evening to avoid being bitten.

Many thanks Alai, to you and your family! Your willingness, cheerful spirits, and support help encourage us to continue doing what we do!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

AvTech, teaching what they've learned

Today was a lesson in flexibility for all of us involved in the Fulani Educational Center. We had some trouble getting into the camp because of the thick mud caused by last night’s heavy rain. After moving some folks around into the back for extra weight, we were able to manoeuvre our way to the camp. When we got there, folks were a bit slow to show up, and when a disagreement broke out a few houses down the road, one by one our pupils began to leave to go observe/assist in the disagreement. Finally, when it was all settled, we were able to start our classes – over an hour late. We made the best of it by having shortened sessions for everyone and by doing a shared demonstration of the SODIS method of cleaning water – courtesy of the AvTech girls. All kinds of illnesses can be transmitted through water, and we’re trying to educate the Fulani in ways that they prevent them. The community was definitely interested in this new information, and we hope that it will be an effective way for the people in camp to get clean water.

There wasn’t time to have an academic session, but a great many of the women brought their pencils and books back, which was a great encouragement! I happened to see one flipped open and line after line of A’s and B’s popped out at me…I was so happy that they’d actually practiced the letters that we’d learned. I hope that next week there will be more time and that we’ll get to review and move on to some new letters! This basic literacy is so important because since organizations like MoM send information out in English, and since things like pill prescriptions and bottles will be printed in English, the Fulani people will need a basic understanding of the language to be able to better care for their families and themselves. It is a work in progress, but is certainly a worthwhile effort on everyone’s part.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sustainable healthcare for isolated communities

Submitted by Michaela Sholes

MoM is busy-busy as we are in the midst of planning for both the next ETCHE drop, as well as the second community training session! The last training session focused on health challenges surrounding water and sanitation issues, while this one will focus more on developing hands-on first aid skills. It has been our experience that many times in rural areas, minor injuries escalate unnecessarily. Lydia understands this concept from a personal level, which is why she and the other girls will be helping to demonstrate several methods involved with wound management, burn management, and fracture/sprain stabilization. We are currently working to address the need for first aid materials to be used in the communities themselves, as we identify what is locally available to them. For example, a small clean plastic bottle with a hole punched in the top could be used to irrigate wounds and local seamstresses can easily sew triangle clothes for swathes/slings.

Send us your ideas for sustainable items!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Rainy season can be challenging

Submitted by Michaela Sholes

Rainy season is in full swing here in Ghana, giving MoM and airfield activities additional challenges! 4 of the past 6 days have seen rainfall, with several of the storms sending more than a few inches of rain and high winds our way. Although rainfall is essential for farming and other agricultural activities in Ghanaian communities, these types of storms can result in further challenges for them as well due to homes collapsing, flooding of the roads, and falling trees/branches. As Hallie and I are planning to spend some time in some of the rural communities for a few days this next week, weather like this certainly adds to the logistics!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Time to review emergency procedures

Submitted by Michaela Sholes

MoM continued it's first aid training with the AvTech students today with a review of an emergency scenario and introduction of the B.E.A.M (Body Elevation and Movement) technique. The girls are gaining confidence in their skills as they learn to assess patients in an emergency situation and regularly practice taking vital signs on the staff here on the airfield. Lydia exhibits a very caring bedside manner, while Emmanuella's strength lies very much in her ability to remember all the details of what she needs to look for, and Juliet is very good about taking and maintaining control of an emergency situation. In addition to the practical skills they are learning, the girls also participate in a discussion session prior to the hands-on material, where they have the opportunity to talk about concepts in health education, such as respecting cultures and traditions, effective teaching strategies, and ways in which their future students may be empowered. It's very interesting to hear the concepts and ideas that speak to each girl differently...for example, Lydia holds very tightly to the idea that health education is built around working together to address the concept of health and improving ones health. Emmanuella speaks very passionately about needing to respect traditions and cultural beliefs as they affect health, and brought up the fact that issues such as economics and land are to be remembered when it comes to community health. Juliet feels strongly about the need to evaluate your efforts along the way, as well as the way that health educators need to both teach and listen to those they work with. I learn new things from these girls each week and thoroughly enjoy these sessions!


