Health and Dignity for Mothers and Children – Health Station FAI Senegal

The project “Expansion of the Médina Chérif Health Station” (Kolda community in Senegal) serves to support several broadly defined health programs.

The health station’s purpose is to serve the rural community of Médina Chérif and to help lower mother and child mortality, to prevent infectious diseases and to generally improve the very important access to health care for its citizens.

Up until now, the community’s medical set up – with its very minimal resources – was unable to adequately accommodate pregnant women. The result was a high mother-infant mortality rate. Since the construction of the health station, the medical treatment available has greatly improved and the number of patients in the FAI maternity ward has increased by 1,670 women.

In January 2021, a new midwife center was built, and a wall around the entire station was erected. The maternity ward was completely renovated, more and newer equipment was acquired, a new solar power source was installed, and several different courses were organized for the medical personnel.

Midwife Center and Station Wall

With the midwife center, medical personnel are now present at the station in the evenings and a night service is available. Because the station was not always considered safe due to a missing security wall, many pregnant women were forced to seek treatment in maternity wards that were far away.

Through the project activities, the building of the midwife center and the station wall, the medical treatment offered has been significantly improved, the dignity and the security of mother and children is assured – day and night – and the number of women being treated continues to rise.

The health station was significantly improved by the building of the midwife center and the security wall.

Maternity Ward Renovation

The maternity station was in dire need of renovations to be able to offer pregnant women optimal care. The renovations and expansions included:
– Handicap ramp installation
– Delivery room enhancements
– Complete renovations of toilets and plumbing system
– Painting work
– Solar power sources

In addition, a family room was opened to offer the necessary privacy during consultations.

Replacement and Additions to Health Station Equipment

– Hospital beds and mattresses
– Infusion IV poles
– Furniture
– Wheelchairs
– Flashlights
– Collection and disposal containers
– Wall partitions
– Materials to stop bleeding
– Heatable table
– Supplies such as baby scales, stepladders, delivery boxes, step buckets, needle holders, syringes, stethoscopes, rectangular tablets…

Solar Power Unit
For the health station and the midwife accommodations a water supply system was installed, and electricity was secured using solar power units. The new electrical system made evening deliveries easier as well as helped with the monitoring of newborns and the cooling of medicine and vaccines.

Courses / Workshops
Through workshops and courses, the health station team became more familiar with their tasks, responsibilities, management roles and finances as well as with the maintenance needs of the station and the usage of the new equipment.

Prospects und Covid-19 Changes
The project begin was delayed due to the second wave of Covid-19. During this second wave, increasingly restrictive measures were put into the place to limit the spread of the virus. The FAI Health Station became the Covid-19 vaccination center for the people of Médina Chérif.

Goals Achieved and Impact
The implementation of this project contributed to the human dignity of women, pregnant women in particular, being more respected as well as the improvement of the working conditions of the health personnel and the health care volunteers of the community.

This project made several very important contributions including reducing dangerous home births, offering prenatal support and being proactive in the case of medical complications.

Family planning activities with women and girls increased from 226 to 475 participants form June 2020 to June 2021.

Through the implementation of this project, problems related to the health of women and children were addressed in a more participatory way.

The burden of the long distances to other health stations (Mampatim, Anambé und Diaobé)
that women and girls previously faced as well as the lack of access to life saving medicine
were eliminated by this project.

This project contributes to achieving the important goal of sustainable development Nr. 3 (SDG 3) Good Health and Well Being.

Perspectives
The health station has been registered with the health officials of Kolda and establishes a sustainable, long-term presence while offering qualitatively high health care under the oversight of the Kolda health officials.

Furthermore, the health station also secures the expansion of the capacities of community health care volunteers. This allows all six established health station in the Medina Chérif community to remain open and functioning.