In 2019, the Polish Medical Mission is implementing the project "Healthy and local" - combating and preventing malnutrition in children under 5, pregnant and lactating women" in Thiaroye, Dakar in Senegal.
This is yet another initiative of PMM in this region, financed from the "Polish aid" development program of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The amount of the subsidy obtained in the amount of PLN 349 160 will allow to carry out the following activities:
1. Expansion of the feeding centre in Thiaroye, Dakar, consisting in the demolition of one wall and the addition of the 1st floor. The first floor will be built on a raised platform made of concrete pillars. As a result of the construction, the area of the centre will be increased by 100 m2, which will increase seating capacity for local beneficiaries of training activities. Currently, around 200 women, usually with children, cannot sit down comfortably to attend educational meetings and culinary demonstrations.
2. Preparation and implementation of the course on the detection of malnutrition is a response to the need for professional improvement reported by project partners implemented by PMM in Senegal. According to partners, employees of the St. Laurent, sometimes examining around 100 children a day, often cannot distinguish between severe malnutrition and severe acute malnutrition and diagnosed with malnutrition. The training will be conducted by a specialist from a state centre delegated from the sanitary district.
According to the new strategy, each of these conditions requires different therapeutic procedures, which is why a well-performed diagnostic process is so important. A partner in the ANPSCS project expressed interest in extending this training to 10 other centers, i.e. Derklé, Diamaguene, Guédiawaye, Pikine, Saint Laurent, Saint Martin, Yeumbeul, Thiadiaye, Ndiaganiao, Poponguine, in the region of Dakar and Thies.
3. Training in the prevention of malnutrition, conducted by ENDA SANTE is addressed to trainers, groups dealing in feeding in state and private centers, women group leaders. The aim of the training is to change the habits of women preparing meals, especially for children, in the selection of products, processing time, storage and composition of meals. Changing habits supports the process of recovering children from severe malnutrition and helps to avoid undernourishment of children at risk.
The training is adapted to the problems, needs and conditions prevailing in the area, especially when it comes to the availability of local products. Other recipes are used in the north of the country, in the south and others in the suburbs of the capital. An important element of the training is the point on "social marketing" which will be used in subsequent social campaigns conducted by trained trainers.
The consequence of this action will be social training aimed at multiplying the effect in the form of transfer of acquired knowledge by the leader. In each of the centers, 2 leaders will conduct awareness raising activities twice a month in the form of educational meetings for a minimum of 2 households.
The overall objective of the PMM actions in Senegal was to reduce the morbidity and mortality rates among pregnant women and children up to the age of five. Our actions involved multifaceted efforts and were focussed around improving the quality of prophylaxis and diagnostics of the most common complications during pregnancy in 3 regions of the country (Dakar, Diourbel, Thies).
As a result of the accomplishment of the project, the St. Laurent multi-specialist heath care centre in Dakar, run by the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Mary, was renovated.
Also, two new ultrasound machines for gynaecological examinations were purchased from local distributors, and their quality is comparable with that of the equipment used in gynaecological surgeries in Poland. The machines are already functioning in the renovated St. Laurent outpatient clinic and in Ngohe (Diourbel).
The third result of the project was the provision of training to 55 female students in the second and third years at the St. Martin Midwifery School; this was a two-week training conducted by a gynaecologist from Poland.
The second training module was provided to 2 nurses who gained basic skills in handling ultrasound equipment in the course of a 3-month training organised by the local CEFOREP institute (Regional Centre for Training and Research in Reproductive Health). At present, these nurses are working on the two machines that were presented to the centres in Dakar and Ngohe (Diourbel region west of Dakar), which makes it possible to perform ca. 80 ultrasound scans weekly at both places. Thanks to our actions, patients can have their scans made at the place of prenatal consultations, which enables them to avoid the cost of travel to the reference centre for the examinations.
The ultrasound trainings were supplemented with a 3-day training module conducted at 3 partner healthcare centres (9 days altogether) by a nurse and a paramedic. The trainings concerned prenatal examinations and treatment of emergencies in pregnant women and neonates. Altogether, the trainings were attended by 37 people.
The Senegal project in numbers:
Subsidy: Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PLN 361,680.00
Own resources: PLN 48,800.00
Equipment, purchased and handed over to 3 healthcare centres in Dakar, Diourbel and Thies: 2 Sonoscape ultrasound machines (stationary and portable), laboratory equipment, small medical devices: blood pressure gauges, disposable speculums for gynaecological examinations.
Renovation: waiting room and other units and the roof at the St. Laurent multi-specialist heath care centre, Dakar.
Introductory trainings on gynaecological ultrasound: 55 students in the final year and graduates of the St. Martin Midwifery School in Dakar.
2 nurses trained in the scope of gynaecological ultrasound reading during a 3-month course at a training institution in Senegal.
37 people of junior medical staff from 3 healthcare centres (Dakar, Diourbel, Thies) were trained in the scope of emergencies in pregnancy.