Real Medicine Foundation Stories of RMF Involvement Around the World http://realmedicinefoundation.org/blog/ 2017-09-20T16:18:08-07:00 Serbia: One Refugee’s Story http://realmedicinefoundation.org/blog/archives/2017/09/18/serbia-one-refugees-story/ 2017-09-18T15:56:00-07:00 2017-09-18T15:00:00-07:00 [ Read more...]]]> <h5>Background</h5> <p>According to the latest available data, the overall number of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in Serbia is estimated to be around 7,600. Most of them are sheltered in 18 heated government facilities. Many are children (47%) and women (16%), with 37% being adult males.</p> <blockquote> <p><span class="caps">RMF</span> Serbia has recognized and anticipated that border closures across Europe will increase the number of refugees who will require medical help and psychosocial support, and we commenced this work in early March 2016. Since then, <span class="caps">RMF</span> Serbia has examined and helped over 14,000 refugees, escorting them to secondary and tertiary care facilities and providing necessary treatment and health care in the field.</p> </blockquote> The majority of refugees and migrants are arriving in very poor medical condition from long periods of walking, and some of them are being beaten by the Hungarian, Croatian, and Bulgarian police on the borders. A number of those cases require multiple hospital visits, overnight stays, and ongoing monitoring. <strong><span class="caps">RMF</span> Serbia’s work is focused on providing referral services to secondary and tertiary care and advocating for refugee patient rights, but also in resolving medical problems at RMF’s mobile medical clinic in the Obrenovac refugee camp (30 km from Belgrade) that don&#8217;t involve hospital visits.</strong> <span class="caps">RMF</span> Serbia continues to identify and provide emergency triage to extremely vulnerable individuals in the field. <p><br /></p> <h5>Nick M. Khan<br /> <br /></h5> <p><img src="/assets/59c049a623f8123dd008ab5d/IMAG2646.jpeg" style="width:2880px;"><br /> <br /></p> <p><strong>Nick was born 28 years ago in Jalalabad,</strong> in eastern Afghanistan, a city located 150 km (95 miles) from Kabul, the capital city. His birthplace is a significant center of Pashtun culture, which is considered to be an important part of the identity of Afghanistan. Nick used to be a farmer back in his country. <strong>He fled from Afghanistan 17 months ago due to political turmoil, leaving his wife and three children.</strong> Before reaching Serbia, he traveled through Iran, Turkey, and Bulgaria. He has been residing in Serbia for 9 months, together with many his compatriots, who have been trying to cross borders into surrounding EU countries.</p> <p><img src="/assets/59c049a723f8123ddc015016/IMAG2647.jpeg" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p>At the end of April 2017, Nick was playing cricket, a very popular sport in Afghanistan, with his friends in the Belgrade city center. While playing cricket, Nick had fallen on the ground, breaking his right radial bone and suffering a contusion in the elbow area. He was taken to the emergency department and his right arm was immobilized and a gypsum plaster cast was applied. In the following days, Nick felt a strong pain in the area of fracture. His right arm was getting swollen, and the plaster was removed. <strong>His condition was deteriorating, and he was taken by RMF’s medical outreach teams to the hospitals on multiple occasions for consultations with an orthopedic surgeon.</strong> No doubt, the infection has developed and was progressing fast.</p> <p><strong><span class="caps">RMF</span> insisted on decisive and a quick response.</strong> Oral antibiotic therapy was started, and daily dressing of the arm was performed. Nevertheless, Nick was feeling dizzy (his blood pressure was low), he was breathing heavily, he had a spiking fever, and <span class="caps">RMF</span> medical officers diagnosed him with septic shock. He was immediately taken to the hospital by RMF’s medical outreach team and was admitted to the Clinic for Orthopedics at the Clinical Center of Serbia, Department of Sepsis. Nick’s final diagnosis was necrotizing fasciitis, commonly known as flesh-eating disease. He stayed in the hospital for month and a half, where he underwent two surgeries in order to remove dead tissue. He barely avoided amputation of the right arm and is now recovering well.</p> <p><img src="/assets/59c049a323f8123dd008ab5a/IMG_20170817_WA0006.jpeg" style="width:2880px;"><br /> <br /></p> <p>Since being discharged from the hospital, Nick regularly comes to RMF’s mobile medical clinic in Obrenovac for further treatment and rehabilitation of his arm; he still needs to regain motor function of the arm. <strong>Thanks to Nick’s strength and <span class="caps">RMF</span> Serbia’s team effort, his right arm and life were saved.</strong></p> Dr. Jovana Milic info@realmedicinefoundation.org Young Heart Patient Recovering from Successful Surgery, Uganda http://realmedicinefoundation.org/blog/archives/2017/08/24/young-heart-patient-recovering-from-successful-surgery-uganda/ 2017-08-25T06:18:27-07:00 2017-08-24T06:00:00-07:00 [ Read more...]]]> <p><img src="/assets/59a021114078086b3301d481/Patricia_after_heart_operation.JPG" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p><span class="caps">RMF</span> Uganda would like to thank you for all your kind support to our young heart patient, Patricia Biira. Today, August 24, 2017, she has been discharged from the Uganda Heart Institute after her successful surgery on Wednesday, August 16, 2017. <strong>The surgeons have assured us that Patricia is in a stable condition and she will gradually heal from the post-surgery pain. Patricia has started standing and walking on her own, and she can smile and laugh.</strong></p> <p><img src="/assets/59a021554078086b3f003d6a/Paticia_and_her_parents_at_RMF_office_Kampala.JPG" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p>Patricia was born with holes in her heart, which prevented her from growing and developing normally. Her mother is a housewife and her father is a primary school teacher. Before receiving help from Real Medicine Foundation, they sold everything they had, including a piece of land, to preserve Patricia’s life, but even that was not enough to pay for services at the Uganda Heart Institute. <strong>When <span class="caps">RMF</span> learned about Patricia’s situation in 2016, we agreed to cover expenses for her treatment at the Uganda Heart Institute. With treatment, Patricia has gradually improved, and thanks to RMF’s support, she underwent heart surgery on August 16, 2017 as a durable solution to her illness.</strong></p> <p><strong>Patricia’s parents are thankful to <span class="caps">RMF</span> beyond what words can express, and <span class="caps">RMF</span> is grateful to the Uganda Heart Institute for every special consideration they offered to our young patient. We also thank our donors, whose support made Patricia’s treatment and surgery possible.</strong></p> <p><img src="/assets/59a0218023f81207e201e10f/RMF_Team_with_patricia_and_parants_at_RMF_in_Kampala.JPG" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p>Patricia is now 3 years and 4 months old, and after recovering from the surgery, she will join school. <strong>It is our goal to support Patricia’s education so that she is empowered to contribute to the wellbeing of others when she grows up. Please contact <span class="caps">RMF</span> to donate towards Patricia’s education and medical check-ups, which still require funding.</strong> Patricia’s next check-up will be on September 21, 2017. We wish her a quick recovery.</p> Alphonse Mwanamwolho info@realmedicinefoundation.org Young Heart Patient to Receive Surgery, Uganda http://realmedicinefoundation.org/blog/archives/2017/08/14/young-heart-patient-to-receive-surgery-uganda/ 2017-08-17T11:40:48-07:00 2017-08-14T06:00:00-07:00 [ Read more...]]]> <p><img src="/assets/59959956407808649f024cb0/IMG_5677.JPG" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p><br /></p> <p><strong>Patricia Biira</strong> is a 3-year-old girl from the village of Kitholhu in the Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda. She was born with holes in her heart, which prevented her from growing and developing normally. <strong>Before receiving help from Real Medicine Foundation, Patricia’s parents struggled with her illness to the extent of selling their only piece of land, but even that was not enough to access treatment for their daughter at the Uganda Heart Institute.</strong> Patricia’s parents became depressed as they watched their child struggle. In 2016, they desperately requested RMF’s support, which was granted. Patricia was enrolled for care at the Uganda Heart Institute under the sponsorship of <span class="caps">RMF</span>. Since 2016, when she started receiving care, Patricia has been improving gradually. She has grown and begun to talk, walk, feed herself, and play with peers.</p> <p>Today, August 14, 2017, cardiologists at the Uganda Heart Institute have decided to operate on Patricia’s heart as a durable solution to her illness. <strong>Patricia has been admitted, and she will undergo surgery on Wednesday, August 16, 2017. <span class="caps">RMF</span> will cover the full cost of Patricia’s operation.