Mpower!…A Health Education Programme in Mundri
How did it all start?
Mpower! is a collaborative project of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations-The Netherlands (IFMSA-The Netherlands) and the Mundri Relief and Development Association (MRDA).
Figure1: an MPower! workshop
Mpower! is a ‘training of trainers’ project organized by Dutch medical students in close association with South Sudanese peers.
From June-December 2007 the students and peers worked really hard to create a health education programme that deals with matters like health, sexuality, hygiene, sanitation, HIV/AIDS, safety, human rights and nutrition.
The results are stunning. A group of 40 local trainers are trained to give workshops in three different topics. For each of these topics a manual was developed. The 3 topics are:
- Sexual and Reproductive Health
- Hygiene and Sanitation
You can view the manuals online at www.roelkw.com/mpower/manuals/
How did it continue?
During the workshops we noticed there was a need for a focus on children . Mothers asked many questions about child health care. "How can I take care of my child?", "How can I see when my child is sick?", "How can I love my child?". In response to this need a second project was developed in 2008 with a special focus on children. Below you can find the outline of the renewed project.
Figure 2: Julius, one of the trainees holding a child
Mundri Under 5 Clinic
This clinic will become the heart of the project - see below.
Workshops are given in the three topics of Mpower! listed above. The difference to last year is the special focus on children. A group of 9 trainers are being specially trained to give these workshops.
Subjects for the workshops are:
- Nutrition à focus on children, pregnant women and a balanced diet
- Sexual health and human rights à focus on family planning, STD’s, HIV/AIDS and human rights
- Hygiene and Sanitation à focus on general hygiene and personal hygiene of mother and child.
The trainers will be visiting homes in order to reach people who live far outside the community. During these visits the trainers will discuss the importance of hygiene, sanitation and a good nutrition, and deal with family health issues. They will fill in checklists on sexual and reproductive health, and child health care. This will give the Mpower! crew the chance to get insights into the knowledge of the community. This is not only important for the people of Mundri, but also for our founders in The Netherlands and future funders.
Vaccination and Prevention Programme
This is final part of the project and is indispensable to secure the health of young children. We are investigating with different NGOs and funders the possibilities to implement routine vaccinations for all children in Mundri. Already two people involved in the project are capable of giving vaccinations. The biggest difficulties will be power failures and a reliable supply of vaccines.
Happily Ever After?
We started implementing Mpower! in June 2007 so it is still a young project. For the moment everything is going very well and there is enough money to continue it for some time. But for this project to be successful in the future, more money will be needed. We are now busy writing to potential funders in the hope that there will be sufficient money for Mpower! to continue as a successful project for many years to come!
Trainees were: Julius Bidal Morobu, Atim Hassen German, Rebecca Ezibon Tona, Benjamin Bishop Wisely, Stephen Sabah Wisely, Venson July Kenneth, Charity Edward, Cecilia Amjuma Bona, Sebit Manza Faki, Helida Saluwa Abel, Isaac Opi Repent, Michael Abdallah Paul, Elizabeth Silvano Faki, Jackson Monday Mbari, Viviana Kiden Apollo, Stephen Simas Simon