Community Health

Community health begins with assessing needs and providing basic care for the underserved communities in urban slums and remote rural areas.

Health Teams

Health teams and volunteers develop resources and collaborate with regional organizations

The surrounding physical environment impacts the health of this community. Sanitation is a major threat to the health of the children at Good Samaritan in the Mathare slums. An open sewer runs in front of the compound and the children sometimes play near or in the contaminated water. ACOHF is helping to finance new culverts in this immediate area to protect the children from these dangerous and unsanitary conditions.

In June 2013 ACOHF provided support for a community health team from Loyola University Chicago Nursing School , Chiro One Wellness Centers in Chicago, and Regina Pacis University College Nursing School in Nairobi to provide some initial assessment and medical health care for orphans in the Mathare slums. The most common ailments found in these children were skin diseases, fungal infections, worms and parasites. The team took in medical supplies and provided basic treatment to these children. A chiropractor also assessed and adjusted the children as needed for disorders of the musculoskeletal system, which affect general health with back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.

Nutrition

Nutrition is essential to health and well-being.

Feeding as many as 200 hungry children at Good Samaritan is a continuing challenge. Children need a balanced diet with adequate protein and enough nutritional value for normal growth and development. Children at Good Samaritan have simple meals of ugali (cornmeal mush) or githeri (corn and beans). They sometimes enjoy chapati (flatbread) on Sunday. Meat or fruit is a rare treat for holidays or special occasions. ACOHF helps to provide some flour, rice, beans, maize (corn), cooking oil and other essential food supplies. We also support a cook who makes three meals a day for the children at Good Samaritan.

Adults who are HIV+ also need proper nutrition to sustain themselves and their children. ACOHF provides regular nutrition supplements to the Meru Association of Positive People and families impacted by AIDS. This assistance includes beans, rice, corn, flour, cooking oil, and tea. We also help fund meals for the members of this AIDS support group at their biweekly meetings at Thiiri Centre in Meru. Multivitamins are also distributed as part of this program.

Medical Support

A medical assessment is undertaken with each child

Medical support may include assessment of the physical and emotional status of each child, basictreatment, chiropractic adjustment, medical supplies, transportation to the hospital, nutritional training, specialized medical workshops and seminars for nurses, and other resources and services as required.

In June 2013 the ACOHF community health team donated medical supplies, training materials, medical equipment, resource books and scrubs to faculty and students at Regina Pacis University College Nursing School in Nairobi.

Mental Health

Training is provided to community nurses, teachers and social workers

A basic mental health program will provide essential training for nurses, teachers, social workers, and caregivers to better understand and respond to children or young adults who have experienced neglect and physical and emotional trauma. Many of the orphans have known great loss, and have been exposed to significant violence and abuse before being rescued. Because trauma impacts emotional health as well as the way the brain understands information, trauma can negatively affect attention and performance in school as well as socialization and overall health and well-being.

Child trauma training and relevant resource materials help teachers, nurses and caregiver systems to understand more about the psychology of trauma and to manage and support learning in a classroom or in other contexts from a trauma-informed approach. Certified professionals also conduct screenings to identify those who may be at risk for mental health issues.

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