initiatives

Here you will find some information on the projects and ongoing activities that we are running.  The two main projects are the Community Health Clinic and the Nursery School but other projects also make a real difference to the lives of the people of Wellingara.

gambia health clinicThe Wellingara Health Clinic

The Health clinic is a special project that is very important to Meg Lyon.  As a retired nurse she was able to see the strong need for health care facilities in the community, particularly after one of the women in the adult literacy classes died in childbirth. Now, four years after it was originally conceived and three years since the first cement block was laid, the building was completed. This is a testament to the hard work of the architect, local builders, volunteer labourers and generous support of many friends in the UK and Holland, not forgetting the fund raising efforts of the 1to3 Trustees.

The clinic consists of an outpatient centre, ante- and post-natal care, labour room, pharmacy, shower and toilet facilities.  A gardener at one of the tourist hotels is growing shrubs to plant around the perimeter of the site.

gambia health clinicWe hope to build a house on site for a doctor eventually so that the clinic can cater for in-patients too but at first, there will just be two experienced male nurses to run a one-day-a-week clinic.  The nurses have told us to expect that patients will come from well beyond Wellingara itself as a new clinic is always perceived to be’ better’ than anything currently available.

The nurses were impressed when they first saw the facilities: a borehole for regular clean water supply; both solar and main electric power and is tiled throughout for easy cleaning.  We are sure that even this provision will not be enough to cater for all the local health needs but it is a great step forward in the care of the community.

One of the nurses is any eye specialist and he is carrying out class-by-class survey of all the children at the nursery school, checking for trachoma and other eye diseases.  The families of infected children will also be screened to prevent re-infection.  

FUNDS ARE NEEDED FOR EYE MEDICATION.

Click here to donate to the health clinic

Malaria and Mosquito Nets

Malaria kills 1500 children annually in the Gambia and it indirectly contributes to the death of hundreds more.  It may also result in some physical and mental disabilities (sometimes permanent) to children under five as well as the adult population.  About 85% of cases reported at health facilities are children under five years, followed by ante-natal patients (about 12%).

Malaria is both treatable and preventable but taking steps in the latter will greatly save lives and resources.  Minimising the spread of malaria involves two main measures:

  1. Environmental measures to control mosquito breeding; keeping the compound clean and free from stagnant water
  2. Measures to protect against mosquito bites – use of bed nets

 

The cheapest, safest, most environmentally friendly and effective way to protect against bites and infection is the use of bed nets. With many other calls on their income many families cannot afford to buy nets.  We are running a campaign to fund nets for the children and their families, as malaria is the greatest health thereat in the region to young children.  Each double net costs £5.50 and can protect up to four children.  Every donation helps and contributions are most gratefully received.

Every donation helps, and any contributions are gratefully received. Click here to donate for mosquito nets.

Adult Literacy Classes

In November 2001 Meg and Marj (an retired adult literacy tutor) met with representatives of three local women’s groups to discuss the possibility of introducing literacy classes.  This was received with great enthusiasm and after funding training for three teachers, classes began in February 2002 with 98 students!  Many of the women attending had never been to school and were unable even to read numbers, let alone letters.  The tuition is conducted in three local languages – Mandinka, Wolof and Pulaar (Fula). The classes, which take place in the late afternoon, have been very successful and are now part of the everyday life at the school. Only one man has ever attended the classes! Further training is required to extend the skills of the tutors and thereby, the students. Any contributions are gratefully received. Click here to donate for adult literacy classes.

Red Cross

The Red Cross Wellingara Home Link has a small office alongside the clinic.  Young people from the community are trained First Aiders who can treat minor injuries; indeed they are doing so already. In 2007 they were called into action when several compounds in the nearby villages of Sinchu Baliya and Nemakuku were flooded during the rainy season.  Since then they have received further flood disaster response training.

They give voluntary home care to sick people in the community; carry out cleansing operations around the clinic area, market and dump sites.

Click here to donate to Red Cross Wellingara Home Link

 



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