</strong></p> <p>Please keep Patricia and her family in your thoughts as she undergoes surgery, and consider donating to support her treatment. We are thankful for your kind support!</p> <p><img src="/assets/5995995a23f81212b9025adb/IMG_5671.JPG" style="width:2880px;"></p> Alphonse Mwanamwolho info@realmedicinefoundation.org Case Study: Durga’s Smile http://realmedicinefoundation.org/blog/archives/2017/08/04/case-study-durgas-smile/ 2017-08-17T10:54:55-07:00 2017-08-04T07:00:00-07:00 [ Read more...]]]> <p><img src="/assets/5995d86723f81212b9027f41/DSC04096.JPG" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p><strong>Durga</strong> is a 9-month-old girl from the village of Sajwani, which is situated in the Barwani block of Barwani district, Madhya Pradesh. The population of Sajwani is 3,880 (per the 2011 census). Most people living in the village are of the Sirvi or Meghwal castes and the Bhil or Bhilala tribes.</p> <p><strong>Real Medicine Foundation is committed to eradicating malnutrition within the communities of Barwani block.</strong> Our local workers, called CNEs (Community Nutrition Educators), regularly visit villages, following a community need-based monthly route. While traveling her route, each <span class="caps">CNE</span> meets with community members to discuss health, hygiene practices, and nutrition, as well as participating in community meetings to raise awareness of health issues in the village. She also meets with an Anganwadi worker at the Anganwadi center, and together they visit village families who have a malnourished child, screening the child using <span class="caps">MUAC</span> (mid-upper arm circumference) tape. With an illustrated <span class="caps">IYCF</span> (infant and young child feeding) flip book, CNEs also counsel the families about malnutrition, immunization, how to prepare nutritious foods, how to access services at Nutrition Rehabilitation Centers and the Anganwadi center, and more.</p> <p>During her visit to the village of Sajwani on September 19, 2016, <span class="caps">RMF</span> <span class="caps">CNE</span> Salita Dawar met 9-month-old Durga and found that she was weak, with a <span class="caps">MUAC</span> measurement of 11.02 cm. <strong>This showed that Durga had severe acute malnutrition (<span class="caps">SAM</span>).</strong> When <span class="caps">CNE</span> Salita asked Durga’s family about her medical history, Durga’s mother explained:</p> <blockquote> <p>I’m educated, but still I haven’t taken care of my child Durga. She was born in hospital and her weight was 2.5 kg at the time of birth, but she was not given exclusive breast fed at the birth time. An <span class="caps">ANM</span> suggested to me I started to feed her my milk. We lived in joint family and we need to obey the orders of elders in joint family. They not allowed us to feed complementary food to Durga after 6 months. They told if we feed after 6 months, Durga would be sick. They suggested start feeding after 9 months and we started feed her after 9 months.</p> </blockquote> <p><img src="/assets/5984825a40780822fb00d0df/DSC04145__1_.jpg" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p><strong>After hearing Durga’s background, <span class="caps">CNE</span> Salita understood the reasons why the young girl was suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (<span class="caps">SAM</span>). <span class="caps">CNE</span> Salita was then able to counsel Durga’s family about the causes, symptoms, and long-term effects of malnutrition, as well as the treatment of <span class="caps">SAM</span>.</strong> She recommended that Durga be taken to a Nutrition Rehabilitation Center, where she would be admitted for 15 to 21 days with her mother and receive a proper diet and treatment under the supervision of trained staff like doctors and feeding demonstrators. <span class="caps">CNE</span> Salita further explained that staff at the Nutrition Rehabilitation Center ensure timely follow-ups of a child’s health and feeding status, and if necessary, a doctor will refer the child to the hospital. Additionally, feeding demonstrators provide fresh food every 2 hours during the child’s stay; the child is fed 8 to 10 times a day. The Nutrition Rehabilitation Center even provides food for the mother and reimburses her Rs. 120 per day after four follow-up appointments have been completed for the child.</p> <p>Despite <span class="caps">CNE</span> Salita’s detailed explanation, the family still refused to admit Durga to the Nutrition Rehabilitation Center. <strong>Thus, <span class="caps">CNE</span> Salita decided to treat Durga at home. She advised Durga’s mother to feed the child nutritious foods four times a day and be sure to wash her hands and use clean utensils while feeding Durga.</strong> <span class="caps">CNE</span> Salita further explained, “You can give her food and fruits in small pieces, pulse, rice, bread. You also feed her supplementary nutrition packets provided by Anganwadi center. The government is providing two packets in a week to <span class="caps">SAM</span> children.” After their discussion, <span class="caps">CNE</span> Salita asked the mother to bring food for Durga and showed her how to feed the young child. Now Durga started to eat. Salita asked Durga’s mother to follow her instructions to make her daughter healthier, and she agreed.</p> <p><img src="/assets/5984825923f8122a9d00d05d/DSC06551__1_.jpg" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p>Salita continued her regular follow-ups with the family whenever she went to the village of Sajwani, and she counseled Durga’s mother about health, nutrition, and hygiene practices. On October 24, 2016, <span class="caps">CNE</span> Salita screened Durga again, and found that her <span class="caps">MUAC</span> had improved to 11.6 cm. Now Durga was in the category of <span class="caps">MAM</span> (moderate acute malnutrition); she had improved, but still had a long way to go. Salita continued her regular follow-ups and counseling of Durga’s mother, and the mother continued to follow Salita’s advice.</p> <p><strong>After three months of identification and regular follow-ups, Durga regained a normal weight and nutritional status. On December 23, 2016, her <span class="caps">MUAC</span> was at 13 cm. Durga’s mother thanked <span class="caps">CNE</span> Salita and asked to meet regularly with her when she visits the village of Sajwani. Now Durga is healthy, and she and her mother are happy.</strong></p> Rakesh Dhole info@realmedicinefoundation.org In Fields and Thickets http://realmedicinefoundation.org/blog/archives/2017/07/31/in-fields-and-thickets/ 2017-07-31T07:32:29-07:00 2017-07-31T07:00:00-07:00 [ Read more...]]]> <p><img src="/assets/593df7b1edb2f31efa393d25/uganda4_instastory.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><br/> <img src="/assets/593df4c1d4c96144e23914ea/1ferrying_refugees_to_the_camp_S.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Refugee families being transported from the border point of Goboro (Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, Zone 1). <span class="caps">UNHCR</span> uses its trucks to transport refugees to selected destinations after <span class="caps">RMF</span> has completed health screening services.</em><br /> <br/> <br/> <img src="/assets/593df736d4c96144e23915cc/_DSC1843_X3.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>A child sits at home after having breakfast (Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, Zone 1).</em><br /> <br/> <br/> <img src="/assets/593df4c3edb2f31f06043b7b/2the_way_poeple_live_X2.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Refugees are given plastic sheeting, which they use to construct shelters where they can reside with their families.</em> <br /> <br/> <br/> <img src="/assets/593df4c4a0b5dd209438c4a2/6IMG_2706_X2.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>A woman and her children sit amidst the plot of land given to them to start a life. The plastic sheeting elevated across the trees is the house in which they are expected to shelter until they get enough materials to set up something stronger.</em></p> <p><br/> <br/> <img src="/assets/593df737a0b5dd209438c655/_DSC3919_X3.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>A woman riding a bicycle carrying chickens bought at the market and sacks of potato leaves used to plant potatoes—a common crop for families (Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, Zone 4).</em></p> <p><br/> <br/> <img src="/assets/593df009edb2f31efa39350e/5distribution_area_X2.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>These are non-food items (NFIs) that are given to refugees at the distribution point before they are settled, at their plots provided by <span class="caps">OPM</span>. NFIs include a mat, basin, jerrycan, panga, cups, and plates, which are considered essential for each family.</em></p> <p><br/> <br/> <img src="/assets/593df738edb2f31f06043baa/_DSC2227_X3.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Women coming from the market after selling goods such as sweet bananas, chapatti, and other merchandise to generate income, for their households.