Submitted by Michaela Sholes

Medicine on the Move continues to support the efforts of the BCFIC in Ghana and look forward to playing an active role in Schistosomiasis control across the country. Held at the University of Ghana (Legon), the meeting was in follow-up to the conference back in March which gathered stakeholders (including MoM) to address the issue of Schistosomiasis in Ghana, particularly along the Lake Volta shorelines. Those present at the meeting discussed what action items were to come from the information gathered at the conference and helped clarify the various needs and roles for what lies ahead. We look forward to the challenges ahead and are pleased to play our part in the good things going on in Ghana

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Changing attitudes.....Changing lives

Submitted by Michaela Sholes

The next round of ETCHE drops were a success and we are thankful to have our brave pilots safely back on the airfield after playing a game of chicken with some looming thunderclouds! The calls have already started, as communities let us know they have received the packages and ask any questions they might have regarding the information inside. I love hearing the enthusiasm in their voices as they tell us how they were able to use the information from the last drop and then what they are looking forward to in this one! We really do have a great team of communities who are passionate about what they do and are willing to share their thoughts and suggestions with us.

We have noticed that some community reps do take their roles particularly seriously, which leads to some interesting challenges at times... I received a somewhat frantic call this morning from a community rep, telling me that a person from his community had located the bag before him, but instead of bringing it to him or the Queen Mother as is typical, the person took it into their house and hid it and wasn't giving it to him! He proceeded to ask me very kindly if the airplane wouldn't mind bringing him another one tomorrow? I had to explain to him that it might be a more effective idea to go talk to the person and find out what was behind the rather odd behavior. He agreed that that might be a workable solution, and called me later to tell me that he and a representative from the chief had gone to talk with the person and had gotten it sorted out in the end.

During this run the pilots reported a greater number of well wishers than usual. At one village the young people lined up and held their hands up ready to catch the drop. In all villages the welcoming broad white smiles glistened as they were directed skywards. The crew can feel the changes in the communities - positive changes - changes that lead us to believe that there is a growing enthusiasm for learning more about health education.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rain Day

Submitted by Michaela Sholes

Mother Nature added her version to our plans for today by dropping several hours of heavy rain on us last night. Due to heavy mud, continued weather dangers, and a few logistical challenges, MoM has rescheduled the ETCHE drop for tomorrow (weather permitting, of course). Classes in the Fulani camp were also rescheduled for next week as travel to and from the camp would have been risky with the amount of mud around. Despite the weather challenges of the day however, we continue to roll with the punches and address the many other positive aspects of the day (like welding!).

Monday, May 14, 2012

On the road to Wli

Submitted by Hallie

During my first weekend in Ghana, I enjoyed an excursion from the airfield with some of the other MoM staff and volunteers. We journeyed by tro tro, a 15-passenger van used for public transportation, across eastern Ghana to the village of Wli. It was a great opportunity to see more of the Ghanaian landscape and interact with a wide variety of people. However, I am grateful that I do not have to rely on tro tros for all my travels! The vehicles are significantly smaller than their American counterparts and lacking key safety features like seatbelts. Tro-tro drivers are constantly dodging potholes, pedestrians, stray animals, and other obstacles at high speeds. Collisions are frequent occcurences with devastating consequences for many Ghanaian families. I understand now why MoM uses planes for more safe and efficient access to rural communities. Strategies for increasing safety in and around motor vehicles will definitely be an important topic for future ETCHE drops!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Welcome Hallie

Submitted by Michaela Sholes

As we move closer to completing the mini-clinic, preparations are being considered to equip it for MoM needs. Fortunately for us, we have support from medical professionals across the globe to help us make these preparations in the best way possible. We are even more fortunate to have one of those supporters onsite right now. Hallie is a general nurse practitioner who is spending the next few weeks with us to help with preparing ETCHE drops and lending her expertise to assessing the mini-clinic needs. Thank you Hallie, for your cheerful spirit and thoughtful insights!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Classes begin

