1. Health Situation in the Tessaout Valley before the Arrival of aG.
Tessaout Valley is an economically depressed area with extremely poor hygienic-health conditions. In some villages, basic infrastructures such as drinking water do not exist, which impacts on health situation. Access to public services is very limited: the nearest village equipped with public sanitary network is Ait Tamlil (17km far from Ifoulou) where there is a medical room and the closest hospital is located on Demnate (80 km.). Communication between villages is very low and imposes an economic cost, which makes population access to these sanitary centers extremely difficult.
Food is poor and there is a diet with very limited variety: traditional bread, semola and very-sweet tea. They rarely eat high calcium aliments, which together with the high consumption of sugars, originate problems related to dental health in a high population rate.
Moreover and due to isolation of this mountain area of normal distribution channels, the greatest problem is the low fish intake, so they scarcely eats iodine which implies goiter onset in most of girls and teenagers. Goiter is a swelling of the neck or larynx resulting from enlargement of the thyroid gland, it can originates a difficulty in breathing or swallowing and also cough, hoarseness and development problems on childhood population.
Girls from earlier ages carry wood bales reaching almost 40 kg. on rough terrains, which put her physical health at risk and involves back problems lasting their entire life.
Women care along pregnancy and birth attendance also require specific attention. A pregnant woman can not stop making physical efforts on her daily tasks and they do not get any assistance during her pregnancy or they gave birth, leading to high abortion rates.
2. Health Area Objectives
Provide a solid medical service on the area next to Ifoulou.
Local health promoters will be trained for satisfying needs of primary health care.
Training population on hygienic-health basics for working in prevention of diseases and common illnesses.
Accomplish specific medical attentions through medical caravans with professionals of different specialities.
Minimize high child mortality and abortion rates, accomplishing periodic followups to Valley pregnant women and organizing specific training workshops on neccesary care during pregnancy and childbirth.
3. Health Area Achievements
Health Diagnosis (November 2010). A medical examination was executed up to more than 300 people for defining the main important problems and establish future actions.
Specific Training for health promoters in two villages where we work. We continue working on this line, reinforcing promotors training and training new people on villages where we work.
Building of one medical room in Ifoulou with furniture and medical devices, provided by private donations.
Analysis of visual acuity. Also presbyopia glasses has been provided for solving eye problems on people over the age of 40.
Children nutritional assessment for getting familiar with their eating habits.
Diagnosis and assistance on dental health problems: from 2012, every year several dentists travel to the valley for making training campaigns, examination and specific care to critical problems.
Training on hygiene and health: Specific training workshops are held for women and children on basics hygiene, dental health, children nutrition, goiter prevention, curas, birth assistance, etc.
Licences processing and strengthening of relations with health authorities on the area: from March 2010, meetings with responsibles for the area have been held for sharing our actions with them and trying to proceed the recruitment request of one nurse for the medical room in Ifoulou, entry way into the valley.
Medical Caravans: thanks to collaboration agreements of professionals since 2010, Acción Geoda accomplish medical caravans once or twice a year.
Since late 2016, we work on the implementation of gynecological caravans for monitoring pregnant women on the Valley. Thanks to a private donation, a portable ultrasound machine allow us to accomplish an accurate monitoring of pregnancies and detecting potential risk cases.
4. Future Plans
The health area of Accion Geoda will continue to work in order to palliate, as much as possible, the health problems of the population. Our work aims to provide stable medical care in the area, based in Ifoulou, that could served all the surrounding villages.
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