</em></p> <p><br/> <br/> <img src="/assets/593df738d4c96144e23915ce/_DSC3478_X3.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Children leaning on a signpost for Twajiji Health Centre <span class="caps">III</span> after fetching water from a nearby water point.</em></p> <p><br/> <br/> <img src="/assets/593df4c1d4c96144eb044a7b/3treating_in_the_inpatient_S.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em><span class="caps">RMF</span> medical staff treating children at Bidibidi Reception Health Centre <span class="caps">III</span> in the children’s ward.</em></p> <p><br/> <br/> <img src="/assets/593df737edb2f31efa393d14/_DSC3908_X3.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>A girl cares for her baby brother by carrying him on her back. The siblings live with foster parents in a community of around 200 children who have lost both of their parents.</em></p> <p><br/> <br/> <img src="/assets/593df4c2edb2f31efa393ac4/4IMG_1735_X2.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em><span class="caps">RMF</span> staff and refugee community members work together to put up an <span class="caps">RMF</span> tent. This tent acts as an outreach point for refugees to access medical services (Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, Zone 4).</em></p> <p><br/> <br/> <img src="/assets/593df4c3d4c96144fa008d6d/7IMG_20161216_WA0009_X2.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em><span class="caps">RMF</span> midwives pose for a group photo at Iyete Health Centre <span class="caps">III</span> (Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, Zone 1).</em></p> <p><br/> <br/> <img src="/assets/593df4c5d4c961450600423a/8IMG_2278_X2.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Mothers sit on beds in the Bidibidi Reception Health Centre <span class="caps">III</span> maternity ward. After giving birth without complications, mothers are admitted for 24 hours to monitor their health and the health of their children.</em></p> <p><br/> <br/> <img src="/assets/593df4c5edb2f31efa393ac6/9IMG_2283_X2.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Mothers sit in a line as they wait for their children to be immunized (Iyete Health Centre <span class="caps">III</span>, Zone 1).</em></p> <p><br/> <br/> <img src="/assets/593df4c6edb2f31f06043b7d/10IMG_4098_X2.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Some of the many children who have lost both of their parents. These unaccompanied minors are waiting for transportation to Palorinya Refugee Settlement.</em></p> RMF info@realmedicinefoundation.org Empathy: A Core Value for RMF Staff http://realmedicinefoundation.org/blog/archives/2017/07/24/empathy-a-core-value-for-rmf-staff/ 2017-07-24T11:55:38-07:00 2017-07-24T11:55:00-07:00 [ Read more...]]]> <p><img src="/assets/5946d8d8edb2f31efa3e4e08/AlphonseQuote.jpg/path/to/img.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><br/> Alphonse Mwanamwolho is <span class="caps">RMF</span> Uganda’s Deputy Country Director. He is based in Kampala, and makes frequent visits to RMF’s projects in Kiryandongo, Tororo, and Buwate. He also makes the longer, more difficult trip to support and evaluate our team’s work in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement. Alphonse holds a BA in Social Sciences and several diplomas in areas such as Special Needs Education and Counseling. His guiding principle is “Respect + Love = Peace.”</p> <p>Alphonse has worked tirelessly to build and empower our team in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement. In order to accomplish this monumental task, <span class="caps">RMF</span> has interviewed, hired, and trained hundreds of people very quickly. We now have <strong>267 medical and support staff members</strong> working in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement. The work is strenuous, but they continue to persevere, knowing that <strong>the refugees are in desperate need</strong>. In an interview about his 4 years’ experience working with <span class="caps">RMF</span> to help refugees, Alphonse states,</p> <blockquote> <p>“I put myself in the shoes of the refugee… I&#8217;m just telling you the way I take life for granted because, and even myself, I am a potential refugee. Even you who is listening to me, you are a potential refugee. So, we have to be really empathetic to these people and not just look at them as refugees, but look at them as people who need our assistance.”</p> </blockquote> <p>In the video below, Alphonse explains how working in the camp has increased his empathy for others. He imagines what it would be like to be vulnerable and discusses the importance of giving to meet the needs of refugees in Bidibidi:</p> <blockquote> <p>“And to me, the message I give to you who is listening to me, I would request to you, that the small contribution you can give, can change lives, can save someone&#8217;s life because the biggest demand here is human needs.”</p> </blockquote> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/R0UaPLhscOM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Lindsey Becker Mills info@realmedicinefoundation.org Starting Over in Bidibidi http://realmedicinefoundation.org/blog/archives/2017/07/13/starting-over-in-bidibidi/ 2017-07-13T15:23:51-07:00 2017-07-13T15:00:00-07:00 [ Read more...]]]> <p><img src="/assets/594b1760edb2f31efa412e86/NemaaninterviewFutura.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h4>Atrocities of War</h4> <p>There is no easy way to put it. Since July 2016 when fighting once again broke out in Juba, the people of South Sudan have been starved to death and murdered outright. Gun fire, throats slit, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/apr/03/uganda-at-breaking-point-bidi-bidi-becomes-worlds-largest-refugee-camp-south-sudan">locked in their homes and burned alive</a>. There are now <a href="http://www.wnyc.org/story/south-sudan-famine-verge-spreading/">290,000</a> people at risk of dying from malnutrition due to the destruction of farms and the blocking of aid. Many go to aid tents, just to be gunned down.</p> <blockquote> <p>“…when fighting started in South Sudan, life became very bad. You find you lost your parents, that is the first thing. You lost the children, you even lost the relative. There is loss of education; there is nowhere you can go and get education, even getting medicine is problem; you cannot get any facility that is operating. Everything became hard. You are killed if you are in the way, or even they go and pick you from your house, you are killed. That’s when life changed totally to be bad. When the war broke.” &#8211; Nema Nyoka Keni (age 19)</p> </blockquote> <p>With no food, inflation at over 660%, and the war raging, there was no choice for Nema Nyoka Keni but to flee to safety.</p> <h4>Traveling to Safety</h4> <p>In July 2016, Bidibidi was a quiet expanse of dirt and bush with little infrastructure, no roads, and few people. The air was pure and sweet, the horizon clear. Within a month’s time, the fields would fill with tents, supplies, health care facilities, and worn bodies, broken from travel and the traumas of war.</p> <p>After her parents were killed, with only a five-liter Jerrycan full of water, some biscuits, and a few belongings, Nema Kyoka Keni traveled on foot with her neighbors and brothers for five days before reaching Bidibidi.</p> <blockquote> <p>“From South Sudan to Bidibidi, the journey was very bad. Movement was not easy. Because there is no vehicle left, you have to come footing, you come footing; you carry your luggages…. If there’s a church, I just go and sleep in the church. The following day, I also travel. It was just like that until I reached Uganda.” &#8211; Nema Nyoka Keni</p> </blockquote> <p>Life did not immediately improve upon reaching Bidibidi; Nema had difficulty navigating the camp. It was difficult to know where to find water, food, and medication. The camp was originally built to hold 100,000 people, but in only seven months it grew to become the <strong>largest refugee settlement in the world, with over 272,000.</strong></p> <p>Since Bidibidi Refugee Settlement was established in August 2016, <span class="caps">RMF</span> staff in Uganda has more than <a href="/our-work/countries/uganda/initiatives/healthcare-implementing-partner-for-unhcr-at-bidibidi-refugee-settlement/">doubled</a> to meet the growing need. As the <span class="caps">UNHCR</span> Health Implementing Partner in Bidibidi, <a href="/our-work/countries/uganda/initiatives/healthcare-implementing-partner-for-unhcr-at-bidibidi-refugee-settlement/"><span class="caps">RMF</span> is providing</a> comprehensive primary healthcare services with easily accessible, fully stocked, fully staffed health facilities, and employing a strong health outreach program.</p> <p>When Nema became sick, she was taken to an <span class="caps">RMF</span> health center where she was given medication.