Health and Capacity Building Initiatives/Supply of Refrigerated Centrifuge and Incubator for Premature Babies for Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC)

Skytomato Admin

BACKGROUND

Each year, thousands of Cambodian children continue to die from diarrheal diseases. MERCY Malaysia has been working with AHC since 2005 in setting up and supporting an ORT Corner to treat mild dehydration under the supervision of trained nursing staff. Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) is a simple, cheap and effective treatment for mild dehydration or diarrhea – it can prevent 90% of child deaths from diarrheal dehydration. Oral rehydration can be accomplished by frequently drinking the recommended amount of oral rehydration salt solution.

One of the most common reasons why children come to the hospital is fever, usually caused by an infection. In order to help diagnose what kind of infection and how severely unwell the child is, the doctors rely on vital services of the laboratory department – which initially lacked proper equipment like centrifuge.

MERCY MALAYSIA’S EFFORTS

The project, which began in June 2010, continues to treat children with mild dehydration or diarrhea with oral salt solution. In addition, families are also educated on the safe and appropriate method of using ORS at home. ORS sachets were distributed to families/parents of the children.

In order to help medical staff diagnose infections a centrifuge was donated to the hospital. Tests carried out through the centrifuge include complete blood cell count, liver function, renal function, urea, albumin as well as specific tests to identify causes of infection. AHC also admit quite a number of premature babies. As such, MERCY Malaysia supplied the hospital with an incubator to house premature babies until they are strong enough to survive in the outside environment.

MERCY Malaysia also employed two OPD Family Service Assistants, working under the direct supervision of the nursing manager. It is part of an effort to build the skills of Cambodians. Since their employment in June 2010, the OPD Service Assistants have been able to take on more responsibilities like assisting dentists in basic dental duties.

Emergency Response – Tropical Storm Washi (Sendong)

Donations Officer

BACKGROUND

Tropical Storm Washi, known locally as Sendong, swept across the Northern Mindanao region from 16 to 18 December 2011, bringing strong winds and heavy rains causing massive flooding, flash floods and landslides. The hardest-hit areas were in the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, where many houses were swept to sea. Most of the dead were swept away while they slept when floodwaters tore through their homes, following 12 hours of torrential rain. Many families were displaced in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Washi, with their land by the river banks, being declared nobuild zones.

MERCY MALAYSIA’S EFFORTS

On 6 January 2012, MERCY Malaysia deployed an assessment team to Cagayan De Oro, to get more information on the disaster, establish networks and contacts, plan for intervention and immediately respond to the current needs of the community. MERCY Malaysia in collaboration with the Department of Health and the Bureau of Fire Protection, identified eight evacuation centres in need of primary healthcare services. MERCY Malaysia deployed a total of four medical teams, over a period of six weeks to conduct weekly outreach clinics at each of the eight evacuation centres. The high price of medication for families who have lost assets and their livelihoods, coupled with high risk living conditions, meant it was vital for them to have access to free health services. MERCY Malaysia encountered individuals with many symptoms pointing to possible psychological issues caused by the disaster. In line with local health authority guidelines, on the management of the leptospirosis outbreak in evacuation centres, MERCY Malaysia provided doxycycline prophylaxis to prevent infection in high risk individuals due to the possibility of an outbreak of malaria.

Upgrading of Oral Health Centre

Skytomato Admin

BACKGROUND

Oral District is located in the northwest of Kampong Speu province. The district is scattered vastly into five communities and 69 villages with a total population of 20,217 people. Previously, the health centre only caters to outpatient treatments and due to the road conditions and distance,
referral of critical cases to bigger hospitals is usually costly and difficult. In early 2000, cases of malaria were rather common due to poor conditions of the health centre and lack of health awareness among members of the community.

MERCY MALAYSIA’S EFFORTS

MERCY Malaysia upgraded the facilities of the Oral HC which includes the installation of solar panel, construction of a new building for pre-delivery check-ups and installation of drainage system among other things. MERCY Malaysia also donated an ambulance for critical cases that need to be referred to a medical centre like the Provincial Hospital in Kampong Speu or the General Hospital in Phnom Penh.

