In the past decade, non-profit medical relief teams have become self-aware. They no longer make annual missions that simply offer health screenings, limited medications and referrals. As volunteers work hand-in-hand with local hospitals, community leaders, and families it has become apparent that communities need more than an annual visitation. They are hungry for the education, equipment, medication and continued advancement necessary to build abundant infrastructures for themselves. Overtime, these relief teams work with community leaders to help develop culturally conscious public health, medical, economical and educational programs.
Hope without Borders (http://hwb-intl.org/) has developed from this type of self-awareness. A non-profit organization that focuses “on global, regional & local community relief & development impact & outreach.” Each year students from Concordia University, Wisconsin School of Nursing join the Hope without Borders team that travels to Kenya and Tanzania. The main healthcare goal of the team is to provide training to local healthcare providers and provide access to medical care in areas where there is either limited or no access to care. There first day of clinic was an incredible experience.
“Not everyday do you see gazelle on your walk to a medical camp. We made it to the camp, setup two more smaller tents for shade for our pharmacy and waiting area. We setup 5 medical stations to see patients. We were blessed with beautiful weather during the day. We were there until sunset, literally using the light on a cellphone to see every last patient!” – Melodie Prager, Concordia University SON student
Hope without Borders focuses on equipping local community health workers with equipment and updated training. John Masua, a Clinic Officer in Nairobi, works directly with Julie Parve, Director of the Concordia team training to better help the people of his community. John’s home is his clinic, and people from all over come to him for aid.
“Hi my name is John, a Clinic Officer in Kenya. Previously, I worked for the national government and now I’m with the County Government. A clinical officer is junior to the doctor and sees both adults and children. Those cases that are complicated s/he refers for higher management.
I bought a parcel of land two years ago and built a house. When neighbors heard I worked at a government facility they would bring sick people to me once in a while. I decided to stock drugs for fever and cough and before long I was forced to buy rapid diagnostic kits to check for malaria; which is common here.
My best experience is managing a patient with a chronic wound that took 3 weeks to heal. Patient flow is irregular, often steady after rains with pneumonia. I intend to start a medium sized clinic in a few years.” – John Masua
In addition to their medical relief and educational efforts, HWB works to improve community health issues through The Red Elephant Project. This initiative provides women’s health education along with reusable pads and other necessities. These kits help women to continue going to work or school during their menstrual cycle.
“We traveled into Mukuru, a slum we recent found out that is one of the largest slums in the world. As a team, we taught to the high school ages girls The Red Elephant project. More than 100 girls, as well as 15 teachers were grateful for these donations. Without this project, many of these women are not able to afford pads and then consequently not able to attend school/work.” – Beth Aschliman, Concordia University SON student
Water purification is a sustainable practice that Hope Without Borders coordinates with community leaders to help implement in communities. “Today we journeyed out to the slum of Haruma, to the Ark School. We taught the teachers about water purification, basic first aid skills, and hand hygiene. Each teacher was able to assemble a water purifier and take it home to their families.” – Nikki Jumbeck, Concordia University SON student
Dr. Julie Parve, Associate Professor Graduate Nursing at Concordia and Hope Without Borders team leader, focuses on the next generation of medical personnel. Working with staff in the Nursing Program at Daystar University in Athi River, Kenya, she trains Kenyan nursing students in clinical skills. This past mission she traveled with MDF Instruments stethoscopes and blood pressure monitors to gift to each of the nursing students studying under her. With many of the students sharing one stethoscope amongst them for their studies, this updated personal equipment will allow them even more success in their careers. “Thank you MDF Instruments and Crafting Wellness for the medical supplies. They are quality instruments and I am proud to be able to give them to healthcare providers in Kenya that need them.” – Julie Parve
It’s amazing to see big hearted medical professionals and students accomplish long-lasting affects when working side-by-side with community leaders. We are grateful to Hope Without Borders for their tireless efforts to empower communities through partnership and sustainable models of public health, medical, and economical relief.
Learn more about Hope Without Borders and how you can get involved here: http://hwb-intl.org/