</p> <blockquote> <p>“They also give me advice; they counseled me on how to take care of myself at home there. Then I became better.” &#8211; Nema Nyoka Keni</p> </blockquote> <h4>Starting Over</h4> <blockquote> <p>“Before fighting started in South Sudan, life was good. You find there is education, you stay together with your people, you play, you have all your friends, you move—there is freedom of movement—you could go everywhere you wanted to go…there are jobs, there is plenty of food. That was before life changed; before then, everything was fine.” &#8211; Nema Nyoka Keni</p> </blockquote> <p>There is no going back to a life before the war. The farms are gone, family members are dead. But what can be done for the future? In Bidibidi, there are more than <strong>272,000 people full of life, full of potential</strong>. They have survived the war, the journey to Uganda, and they are ready for what comes next.</p> <p>In <a href="/our-work/countries/uganda/initiatives/kiryandongo-refugee-settlement-project/">Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement</a>, <span class="caps">RMF</span> is helping the community make steady progress through education and vocational training. The people of Kiryandongo have a sense of hope; they are providing for their families and can see a future for the ones they love. <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/jan/24/uganda-sprawling-haven-for-270000-of-south-sudans-refugees">Bidibidi may be heading in this direction</a>.</p> <blockquote> <p>“The interaction with <span class="caps">RMF</span> helped me a lot…I also got a job with <span class="caps">RMF</span> as an interpreter. I am now working with <span class="caps">RMF</span> and they can help me with money that I can use for buying soap and helping my relatives out from there.” &#8211; Nema Nyoka Keni</p> </blockquote> <h4>The Work is Just Beginning</h4> <p>With over 272,000 people, the camp is now closed (except to family members). Now begins the work of transitioning from emergency services to normal operations. There is much to be done, including building stronger structures to replace tents, installing lights, and improving water, sanitation, and hygiene (<span class="caps">WASH</span>) facilities/practices.</p> <p>As support and resources increase, <span class="caps">RMF</span> will continue to provide medical supplies, hire staff, build permanent health clinics, further support referral centers, and help residents of Bidibidi Refugee Settlement live healthy, thriving lives.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the people now living in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement will continue to survive, learn new skills, and have hope for a future.</p> <blockquote> <p>“My hopes are go back to school and finish my diploma. Those are my hopes.” &#8211; Nema Nyoka Keni</p> </blockquote> <p>Learn more about <a href="/our-work/countries/uganda/initiatives/healthcare-implementing-partner-for-unhcr-at-bidibidi-refugee-settlement/">RMF’s role as <span class="caps">UNHCR</span> Health Implementing Partner</a> and watch the video below to hear Nema Nyoka Keni’s story of journeying to Bidibidi.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AIslYhCdqPY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Danielle Etter info@realmedicinefoundation.org Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement Staff Stories http://realmedicinefoundation.org/blog/archives/2017/07/06/kiryandongo-refugee-settlement-staff-stories/ 2017-07-06T07:41:49-07:00 2017-07-06T07:00:00-07:00 [ Read more...]]]> <h6>Background<br /> <br /></h6> <p>Real Medicine Foundation has been active in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement since 2008, when we were named <span class="caps">UNHCR</span>-<span class="caps">OPM</span> Operational Partner and began our still-successful health program, supporting the existing health centers with medication, medical and cleaning supplies, medical personnel, and support staff; renovating Panyadoli Heath Centre <span class="caps">III</span>; providing hospital supplies such as beds, bed sheets, and hospital equipment; setting up a solar-powered water source that supplies the health centers and the refugee community with clean water; and conducting medical camps for various illnesses, such as malaria and <span class="caps">HIV</span>/<span class="caps">AIDS</span>. <strong>Since <span class="caps">RMF</span> looks at every person “as a whole,” we soon extended our support to the livelihood and education sectors as well; these projects are also ongoing.</strong></p> <p>Based on our high level of performance, <span class="caps">RMF</span> was selected to become UNHCR’s Official Heath Implementing Partner in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in July 2014. Three years later, <span class="caps">RMF</span> is still fulfilling our role as <span class="caps">UNHCR</span> Official Health Implementing Partner, expanding our team and services to support the settlement’s growing population, which has now reached over 120,000. RMF’s services also benefit the host community of over 80,000.</p> <p><strong>As part of Real Medicine Foundation’s goal of “Liberating Human Potential,” and to ensure sustainability, efficiency, and local ownership of our programs, we hire only in-country staff.</strong> Uganda is no exception, and much of our success is thanks to the innovation, dedication, and unique perspective of our in-country teams. Below are the stories of two inspiring <span class="caps">RMF</span> Uganda staff members:</p> <p><br /></p> <h5>Two Staff Member&#8217;s Stories<br /> <br /></h5> <h6>Phoina Turinawe</h6> <p><br /> <img src="/assets/595e4a2bd4c96144e24b7da4/IMG_0177.JPG" style="width:2880px;"><br /> <br /></p> <p>Born into a family of seven, Phoina never dreamt of becoming a medical professional, until she went to visit her aunt at a hospital in Mbarara. Phoina was shocked to find patients lying on the floor of the hospital, especially mothers, who were giving birth with little to no attention from midwives. <strong>This was a turning point in her life, when she became determined to pursue a nursing course and learn to save mothers in childbirth.</strong> Phoina decided that when she finished her Ordinary Level, she would join a nursing school. When her aunt was later paralyzed from the waist down, this made Phoina’s life very difficult, but it also helped fuel her passion to become a nurse so that she could take care of her aunt and save the lives of mothers in her district.</p> <p>Phoina is one of the midwives recruited by <span class="caps">RMF</span> in September 2016. She started her medical career 3 years before, after graduating from Ibanda School of Midwifery and Comprehensive Nursing. Phoina works in the Maternity ward of Panyadoli Health Centre <span class="caps">III</span> in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. <strong>She helps save the lives of mothers and empowers them to begin postnatal care for their babies.</strong> Phoina is one of the midwives that has seen the Maternity ward grow smoothly, to the extent that the average number of mothers giving birth at the health facility has reached 10 per day, a positive indicator in the fight against mothers giving birth at home, unattended by a health professional.</p> <p>Phoina is grateful for the opportunity that Real Medicine Foundation has given her to save the lives of mothers and make their birthing experience more comfortable.</p> <p><br /></p> <h6>Richard Akugizibwe</h6> <p><br /> <img src="/assets/595e4a7cedb2f31efa4b8ab3/IMG_0157.JPG" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p><br /></p> <p>Richard is an <span class="caps">RMF</span> Nursing Officer, and he is one of the pioneering staff members in our project as Healthcare Implementing Partner for <span class="caps">UNHCR</span> at Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. Richard completed his Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education at Kabalega Secondary School, but because his father had passed away, he could not raise enough funds to attend university, even though he had earned good grades. Richard decided to work and save money, and with his savings and the help of his mother, he was able to attend Mulago School of Nursing and Midwifery, where he completed his Certificate in Nursing in 2013.</p> <p><strong>That same year, Richard began volunteering at Kiryandongo Hospital, where he gained professional experience and a passion for making a difference in people’s lives.</strong> Realizing that his work would have even more of an impact if he could help refugees, Richard asked his supervisor to start doing outreaches with the Kiryandongo District outreach team. About this time, conflict was rekindled in South Sudan, causing an influx of refugees to Uganda. Richard was shifted to the refugee desk, where he continued to work for three months.</p> <p>When he saw that Real Medicine Foundation was hiring, Richard applied, and his life was changed for the better. <strong>As a father with two children, Richard is thankful to <span class="caps">RMF</span> for the opportunity that has made him realize the importance of a helping hand and allowed him to see many mothers access antenatal services and children live better lives.