Submitted by Michaela Sholes

MoM and the AvTech girls had a great first class together for this term and I'm looking forward to more sessions with them! The girls and I reviewed their First Aid curriculum, practicing taking vital signs on each other and Mavis, our cook, as well as going through each stage of the Patient Assessment System. I think my favorite part was definitely the discussion time towards the end of the session, where we had an insightful conversation about the role of a health worker, particularly when it comes to local cultures and beliefs and the interaction with modern medicine. Emanuella shared common beliefs from her area and seemed to grasp the need for balance between culture and modern medicine almost immediately. I have no doubts that these girls have the right stuff to bring insightful, caring, and dedicated health education to current and future communities.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's all in the details.

Submitted by Michaela Sholes

While researching, composing, and editing documents and posters for the ETCHE drops may not be the most "glamorous" role, it is one of the many necessary activities to making sure that the information going out is both accurate and understandable to those who will be receiving them. This week, the ETCHE drop will send information regarding schistosomiasis to the lakeside communities, in addition to providing them with a step-by-step poster for conducting the SODIS water disinfection method. Before any materials can be sent out, instructional photos are taken to design posters and each topic must be thoroughly reviewed.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

'A' says Ah.....

Submitted by Rochelle Milam

So today was exciting for several reasons! For one, today was Fulani camp day, which is something I look forward to doing every week that I’m here. Today Ben talked more with the men about their  our hope is that with a better grasp of their spending and earning “habits”, they will be able to plan for the future and better their lives. The women’s group was a bit smaller than last week, but as we worked through writing and sounding out the first few letters of the alphabet - keep in mind that the majority have never been to school it was exciting to watch them labor over each letter. We taught them a short song to help with sounding out the letters that I hope will be very helpful in the long run. It goes to the tune of “Farmer in the Dell” and goes “The A says ‘Ah’, the A says ‘Ah’. Every letter makes a sound, and A says ‘Ah’!” They laughed at it, and stumbled over some of the words, but when we asked them later what the letter A ‘says’, and a good deal of them remembered! I’m so very excited for next week.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Working together for disease prevention

Submitted by Michaela Sholes
MoM, AvTech, and WAASPS really do have a great bunch of folks here. We're all very different, have our individual quirks, but at the end of the day, we come together and make it all work, even when the assignment is something less than delightful! Ben and I have been preparing the next round of information packets for the upcoming bag drop later this week and needed the AvTech girls to help finish it! One of the things we do in each packet is to include a MoM-developed poster with images we've taken on various health topics, and this week was Schistosomiasis (try to say THAT 3 times fast!). Patricia and Lydia helped model correct preparation of the SODIS method of water disinfection, such as cleaning the bottles, filtering them of debris, and shaking them for 20 seconds. Even though the girls were on holiday, they pitched in with a great spirit to help us take some Schistosomiasis-related photos. I'm sure they were mortified that onlookers were staring as we took pictures of human waste just a short distance from the lake's edge (one of the ways Schisto is transmitted is when infected waste gets into a water source where the snails live), but they were good sports! They modeled good behaviors to help prevent the disease and I think we're going to have great posters thanks to their help!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

My first (amazing) flight in Ghana

Submitted by Rachelle Milam

Today was my first time in one of the planes here at Kpong Airfield. I was a bit nervous, but after watching people go up and down for about two weeks, I was reasonably sure that I would survive the experience. Captain Patricia was my pilot, and as she explained the different procedures to me, I tried to focus on what she was saying and not my pounding heart. It's much different being in a big 747 where you hardly feel like you're in the air than when you're in one of these light aircraft and there's not even a door separating you from certain death
We started down the runway, and I could hear the blood rushing in my ears, but to my credit, I stayed calm and watched the ground start to go by faster and faster. All of a sudden, I wasn't on the ground anymore, but rising in the air towards a bright, blue sky. It wasn't as bumpy as I'd expected it to be, and as we rose even higher, all I could focus on was the beautiful view. Everything is so small when you're so high up, but the beauty of the landscape takes your breath away. Pat told me to loosely hold onto the stick that allows her to steer the plane, and I felt all the minute adjustments she had to make second to second as we flew steadily on. We flew over the Volta Lake a bit, and I noticed two fisherman in a boat far below us. I wonder what they thought as we flew by.

