By: Fatou Sow & Brendan Csaposs
On July 24th, 2021, FOHSEN ambassadors from around the world had the opportunity to meet with local government officials and healthcare workers to discuss the maternal and pediatric needs of the Nganda community. While on the ground, our team confirmed Nganda’s urgent need for better and more accessible maternal care.
Ambassadors spoke with midwives, nurses, and doctors about the extreme conditions that expectant mothers face. “We have had to care for 60 pregnant mothers at the same time with only two of us here,” shared one local nurse.
To close this healthcare gap, FOHSEN will have to put boots on the ground and collaborate with local leaders. The Chief of the Mayoral Staff, Pape Cisse, expressed this exact sentiment when he gave a speech at the July 24th FOHSEN meeting. “We are ready to roll our sleeves and work– both men and women,” stated Mr. Cisse. “By Including key actors such as ambassadors,volunteers and community members, we can ensure that this work is not only for the community, but by the community.”
The local Women’s Association President, Gueye Cisse, also expressed the need for local involvement. “The women of Nganda need to get behind this initiative.” said Ms. Cisse. “We all put money in other places, but there’s no place more important to put money than here.”
Answering the call for action, FOHSEN is putting in motion one of its biggest projects yet: Building a modern maternity clinic at the center of Nganda’s. With paved roads finally put in place, the Nganda clinic will be able to serve the villages of Mina, Kaifara,and Medina in addition to local Ngandians.
The current building that serves as a clinic is not only limited in space but it also lacks major equipment needed to provide prenatal care. “It is challenging to assist the needs of women before and during birth because of a lack of updated machines and equipment,” said a nurse who gave the FOHSEN ambassadors a tour of their current facility. “There are no amenities for bloodwork, nor is there any air conditioning or climate control, which can be challenging depending on the weather conditions.”
FOHSEN’s maternity clinic will be built at the center of Nganda. During the Ambassadors visit to the building site, community members expressed their excitement for the new clinic. “I am so happy,” a local woman stated. “I can’t put into words what this means to me and even my kids who will eventually have kids in this clinic.”
The FOHSEN Ambassadors will support the new Nganda clinic in a variety of ways. FOHSEN will raise funds to support the building, keep donors and allies engaged through social media outreach, and continue to empower community members with educational programming on diabetes, hypertension, and common comorbidities. Keeping the momentum going from the July 24th meeting, FOHSEN is confident that the determination of the Nganda community and our team will help make this maternity clinic a reality!
You can help us build Nganda’s new clinic brick-by-brick! Donate to our Bricks Campaign here.