</strong></p> <p><br /></p> <h5>Conclusion</h5> <p><br /></p> <p><span class="caps">RMF</span> is thankful for our in-country team members like Phoina and Richard, whose passion, goodwill, and expertise enable us to provide quality health care to the residents of Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement and the surrounding host community.</p> Daniel Wakibi info@realmedicinefoundation.org Two Inspiring Stories for World Refugee Day http://realmedicinefoundation.org/blog/archives/2017/06/20/two-inspiring-stories-for-world-refugee-day/ 2017-07-06T07:37:55-07:00 2017-06-20T09:25:00-07:00 [ Read more...]]]> <h6>Background<br /> <br /></h6> <p>Since 2011, <span class="caps">RMF</span> has been inspiring hope in the young people of Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement and the host community, by offering skills training at our Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (<span class="caps">PVTI</span>). The program started, as suggested by the community, with training in Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy and Tailoring and Garment Cutting, and has grown to offer two more courses: Carpentry and Joinery and Bricklaying and Concrete Practice. After completing the three-month training program, students take <span class="caps">DIT</span> examinations to be certified in their field of study. Many graduates have gone on to start successful businesses or join established companies, using their training to build a better life for themselves and their families. <br /> <br /></p> <h5>Two Refugees’ Stories<br /> <br /></h5> <h6>Deo Otem</h6> <p><br /></p> <p>Born in South Sudan 29 years ago, Deo grew up in Magui and Torit counties of Eastern Equatoria State. Deo is married and has two beautiful daughters, who were born in Acholi. Deo was admitted to RMF’s Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute this year, and he is studying Bricklaying and Concrete Practice.</p> <p>Deo recalls the violence that drove him from his home:</p> <blockquote> <p>The fateful evening of Friday, December 17th, 2015, he heard rumors of rebels attacking his community with the intention of killing every person who aided the government forces.</p> </blockquote> <p>When Deo received this news, he didn’t realize that his uncle Jeje was a target, as he was plotting with government forces against the rebels. Deo had dinner with his family, and then his wife left to visit her parents in the nearby village. Deo stayed alone in the house and went to sleep. In the middle of the night, rebels broke into his house and started beating him badly; he remembers calling for his children and then blacking out. <strong>The rebels thought that Deo was dead and went outside. Then, they lit the house on fire. Deo regained consciousness and managed to get out of the house immediately after the fire had been lit.</strong> As a result of the heat, he lost consciousness again and fell to the ground in his compound. This is where villagers found him bleeding the next morning. Deo was rushed to a nearby hospital in Nimule, where he was admitted.</p> <p><strong>Deo later left his family in South Sudan and walked to the Nimule border, where he was helped by the <span class="caps">UNHCR</span> team and taken to Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. Deo’s wife and daughters have since been able to join him. He still reflects on that fateful day, when he could have lost his life, and he thinks that one day his attackers could come back to hunt him again.</strong></p> <p><img src="/assets/59494e21a0b5dd20943f5879/Deo1.jpg" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p><img src="/assets/59494e53a0b5dd20b90063dd/Deo2.jpg" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p><br /></p> <h6>Dorine Dusmuen</h6> <p><br /></p> <p>Dorine comes from Eastern Equatoria State and is part of the Birayia tribe. Dorine is married with three daughters, and she is a Tailoring and Garment Cutting student at RMF’s Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute.</p> <p>Dorine remembers the fateful day when war broke out in Juba during December 2013:</p> <blockquote> <p>She was home with her family, and her husband had gone to town, as usual, to work. When she heard gunshots, she hid her two children in the nearby bush and went back to the house to get a few belongings so she could care for them during the night.</p> </blockquote> <p>But she couldn’t make it back to the house; rebels were already in the community beating and killing villagers. <strong>Although pregnant with her third daughter, Dorine ran back to her children, held them by the hand, and started walking. She didn’t know what direction they were heading, but was only concerned with finding a safe place for her children.</strong> Trying to push her husband from her mind, Dorine continued to journey through the night with her children. They made it to Nimule, where she met a Good Samaritan who helped Dorine and her children board a truck to Elegu. At Elegu, she was helped by another truck driver, who took her and her children to Bweyale. She made it to the Reception Centre in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, where she was immediately admitted to the hospital and gave birth to her third daughter.</p> <p>Dorine now has three children, but she has not yet seen or heard from her husband. As the days go by, her hope of seeing the father of her children fades. But <strong>Dorine is happy that Real Medicine Foundation has given her an opportunity to study at Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute, which will empower her with skills to earn a living and provide for her children.</strong></p> <p><img src="/assets/59494e76a0b5dd20943f5937/Dorine2.jpg" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p><img src="/assets/59494e8aedb2f31efa3fc77d/Dorine1.jpg" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p><br /></p> <h5>Conclusion</h5> <p><br /></p> <p>There are currently 87 students enrolled in RMF’s Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute, 57 of whom are South Sudanese refugees. By providing this vocational training, Real Medicine Foundation is helping to equip refugees and members of the host community with hope and the skills needed to build a new, brighter future.</p> RMF info@realmedicinefoundation.org Stories of Women Impacting Change http://realmedicinefoundation.org/blog/archives/2017/03/09/women-impacting-their-communities-and-effecting-change/ 2017-03-09T16:44:32-08:00 2017-03-09T16:00:00-08:00 [ Read more...]]]> <p><img src="/assets/58bf7570a0b5dd4be9054324/Screen_Shot_2016_06_30_at_11_17_44_PM.png" alt="AmazonSmile" style="width:2880px;"><br /> <br /></p> <h4>From Poor Housewife to Accomplished Government Health Supervisor</h4> <h5>Liberating Human Potential</h5> <p><strong>Rekah Mawi</strong> is a resident of the Barwani Tribal district of Madhya Pradesh, India. At an early age, she married a daily wage earner named Anil. Rekha soon realized that her husband was an alcoholic, and his meager daily income coupled with his frequent, compulsive spending on alcohol was not enough to support the family. Rekha was specially concerned for the welfare of their two children. On April 1, 2010, Rekha met with Radha Chouhan, the District Coordinator of <span class="caps">RMF</span> India’s Barwani office. Rekha shared her plight with Radha, who recommended her case to RMF’s district management team. With management’s approval, Rekha was hired as a cook for RMF’s Barwani office. During her days as a cook, <span class="caps">RMF</span> project management learned that Rekha had studied up to the 12th standard, and noticed that she possessed strong interpersonal and communication skills. With these qualifications, <strong>Rekha was capable of serving as a Community Nutrition Educator (<span class="caps">CNE</span>)</strong>. Subsequently, Rekha was given the new role of <span class="caps">CNE</span>, to <strong>promote health and nutrition in 10 villages in the district of Barwani</strong>. She received the required counselling training from <span class="caps">RMF</span>, and started conducting home visits to screen children for malnutrition status and connecting households with service provision centers such as Anganwadi centers and/or Nutrition Rehabilitation Centers. Rekha soon started to recognize her own abilities, and so did RMF’s district team management. <strong>In addition to individual and community counseling, Rekha also referred several children to seek lifesaving treatment at NRCs</strong>.