Written by Deb Solomon, Nurses in Action Volunteer
In March 2018, our team of six nurses travelled to remote western Kenya. Headed up by our intrepid leader Jamie-Lee, we battled mud, heat, Piki pikis, crowded Matatus and cappuccino shortages, to assist the beautiful people around Odede village & we loved it.
Our home base was the wonderful Mama Ann’s Health Centre. We were given the opportunity to help in the antenatal clinics, child health clinics, ward rounds and assist with child birth. We personally learnt so much but also ran fun, interactive education sessions with the Kenyan staff.
A fun filled day was when we treated 200 locals at a drop-in medical camp we helped set up on the banks of Lake Victoria. There were also placements in neighbouring hospitals and clinics. A highlight was the community visits, where we went mud hut to mud hut, helping people with their specific health issues. Ignoring the dogs, chickens and occasional goat that might wander through the door, we tested for malaria, put in eye drops, gave out pain meds, attended to wounds, referred people to the hospital and treated lots of smiling children with ringworm.
230 high school students at a local high school also got the chance to demystify sex, sexual diseases and HIV as we discussed with them how to take control of their own bodies. Powerful stuff. On the day, we provided the girls with ‘Days for Girls Kits’, something that they were extremely grateful. We made a huge impact on the day and their smiles will forever be remembered.
The village children were always ready to play and laugh with us….and to pose for eye-catching photos. Speaking of eyes, we were privileged to be around when the Fred Hollows team assessed and treated hundreds of locals with their life-changing surgery. Such Inspiring people!
Thanks Odede community for so enthusiastically embracing our team for a month. For being our home away from home.
Thanks team (Jamie, Chantelle, Bianca, Sarah, Leslie, Diana, Deb), for being such a great bunch of people to hang out and laugh with, to learn from, to eat chocolate and watch movies with. Thanks for the privilege of sharing your lives. I know for a number of us, our time with WYI has been a springboard to life’s new personal and professional adventures.