Monday, August 9, 2010

Nets are in the communities at Ghana site!

Happy kids with nets.

Meeting the local health officials before the net distribution.

Crowds waiting for nets at Adwenso.

Calling household names at Afuafie.

Assembly line to prepare nets for households.

Supply pack included with each net: strings, hooks, nails, and care instructions.
Going home with baby and nets.

Managing the distribution table in Dzamam.

Going home...

After two action-packed days, nearly 2000 nets have been distributed for free to communities in Dzamam sub-district. Five separate distributions were supported by the community health volunteers, the local health clinic, KLO Drivers’ Alliance, and the TAMTAM team. The tro-tro van which carried our 2,000 nets and team members traveled many kilometers over challenging terrain to reach the communities. The distributions occurred at central community hubs: a health clinic, two churches, and two schools. Each distribution began with a malaria message to the gathered community by Mr. Sackitey Offei, the leader of KLO. The message covered basic malaria prevention information and proper care (mild soap, no sun exposure, minimal washing) and use of the mosquito nets including a hang-up demonstration. Following the message, household heads were called by name from the pre-registration list and given the mosquito nets allocated to their household. TAMTAM’s mosquito nets, WHO-certified Permanets manufactured by Vestergaard-Frandsen, were prepared by opening the package and cutting a hole in the tag to mark TAMTAM nets. Hooks, strings, and an instructional cartoon were included in the distributed packs. Nets were opened to ensure they could not be sold and so that households were know to use the nets immediately instead of saving them for the future. It was quite an assembly line with all hands on deck to assemble thousands of nets for distribution.

At the end of the distributions, we were satisfied to know that six communities, or 3,700 people in 585 households were protected by TAMTAM mosquito nets. It was especially rewarding to see mothers and small children and pregnant women taking home nets. Thank you to KLO Drivers Alliance for their preparation and facilitation of the entire project. The staff members of the Dzamam health clinic (Barbara, Wahab, Eudia, and Abigail) have been very helpful- from shuttling us to distant villages on their Ghana Health Service motor bikes, coordinating collection of data from volunteers, and storing our supplies. They are all nurses and technicians assigned to this rural site, far from their homes and where they must learn the new language of Krobo. Once again, we have been inspired by local partners and found their participation critical to the success of our work.

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