<br /> <br /></p> <h5>Fostering Change</h5> <p>The local community, including government workers on the frontline, also began to recognize Rekha’s contributions in fostering behavior change and improving the health of mothers and children. By that time, Rekha had become more confident in her abilities, and was very competent in community-centered communication and helping local people value and access available government services. In Feburary 2013, local government appointed Rekha to serve as an <span class="caps">ASHA</span> (Auxiliary Social Health Activist) in Rajghat (one of the villages where she worked as an <span class="caps">RMF</span> <span class="caps">CNE</span>). She showed great commitment and passion in her new role. <em>As they say, fortune follows those who chase their dreams</em>. In May 2015, based on her progressively more remarkable performance, the Department of Health promoted Rekha as an <span class="caps">ASHA</span> supervisor in the same catchment where she served as an <span class="caps">ASHA</span> worker. <strong>Today Rekha stands as a courageous, committed <span class="caps">ASHA</span> supervisor helping women and children live healthy lives</strong>. For the year 2015-2016, the state government of Madhya Pradesh awarded Rekha the “Best Cadre Award” for exemplary performance. <br /> <br /></p> <p><img src="/assets/58bf7537d4c96156fd05286a/Screen_Shot_2016_06_30_at_11_17_58_PM.png" alt="AmazonSmile" style="width:2880px;"><br /> <br /> <br /></p> <h5>Empowering Dreams</h5> <p>Today, Rekha acknowledges the difference <span class="caps">RMF</span> India made in her life by <em>helping empower her to accomplish her dreams</em>. Rekha states candidly and confidently, <strong>“RMF has helped change my life for a better.”</strong> <span class="caps">RMF</span> India takes this opportunity to wish her the very best for all her future endeavors.</p> <p><a href="http://realmedicinefoundation.org/initiative-reports/india/archives/2016/06/30/case-study-from-poor-housewife-to-accomplished-government-health-supervisor/">View this story and original report</a><br /> <br /></p> <p><img src="/assets/58bf7534edb2f34213053cbc/Anmol_case_study.jpg" alt="AmazonSmile" style="width:2880px;"><br /> <br /></p> <h4>Timely Counseling Leads to Child’s Recovery</h4> <h5>8-Month-Old Baby Girl, Anmol</h5> <p>Bajjta is a small, tribal area with a population of 1,535, situated in the Barwani district of Madhya Pradesh. Locals participate in agriculture or daily labor to earn their livelihood. Some residents also travel from their village in search of employment and return home after an interval of three to six months.</p> <p>This story is from Bhilat Baidi, a hamlet in the village of Bajjta Khurd. This is where an 8-month-old baby girl named Anmol lives with her family, including her grandfather, grandmother, mother (23-year-old Sulochna), and her father (25-year-old Mukesh). Anmol’s father works in agriculture, overseeing his agricultural produce.</p> <p>On April 15, 2016, an <span class="caps">RMF</span> Community Nutrition Educator (<span class="caps">CNE</span>) visited the village hamlet of Bhilat Baidi. <strong>Our <span class="caps">CNE</span> stopped at Anmol’s house and found her to be extremely weak</strong>. She took the child’s <span class="caps">MUAC</span> measurement and found it to be at 11.7 cm. This indicated that <strong>Anmol needed to be treated for Moderate Acute Malnutrition (<span class="caps">MAM</span>)</strong>. Therefore, the <span class="caps">CNE</span> started inquiring about the child’s history.</p> <p><img src="/assets/58bf7534a0b5dd4be90542f9/DSC01323.jpg" alt="AmazonSmile" style="width:2880px;"><br /> <br /></p> <p>Anmol’s parents informed the <span class="caps">CNE</span> that the child was delivered at home. After her birth, Anmol was neither breastfed on time, nor given regular and appropriate breastfeeding. This was because the elders of Anmol’s family believed that the initial milk of her mother was not good for her and breastfeeding should be started a day after the birth and supplemented with cow’s milk and other food that could be provided. As far as routine immunization was concerned, Anmol received a <span class="caps">BCG</span> vaccination, but because she cried for the whole day, her parents did not pursue further vaccinations.</p> <p>There were several other traditional myths and misconceptions that the family believed, which had made the small child suffer. <strong>Lack of proper education and awareness in the family had caused the baby’s Moderate Acute Malnutrition</strong>. Our <span class="caps">CNE</span> began her counseling session with Anmol’s parents, which included:</p> <ul> <li>Referring the family to seek Anganwadi services and get registered there</li> <li>Initiation of complementary feeding with periodic intervals</li> <li>Continuation of breastfeeding up to the age of 24 months</li> <li>Explaining the importance and process of administering all doses of vaccination to the child</li> </ul> <p>The CNE’s counseling also emphasized that the utensils used for the child should be separate from other members of the family, which would help Anmol’s mother to know quantity of food the child had been consuming. She also emphasized that the mother must sanitize her hands properly before cooking and at the time of feeding her child.</p> <p><strong>Our CNE’s counseling changed how the family conducted itself with respect to the child. This change was able to eliminate crucial problems of malnutrition that Anmol was suffering from.</strong></p> <p>On May 12, 2016, when our <span class="caps">CNE</span> again approached the Anmol’s parents and measured the young girl’s arm with the <span class="caps">MUAC</span> tape, she found an improved <span class="caps">MUAC</span> measurement: 12.9 cm, as compared to the previous measurement of 11.7 cm. Anmol’s parents and the entire family thanked our <span class="caps">CNE</span> for her commendable contribution towards <strong>educating and counseling them and improving the nutritional health of the baby</strong>. Anmol’s mother was of the opinion that if she had received such knowledge and education before and on time, her child would never have had to face such a painful trail. She further promised, with great determination, that she will convey this message to every woman in her village and try to make them understand this knowledge and help the community become healthy.</p> <p><a href="http://realmedicinefoundation.org/initiative-reports/india/archives/2016/10/18/eradicating-malnutrition-and-improving-healthcare-practices-q2-2016/">View this story and original report.</a><br /> <br /></p> <p><img src="/assets/58bf7534edb2f3421c006c62/gram_sabha_women.jpg" alt="AmazonSmile" style="width:2880px;"><br /> <br /> <br /></p> <h4>Empowering Women to Pursue Safe Water</h4> <h5>Community Nutrition Educator (<span class="caps">CNE</span>), Salita Dawar</h5> <p>The story is from a village called Badgaon, which is situated in the Barwani district of Madhya Pradesh. It is a highly tribal village with a population of 4,114 inhabitants. The literacy rate is minimal, and residents’ livelihoods solely depend on agricultural work, which is seasonal.</p> <p>In Badgaon, our local Community Nutrition Educator (<span class="caps">CNE</span>), <strong>Salita Dawar</strong>, works with great enthusiasm under the banner of Real Medicine and Nutrition Trust (<span class="caps">RMNT</span>) <strong>to find and treat malnourished children under 5 years of age</strong>. She screens children for malnutrition by measuring their Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (<span class="caps">MUAC</span>). Our bright and determined <span class="caps">CNE</span> also educates lactating mothers and pregnant women about nutritional requirements during pregnancy and breastfeeding, works with Anganwadi workers and <span class="caps">ANM</span>, and participates in all types of community meetings to raise health awareness.</p> <p>During a routine survey in Badgaon, <span class="caps">CNE</span> Salita found several female residents discussing something among themselves: They were highly ashamed that they didn’t have a facility for safe or potable drinking water in their village. <em>They had to walk up to 2 or 3 kilometers to fetch water</em>. <strong>Our <span class="caps">CNE</span> encouraged the women to be confident, and added that they would have to take initiative and move forward to fix this problem.</strong></p> <p><img src="/assets/58bf7534d4c96156fd052868/gram_sabha_case_study.jpg" alt="AmazonSmile" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p>Even after <span class="caps">CNE</span> Salita encouraged the women to take action, they were reluctant to pursue the subject further. She counseled them again and asked the women to take their problem to the Panchayat Sarpanch (the town council secretary). In case their problem wasn’t heard there, they could then raise the issue in Gram Sabha. Even if they failed to present their problem in Gram Sabha or it was not resolved there, they could approach the District Collector.</p> <p>The local women formed their own team and approached the head of the village Panchayat, but he did not pay any attention to their problem. After several days, a program called “Gram diwas se Bharat diwas” was launched by the government, where citizens could present their social problems to officials. But unfortunately, the secretary of the Gram Panchayat would not allow the women to approach senior officials.</p> <p>Once again, our <span class="caps">CNE</span> Salita Dawar stepped in and discussed the matter with the women. She found that they were disappointed, but had not lost hope. The women asked <span class="caps">CNE</span> Salita for advice, and <strong>she provided guidance by saying that they should draft a letter and present it to the grievance cell of the district.