Monthly OP in 26 of the 69 villages in the Oral District was conducted for villagers to be aware of better hygiene practices and common health issues. These programmes, conducted with the cooperation of the Provincial Health Department of the Oral District and the HC staff, covered topics such as malaria, birth preparedness, general hygiene and breastfeeding as well as complimentary feeding.

MERCY Malaysia also handed over three batches of drugs (on top of the two which was handed over in 2010) and some medical equipment which includes patient beds, weighing scale, centrifuge and other relevant equipment. Awareness Raising Programme for Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) was also held covering topics such as birth spacing, post-natal care, vaccination, etc. The programme was attended by 225 TBAs who in turn trained a total of 2, 640 women in the surrounding areas.

WASH Initiatives for Flood Affected Communities in Sindh, Pakistan

Donations Officer

BACKGROUND

The period between June to September is Pakistan’s southwest monsoon season. Half of the annual rainfall is concentrated in July and August, caused by the 2010 and 2011 floods. The 2011 Sindh flood affected a total of 9.27 million people and had reported 520 deaths. The flood hit a total of 14,091 km² of Sindh, with some areas submerged for months. The slow recovery due to the lack of gradient in Sindh’s landscape and poor irrigation; further delayed help to the affected population-sufferring issues of poor health and sanitation, lack of clean water access, mobility, food, shelter and less income.

MERCY MALAYSIA’S EFFORTS

MERCY Malaysia reached out to three districts in Sindh; namely Badin, Mirpukhas and Umerkot. Our assessment showed that the main issue is the severe lack of safe water sources and the lack of amenities for collecting and storing water. The WASH Project consists of the construction of proper sanitation, clean water access and hygiene awareness campaigns for the villagers of those districts. Over 70 permanent latrines with double septic tanks were built in 7 villages by each targeted family, agreed standards following by community training on hygiene and maintenance. The concrete structures are built to last through floods and post flood climates. MERCY Malaysia addressed the communities’ need for a safe water source with the provision of 10 hand pumps which were installed with greater depths for cleaner underground water and using 2 membrane filtration systems in 7 villages. This water project will ensure at least 4,000 people from the targeted area will have clean water access, even during flood seasons and further reducing risks of water-related diseases. In addition, health education sessions were conducted where MERCY Malaysia distributed 3,093 hygiene kits in 10 villages.

Health Initiatives for flood affected communities in Sindh, Pakistan

Donations Officer

BACKGROUND

Pakistan was hit by massive floods, consecutively in 2010 and 2011 due to torrential rains during the southwest monsoon. The 2011 Sindh flood affected a total of 9.27 million people with 520 reported deaths. The slow disaster recovery plagued the affected population with issues of poor health and sanitation, lack of clean water access, mobility, food and shelter and loss of income.

MERCY MALAYSIA’S EFFORTS

Health services were limited due to the unavailability of medical staff and medicines in the local health facilities with households simply unable to afford medical aid. Furthermore, those health facilities have sustained damages and contamination on their premises and equipment from the flooding. In response to the communities’ plight, MERCY Malaysia has set up two mobile clinics in the Mirpukhas district, which provide free consultations and primary health treatment to 250-300 patients daily, totalling 22,886 patients during the 3-month operation. The outreach programme benefited communities with accessibility issues due to poor road conditions and people with disabilities. Useful insights and data were shared with local health authorities for better monitoring of disease outbreaks. MERCY Malaysia successfully expanded the medical capacity of the Rural Health Centre (RHC), building a comprehensive 10-bed hospital with two gender-segregated consultation rooms and; other treatment and staff facilities. RHC provides health services for a population of 30,000, extending to Jhudo, Sindh, Pakistan. There are 25 staff who attend to 150-200 patients each day and 8 to 10 new birth each month. Renovated staff quarters allows ‘stay-in’ doctors to provide 24-hour services and by working shifts. RHC provides nutritional feeding (CMAM) for mild malnutrition cases. Various free treatments and immunisations are offered, to address the affected community’s financial limitations to their healthcare needs.

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