YMCA Driving Doctor Project
The YMCA Driving Doctor Project which is a Free Health Care (FHC) project aims at improving the health status of vulnerable under five children, pregnant women and lactating mothers. The project is being implemented in 11 beneficiary villages of three clusters in the Kori Chiefdom, Moyamba District Southern Sierra Leone. The 11 beneficiary villages include, Mongewor, Vaama, Kpawama. Jolorhun, Sembehun, Kangahun, Kondebotihun, Pelewahun, Bateima, Kimbima and Mosamai.
Since the inception of the project in June 2007, donor funding is quarterly obtained from YMCA Stift Quernheim which is a local YMCA local branch of the German YMCA (CVJM Germany). On daily basis, the project is strategically managed by the Project Management Committee and the National Council of YMCA Sierra Leone.
The medical team of the mobile medical project comprises a Community Health Officer and two Maternity Child Health (MCH) Aide nurses. Attached to the project are two YMCA volunteers from the YMCA Aberdeen and YMCA Taiama branches respectively. The two volunteers provide ancillary support to the medical team. Emergency ill health cases are handled by the District Medical Health Team (DMHT) which is under the supervision of the resident District Medical Officer (DMO) of Moyamba District.
Key medical assistances rendered to project beneficiaries include treatment of illnesses (Malaria, Diarrhoea, Acute Respiratory Illness, Pneumonia, Sexually Transmitted Infections and Malnutrition) and dispensation of drugs to pregnant women, lactating mothers and under five children. As additional responsibility, the medical team regularly educates project beneficiaries to acquire knowledge on reproductive health, environmental sanitation, good child health practices and STIs especially HIV and AIDS in their communities. The medical team also provides Christian Education to direct and non direct beneficiaries.
Across the 3 clusters (11 villages), the project have served more than of 250 pregnant women and dispensed medication and treatment for 6,539 multiple cases of disease in under children from June 2007 to December 2010. This intervention of the FHC has led to a significant reduction of infant mortality, less incidence of referral cases, safe delivery with very minimal complications. Further, there is now an existing increased awareness on prevalence and effects of STIs through health education talks, increased knowledge on environmental sanitation and good child health care.
The capacity of the YMCA Aberdeen and Taiama Branch is being built as they jointly implement the project. Through the implementation of this project, Sierra Leone YMCA is recognized by the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation as partner by providing resources (medicine and personnel) in complementing effort towards the Free Health Care (FHC) initiative for under five children, pregnant women and lactating mothers. In this regard, YMCA Sierra Leone continues to be a member of the National Health Task Force of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and such membership is recognized by the Government of Sierra Leone.
- Title of Project: Driving YMCA Doctor Project ( Mobile Free Health Care Project)
- Project duration: June 2006 to present ( ongoing project)
- Goal of Project: To improve the health status of vulnerable pregnant women, lactating mothers and under five children
- Project beneficiaries: Pregnant Women, Lactating Mothers and Children Under Five years
- Project operational locations: 15 villages in Kori Chiefdom and 14 villages in Tikonko chiefdom in Southern Sierra Leone. Villages in Kori Chiefdom include Mosamai, Kangahun, Pelewahun, Bateima, Kimbima, Jorlohun, Sembehun, Kondebotihun, Mongewor, Kpawama, Vaama, Largo Kessinima, Mokaba, Messima Villages in Tikonko Chiefdom include Lembema 1, Nyagoilihun, Barley, Gbanahun, Potehun, Mogibeh, Dodo, Kpetema, Kapeima, Kigbai, Njala, Nyaama, One Ose, Lembema 2 , Yovuyama
- Project Partner: Germany Project Board, Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHs), Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone (CHASL), Well Body Clinic at Taiama, and Tikonko Health Centre
- Illnesses within project mandate: Malaria, Diarrhoea, Dysentery, Cholera, Acute Respiratory Illness (ARI)/Pneumonia, STIs, Malnutrition eye infection, skin disease, oral thrush, candidacies, scabies, small pox, boil, and headache.
- Donors: Since the inception, the project the project is quarterly funded by the Project Board in Germany.
- Project Management Team: The Project is strategically managed by the Project Management Committee and the National Council of YMCA Sierra Leone.
- Staffing: The Driving YMCA Doctor mobile Medical team comprises a Project Coordinator, 1 Community Health Officer, and 2 MCH Aid Nurses, 2 volunteer and 2 Drivers. The volunteers provide auxiliary support to the medical team. Emergency ill health cases are handled by the District Health Medical Team (DHMT) which is under the supervision of the resident District Medical Officers (DMO) of Moyamba and Bo district.
- Project activities: Project activities include:
- Treatment and dispensation of patent drugs;
- Providing family planning /SRH products to lactating mothers and teenage mothers especially early school leavers;
- Circumcision of male children under five years;
- Providing Ready To Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF ) to malnourished Under five children;
- Educate beneficiaries on Sexual Reproductive Health issues, proper child care, exclusive breast feeding, environmental sanitation and post Ebola best practices;
- Responding to emergency health issues such as endemics and epidemics.
- Summary of key achievements thus far
- Across 7 beneficiary clusters (29 villages) the project has benefited 6,535 through treatment and drug dispensation since 2007;.
- The intervention of the Free Health Care project has led to a significant reduction in maternal death and infant mortality, low referral cases, safe delivery with very low complications, and reduction in malnutrition among 5 children;
- With support of building local materials, the project management team constructed 2 Service Delivery Centres in 2 clusters in Kori Chiefdom (1 in Kondebotihun; 1 in Mongewor);
- Two staff participated in fund raising activities for the Free Health Care project in Germany during 2014;
- In May 2015, the project team supplied assorted patent drugs to 2000 beneficiaries in Kori Chiefdom during outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease;
- During 2014 and 2015, the project team supported participated in break Ebola Chain of Transmission by providing hand wash buckets, gloves, soap, disinfectants and body thermometer to 7 operational clusters;
- During the last quarter in 2015, the project team concluded Needs Assessment Survey and registered 450 project beneficiaries for expansion of Free Health Care project to Maforki Chiefdom in Port Loko District.
- Key constraint: Among other constrains, there is always influx of non registered beneficiaries at the service delivery centres in Kori and Tikonko Chiefdom. This is posing huge a challenge of additional registration and treatment of more under five children and pregnant women.
- Next steps
Project Management Team to source more funds to meet health needs of vulnerable beneficiaries (pregnant women, lactating mothers and U 5 Children) in Kori, Tikonko and Maforki Chiefdoms.