</strong></p> <p>They shared their problem with the District Collector, who issued an order to make a water supply connection in Badgaon. <strong>Our <span class="caps">CNE</span> Salita Dawar motivated the team of village women, and with perseverance, they were able to resolve their problem</strong>. The whole village is thankful for the role that <span class="caps">CNE</span> Salita Dawar played in the process.</p> <p><a href="http://realmedicinefoundation.org/initiative-reports/india/archives/2016/10/18/eradicating-malnutrition-and-improving-healthcare-practices-q2-2016/">View this story and original report.</a></p> Rakesh Dhole and Deanna Boulard info@realmedicinefoundation.org #BeBoldForChange http://realmedicinefoundation.org/blog/archives/2017/03/08/beboldforchange/ 2017-03-08T14:37:58-08:00 2017-03-08T14:00:00-08:00 [ Read more...]]]> <h4><strong>bōld/</strong><br /> <em>adjective</em><br /> 1. (of a person, action, or idea) showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous. &#8220;A bold attempt to solve the crisis.&#8221;</h4> <p>The World Economic Forum predicts the <a href="http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2016/">gender gap won&#8217;t close until 2186.</a> Fortunately, this fate is not set and <span class="caps">RMF</span> is working to empower women and girls to #BeBoldForChange.</p> <p>In light of International Women’s Day, we asked some of our boldest female staff members about their vision for the women of their country.</p> <p>N’Deane Helajzen is RMF’s Program Director, Serbia, and also supports the coordination of our global programs. She is a medical anthropologist whose employment over the past 15 years has involved the provision of technical advice across 20 countries in post-conflict and fragile states, across Southeast Asia, the Pacific, Africa, and Eastern Europe, targeting legislative and regulatory reforms, with a focus on social development, provision of health care in under resourced areas, sexual and gender based violence, women’s empowerment, and gender equality.</p> <p>Her team works tirelessly to provide comprehensive protection and medical services to at-risk refugees in Serbia. Their main goal is to provide first aid and basic primary health care, but they also have the skills to identify and refer extremely vulnerable individuals—women, children, victims of sexual or gender based violence, victims of human trafficking, or victims of other forms of exploitation—for appropriate assistance and follow-up by relevant institutions.</p> <p><br/></p> <h5>Interview Q&amp;A</h5> <h4>What are some of the challenges for women that you see in your work?</h4> <blockquote> <p>The women and girls we work with are fleeing conflict in their homeland where they have faced systemic rights violations, including bombardment of civilian areas, killing and disappearance of family members, sexual and gender based violence (<span class="caps">SGBV</span>), obstructed access to food, water, and electricity, reduced education, and destruction of their homes and livelihoods.</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p>Many have been repeatedly displaced and some have suffered violence, exploitation, and abuse while seeking asylum.</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p>Refugee and migrant women and girls face specific challenges and protection risks including family separation, psychosocial stress and trauma, health complications particularly for pregnant women, physical harm and injury and risks of exploitation and gender based violence.</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p>Because of women’s gender role in society, particularly from the refugee producing countries, women serve as the main caretakers for children and elderly family members, further increasing their need for protection and support.</p> </blockquote> <h4>What kind of change would you like to see for women in the country you work in?</h4> <blockquote> <p><span class="caps">RMF</span> Serbia’s work focuses on supporting women refugees and migrants&#8217; access to health and protection services during their time in transit through the western Balkans route. In order to better address the scale and severity of the Syrian refugee crisis, I would like to see women refugees be given something to hope for and for resettlement countries like Australia and the United States to increase the number of individuals and families they are welcoming.</p> </blockquote> <h4>What women&#8217;s health resources or education are lacking in your country? What difference would obtaining these resources or education make?</h4> <blockquote> <p>There are a number of barriers which exist for women to access services and information and better attention needs to be paid to the gendered dimensions of the refugee crisis. National capacity needs to be raised to effectively respond to the specific needs, priorities and protection risks facing refugee and migrant women and girls. More attention needs to be paid to gender based violence and the establishment of referral mechanisms, safe houses, women-only spaces within reception and transit centers, the provision of more information that women can easily access, and the collection and use of sex-disaggregated data for planning purposes.</p> </blockquote> RMF info@realmedicinefoundation.org German foreign aid is at a record high and rising. http://realmedicinefoundation.org/blog/archives/2017/02/02/german-foreign-aid-is-at-a-record-high-and-rising-here-is-how-it-works/ 2017-02-27T16:52:30-08:00 2017-02-02T16:35:00-08:00 [ Read more...]]]> <p><a href="https://www.devex.com/news/german-foreign-aid-is-at-a-record-high-and-rising-here-is-how-it-works-89366">German foreign aid is at a record high and rising. Here is how it works.</a></p> <p>Catherine Cheney included part of Dr. Martina Fuchs&#8217; feedback on how Germany is aiding refugees in Part 2 of her article series for Devex: &#8220;German foreign aid is at a record high and rising. Here is how it works.&#8221; She highlights how the number of refugees seeking shelter in Germany is growing and the social service benefits they will receive while there.</p> <blockquote> <p>By the end of 2016, more than two-third of refugees coming to Europe find shelter in Germany, and once they are registered, they receive the wide-ranging social services provided to German citizens, said <strong>Dr. Martina Fuchs</strong>, founder and <span class="caps">CEO</span> of the nonprofit humanitarian aid organization Real Medicine Foundation.</p> </blockquote> <p><img src="/assets/58b4c899edb2f32e391e62de/Screenshot_2017_02_27_19_38_23.png" alt="AmazonSmile" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p><img src="/assets/58b4c8d4a0b5dd08a91e4ec3/Screenshot_2017_02_27_19_38_38.png" alt="AmazonSmile" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p><img src="/assets/58b4c8f2edb2f32e391e6342/Screenshot_2017_02_27_19_38_48.png" alt="AmazonSmile" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p><img src="/assets/58b4c915edb2f32e391e6347/Screenshot_2017_02_27_19_38_57.png" alt="AmazonSmile" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p><img src="/assets/58b4c938edb2f32e391e6356/Screenshot_2017_02_27_19_39_08.png" alt="AmazonSmile" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p><img src="/assets/58b4c952edb2f32e391e635f/Screenshot_2017_02_27_19_39_23.png" alt="AmazonSmile" style="width:2880px;"></p> <p><img src="/assets/58b4c997d4c96175f81e0841/Screenshot_2017_02_27_19_50_51.png" alt="AmazonSmile" style="width:2880px;"></p> https://www.devex.com/news/german-foreign-aid-is-at-a-record-high-and-rising-here-is-how-it-works-89366 info@realmedicinefoundation.org Yusuf Bisiku http://realmedicinefoundation.org/blog/archives/2016/12/28/yusuf-bisiku/ 2016-12-28T14:44:50-08:00 2016-12-28T14:00:00-08:00 [ Read more...]]]> <p><img src="/assets/584c8723d4c96105c7336457/YusufBisikucropped.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h4>Yusuf Bisiku</h4> <p><a href="/initiative-reports/uganda/archives/2016/07/31/panyadoli-health-centre-q2-2016/">View this story and original report.</a></p> <p>Yusuf Bisiku is a <strong>three-and-a-half-year-old boy</strong>; a refugee living at Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Uganda. Yusuf had symptoms of malaria and he was vomiting. After an investigation by RMF’s laboratory technicians, he was diagnosed with severe malaria and being underweight. He looked like a much younger child. After the diagnosis, Yusuf was immediately put on treatment.</p> <p>Yusuf’s mother explained that they did not have enough food since fleeing South Sudan. They survived on water and biscuits and some food begged from well-wishers they found along the way. The whereabouts of Yusuf’s father are unknown, but there is a high chance that he perished in the war.</p> <p><strong>Yusuf continued with his medication and has greatly improved; he has gained weight and is now playing with his friends.</strong></p> <p>Yusuf has a future thanks to RMF’s work in the settlement and also thanks to the community health promotion system that has been able to constantly monitor and encourage the community to go to health facilities for treatment.</p> <p><img src="/assets/584c869fd4c96105d003c6be/Panyadoli.