On our way back down, I noticed the dropping feeling you get when you're going down that first big hill on a roller coaster - the one where it feels like your stomach is jumping up your throat. It wasn't extreme by any means, but it was enough that I could definitely tell we were going down. As we landed, I was more sad than I'd expected to be. I've decided that I like flying (or at least, letting someone else do the piloting while I sit back and enjoy). Pat says that maybe I can go for another flight later this week, and we'll go even farther. On my report afterwards, she remarked that she was a little surprised at how calm I'd been and it occurred to me that I'd been too fascinated to be afraid. I'd completely forgotten that I'd been nervous before.

After that experience, I have a new respect for the pilots, Capt's Yaw and Pat, and a new understanding of why the AvTech girls work so hard to be able to fly. I don't know that I'd want to be the one in control (I'm a tad clutzy when it comes to machines - I blew up my brother's PS2 when we were younger), but I can't wait to be up in the sky again with nothing between me and heaven but a few scattered clouds.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Feeding the hunger for education

Submitted by Rachelle Milam
From 5-1-12

Today was my first day working at the Fulani camp, and as I looked out at the faces of those gathered to learn, I was reminded why I'm studying to be a teacher. These people took time out of their day to sit on a bench under a little (for lack of better word) shack because they want to learn and they think it's important. What more encouragement does a teacher need? When I went in today, I only really planned to do a kind of assessment, to see what they remembered and where would be a good place to start. I learned that most of the women, many of whom have spent little to no time in school, could write or at least recite the alphabet and some numbers. It reminded me that there is a stark difference between ignorance and simply being uneducated. These women are so bright - when we did our short health education bit, they were quick and thoughtful with their suggestions on how often and in what situations one should wash their hands so as to avoid the germs that bring so much illness into this region. I look forward to working with these amazing women more.

The children - well, first let me say that there is a reason I chose to be an elementary education major, and these children were such an encouragement to me. I wasn't sure what to expect because many of them are young and haven't had much, if any, formal schooling. However, when asked, they stood there and sang every song and recited every rhyme that they knew. There was much more than I expected. It made me grin to watch a little boy fold his hands behind his back as he sang "Row, Row, Row Your Boat", clearly proud of himself for remembering each word. The kids are all so smart, and I'm so excited about what other songs I can teach them to help them learn. We tried a song about the days of the week using "The Addams Family" tune, and they loved the snapping fingers part, but couldn't quite get the rhythm down. No worries, though! There's always next week!

Today's experience really opened my eyes in a few ways. I think we in the Western world often make unconscious assumptions about people in countries like Ghana without even really realizing that we do. I'm guilty of it as well, even after living here for part of my life. I was genuinely surprised when I saw all that the women and children had picked up in a short time, and I think it's because often times we assume that if you don't have a formal education, you must not know much of anything. It's a horrible thing to think, but in a culture that says you don't have much of a chance of doing anything important in life without a degree or two, education ends up being very important to our views on what we know. To be confronted with the fact that these people who've lived in the bush their entire lives could be so incredibly smart...well, it humbled me. I had to very quickly adapt my way of thinking. I hope I have more moments like this. It's always amazing to me what you can learn if you're just willing to open your eyes and see people for all they are, instead of simply what you perceive them to be.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Education is a prized gift

Submitted by Rachelle Milam

Tuesday was technically the start of the new school term here in Ghana, and though some children may not have looked forward to it, there were 5 new children from the Fulani camp registering for this term. Added to the ones who were registered last term, there are now 11 kids from the camp attending school - a huge testament to how views in the camp have changed. It was not so very long ago when there were no Fulani kids in school because of lack of money, lack of transportation (The school is quite a ways from the camp and way too far for kids to walk), and lack of support. Because many of the adults in the camp (especially the women) are uneducated, the people did not see the need to send their children to school. Then, for a long time, only one boy from the camp was attending and that was because he was able to get a bike that he could ride to and from school every day. On Tuesday we were happy to watch his brother enroll into school.