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><span class="caps">RMF</span> supported Panyadoli Health Centre at Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement provides health care services to over <strong>100,000</strong> refugees and persons in the community. As fighting continues in South Sudan, the number of refugees entering Uganda will only grow, putting a strain on the resources needed to treat children like Yusuf.</p> <p>Partner with us this giving season by taking a moment to donate. Your financial support plays an integral part in changing the lives of children in Uganda.</p> <p><strong><span class="caps">RMF</span> believes in Friends Helping Friends Helping Friends. Thank you for showing your friendship to Yusuf Bisiku!</strong></p> RMF info@realmedicinefoundation.org Samelle Joseph http://realmedicinefoundation.org/blog/archives/2016/12/19/samelle-joseph/ 2016-12-19T08:12:25-08:00 2016-12-19T08:00:00-08:00 [ Read more...]]]> <p><img src="/assets/584c8c74a0b5dd05d432f7d2/1__JOSEPH_S__before_surgerycropped.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h4>Samelle Joseph</h4> <h5>Free Surgery Begets a Lifetime of Opportunities</h5> <p><a href="/initiative-reports/haiti/archives/2016/10/10/10-year-old-girl-receives-life-changing-operation/">View this story and original report.</a></p> <p>Samelle Joseph is a 10-year-old girl who has been living with a very severe form of Blount’s disease, a deformity of the lower limbs that commonly afflicts a specific ethnic group in Haiti. The disease also includes increased weight and specific morphologic features, as well as moderate to severe progressive medial leg bowing and tibial bone changes.</p> <p><img src="/assets/584c8cd9a0b5dd05d432f7fe/3__JOSEPH_S__preop_x_rays.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Because of the deformation caused by Blount’s disease, Samelle and children like her face physical disability, discrimination, limited opportunities, and the emotional and financial distress which accompanies these. <strong>Thanks to the operation that Samelle received for free through RMF’s surgical clinic at the Hôpital Lambert Santé, she will gain greater mobility and have opportunities that would otherwise be denied her.</strong></p> <p><img src="/assets/584c91bda0b5dd05d432fa3d/7__JOSEPH_S__after_surgery.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h5>Continued Support in Haiti</h5> <p>In the aftermath of the January 12, 2010 earthquake, in addition to tackling some of the immediate relief needs, <span class="caps">RMF</span> moved forward with a comprehensive long-term strategy for sustainable health services development in Haiti to help rebuild its shattered public health system. <strong>This initiative is all the more essential in light of the destruction brought by Hurricane Matthew and the subsequent cholera outbreak.</strong></p> <p>The UN recently called the needs in Haiti <a href="/media/press-releases/archives/2016/11/20/one-month-after-hurricane-matthew-needs-in-haiti-remain-vast-un-reports/">“vast ”</a> with “600,000 children being stalked by disease, hunger and malnutrition.”</p> <p><span class="caps">RMF</span> will continue to support Haiti in working towards sustainable services and liberating the potential of Haitians like Samelle Joseph, but <strong>we need your help</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Consider donating today so that we can continue to provide unwavering support to the people of Haiti.</strong></p> RMF info@realmedicinefoundation.org Noemi: Case Study http://realmedicinefoundation.org/blog/archives/2016/12/05/noemi-case-study/ 2016-12-05T07:24:48-08:00 2016-12-05T07:00:00-08:00 [ Read more...]]]> <p><img src="/assets/5845824da0b5dd05d42e72a2/IMG_34841.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h4>Noemi</h4> <h5>Hope Through Continued Treatment</h5> <p><a href="http://www.realmedicinefoundation.org/initiative-reports/peru/archives/2016/10/12/case-study-noemi/">View this story, as well as the report, on it&#8217;s original page.</a></p> <p>7-year-old Noemí is youngest of four siblings, and was born on March 11, 2009 in San Clemente. At two days old, she was taken to the emergency room, where she was diagnosed with bronchial pneumonia and had to stay in an incubator for several days.</p> <p><strong>In 2011, when Noemí was 2 years old, she would try to stand up, but was not able to.</strong> Her legs had no strength or stability. Her parents (her father owned a shoe shop in San Clemente and her mother worked in the fields collecting cotton) thought that their daughter’s development was normal. As time passed, Noemí’s mother sought medical attention at the “Posta Medica” where they began therapy. Noemí responded well to therapy, until her mother was mistreated by a medical professional who said that Noemí’s mother was not able to understand her daughter’s symptoms because she was too ignorant. Because of the insulting treatment she received, Noemí’s mother did not return to the “Posta Medica” to continue Noemí’s treatment.</p> <p>In 2013, Noemí’s father passed away at age 39. Noemí’s mother became a widow, and was left to care for her four children. She became depressed because of the economic difficulties she had to face and the difficulty of maintaining the health of her four children.</p> <p><strong>We met Noemí when her mother brought her to <a href="http://www.realmedicinefoundation.org/our-work/countries/peru/initiatives/policlinico-peruano-americano/"><span class="caps">RMF</span> Perú</a> because she was having problems with her lungs.</strong> Once we learned more about Noemí’s case, we realized that her health problems were not limited to her lungs.</p> <p>We recommended that her mother bring Noemí to the <span class="caps">PAMS</span>-<span class="caps">RMFP</span> Mission to be examined by Dr. Thomas Gallagher. <strong>Dr. Gallagher examined Noemí and diagnosed her with kyphoscoliosis, a congenital deformation of the lower back.</strong> He recommended that she be seen immediately by a spine specialist.</p> <p><strong>Noemí’s mother does not have the economic resources to bring her daughter to a specialist, so <span class="caps">RMF</span> Perú’s team stepped in to help.</strong> We made Noemí an appointment at the “Clinica San Juan de Dios” in Lima, and we will be taking her to the specialist and helping her mother continue Noemí’s treatment.</p> <p>In October 2016, we traveled to Lima&#8217;s “Clinica San Juan de Dios” with Noemí for a consultation with spine specialist Dr. Iparraguirre.</p> <p><img src="/assets/584582bdd4c96105c72ecee4/14729172_646158538888574_8509985164862423022_n1.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Noemí arrives at the clinic with her mother and <span class="caps">RMF</span> Perú Executive Director Magali M. de Pujalt</em></p> <p><strong>After a thorough diagnostic examination, Noemí was diagnosed with neuromuscular scoliosis. Dr. Iparraguirre’s recommendation is that Noemí receive 3 months of daily physical therapy and rehabilitation,</strong> use a corset, and undergo a consultation with a pediatric orthopedic specialist (who is currently away on vacation through November).</p> <p><img src="/assets/5830c47dedb2f305d702de37/waiting_1.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Waiting to see the spine specialist, Dr. Iparraguirre</em></p> <p>In Pisco, we have a Physical Rehabilitation Center: <span class="caps">OZONED</span> <span class="caps">SAC</span>. Upon our return from Lima, Noemí had a consultation with Physical Therapist Jacky Chaves at <span class="caps">OZONED</span> <span class="caps">SAC</span>. In addition to the diagnosis of scoliosis, Noemí also has:</p> <ul> <li>Hemiparesis of the left arm</li> <li>Cavovarus foot (hip rotation)</li> <li>Semi hemiplegia</li> </ul> <p><img src="/assets/5830c507edb2f305ce229b45/ozoned_2.png" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Noemí and her mother arrive at <span class="caps">OZONED</span> in Pisco</em></p> <p>Noemí needs therapy, as well as orthopedic shoe inserts and an orthopedic corset. After 3 months, we will have a follow-up appointment with spine specialist Dr. Iparraguirre to determine whether Noemí should continue wearing the corset or proceed with a spinal operation.</p> <p><img src="/assets/5830c597edb2f305ce229b74/consult_2.png" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Noemí’s consultation with Physical Therapist Jacky Chaves</em></p> <p><strong>The 3 months of therapy, in addition to the corset, have a cost of $620. <span class="caps">RMF</span> Perú needs the help of our friends to be able to continue with Noemí’s treatment. Thanks to the help of a great-hearted person, Noemí has started her therapy, which has been financially covered for 10 days.</strong></p> <p>If you would like to support Noemí, you can donate to our current account in Scotiabank Nº0003417967 on behalf of Real Medicine Foundation Perú. Thank you in advance for your support.</p> <p>Noemi has yet to complete her therapy or purchase the rehabilitation tools necessary to her therapy. In this season, please consider giving this young girl and her family hope!</p> <p><br /><a href="/donate/" class="button radius alert tiny">Donate Now</a><br /></p> Magali M. de Pujalt info@realmedicinefoundation.org