It may seem like a small thing, these 11 kids finally being in school, but not when you look at the long term effects. Because this generation has the chance at a formal education, it is very possible that they will be able to change their communities for the better as they grow. I watched one little girl sit very carefully in her brand new uniform, and I wondered when the last time I'd really been thankful for my schooling was. It's hard to be thankful for something you take for granted.

 I want to congratulate those who have worked so hard to see this become a reality. Who knows how many lives have been changed because someone decided to care enough to visit the Fulani community and encourage them to send their kids to school? I can't wait to see the effects in the community, and I can't wait to continue working with a group so eager to better themselves.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Stopping Teenage Pregnancy By Air

Another set of successful drops too place this morning. 9G ZAF, flown by Patricia Mawuli Nyekodzi, with Capt. Yaw (aka Jonathan Porter) as Drop Master, 17 bags were dropped to respondent communities with posters and health training materials. We are getting to know this route well, every tree, every danger noted and the list added too each run. We are also getting familiar with a two to five minute drop interval - not much time to prepare - and the constant 'terrain warning' flashing on our GPS equipment.

On the way back, the weather was starting to get very thermal (at 11:00) and we routed to avoid the 'dark bottoms' that were building around us. Such clouds can turn in minutes from docile to violent - so we just stay clear! All part of the interest and challenging job for a 'drop pilot and drop master'... but then we also added a 'new facet' today.

preparing to drop
Earlier this week, as you read on this blog, the girls from AvTech spoke to hundreds of girls to inspire them and encourage them to achieve more. At the event, a teacher from Akateng (a non-drop to community due to its large size, and clinic, just beyond the end of the current Upper Manya drop route) asked 'Can you help to reduce teenage pregnancies in the town, with a plane?' Now, that is a tall order, even for us!
With a confused and wry smile, I asked what she had in mind.... 'If you can just fly over our school so that I can tell our girls that the plane is built by Ghanaian girls and flown by Ghanaian girls, some of whom are barely older than they, it will inspire them and they will see a purpose to their lives. It can help us to reduce pregnancies and associated challenges for girls without a vision.'

Consequently, we are now delivering 'targeted teenage pregnancy avoidance inspiration' in collaboration with the teachers in communities that are 'outside the drop parameters' (ie too big and/or too well served by roads and clinics), as an add on to our drop runs. Although this adds a little to our drop costs (about $40 in additional flying time), we are pleased to be able to respond to a community need so quickly, effectively and, perhaps most importantly, at their request, and will continue to do so as long as we can afford it.

Funding permitting we would like to bring some of the girls from that community to the airfield (after a few more fly-pasts), and see if we can support even more the teachers desire to change lives, preventing teenage pregnancies, one flight at a time...

We will be exploring some other innovative health, community and inspirational models in the coming weeks. Our continued challenge is to meet the ever increasing costs of carrying out these tasks, even though our COSTS are considerably LOWER, TIME use much more EFFICIENT and RISKS far LESS than traditional methods, we are finding funding for this type of outreach difficult to connect with. (If you can help, please let us know - we really want to expand this outreach).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Manya Esther

As the ETCHE bag drops are getting underway, we continue to work hard to develop materials for both drops and training sessions that are informative and relevant to community needs. In order to ensure that the information we deliver meets that criteria, we work closely with community members and leaders, such as Manye Esther. She has great perspectives and many new ideas to share, such as the one that came out of a recent visit while we were discussing the Diarrhea section. In talking about the modes of transmission in this area, she identified the handling of currency, particularly among market women and individuals who collect the fees at the public latrines. This brought about the question of what could be done to raise awareness both in the communities, but also in the markets where individuals from both urban and rural areas gather.

Keep the ideas coming, Manye!