Save Children Medical Outreach Project
Safe shelter, a caretaker and medical attention are basic needs of every child on earth.In Mwanza/Tanzania a number of children are lacking these essentials every single day. Save Children Medical Outreach (formerly Wound Care Project for Street Children) was developed by medical student Dr. Marko Hingi in 2015 to support street connected children by providing free health care services. In a precarious medical environment the charitable project aims to reduce complication of diseases and increase primary prevention of vulnerable conditions:
- Every Saturday medical volunteers attend and treat an average of 15 children in the age of 10-14 years presenting with different illnesses and conditions such as wounds, skin diseases, worms, schistosomiasis, malaria, typhoid, UTI, sprains, etc.
- Additionally, the project provides free pre-hospital care services through an easily accessible emergency care scheme called Mwanza Community First Response Project; Read a BBC article or about afilm project on the First Response Project, and listen to a DW radio broadcast on emergency care system in DRC and Tanzania, incl. Mwanza Community First Response Project.
The project is part of the charitable Tanzania Rural Health Movement, a nonprofit community based organization in Mwanza/Tanzania.
Access to health care is essential, but extremely limited for street connected children: There is no real opportunity for them to develop an ongoing relationship with a healthcare provider, since they are bound to be highly mobile in their struggle to meet the daily demands for food and shelter. Moreover, that struggle for food makes health a second priority – up to the moment when health is not a given anymore. Save Children Medical Outreach steps in where healthcare is needed most: Doctors and trainees treat children who are in immediate medical need, and also educate them on preventive medicine and hygiene matters. However, a single medical care point across the city of Mwanza with easily more than half a million inhabitants makes the accessibility of healthcare to children difficult as the project has no means and capacity to conduct mobile medical outreaches.
For expanding healthcare accessibility for street children, Save Children Medical Outreach intends to acquire a basic, affordable ambulance vehicle. The Mobile Health Van will be crucial to reach street children in Mwanza with basic medical treatment and simple laboratory capacities to enable appropriate treatment and care. This will have crucial short and long term positive effects on each individual child, as well as for the greater community.
Short and Long Term Impact
As animmediate effect a Mobile Health Van will enable street children to receive practical onsite healthcare while they are on transit to safe homes/shelter. Moreover, the van will contribute to the prevention of disease among street children and in the community of Mwanza by promoting the right attitude and perspective towards health. The highest impact of the Mobile Health Van presence in the city, complemented by the Save Children Medical Outreach Project, is to conduct pragmatic lectures and discussions on health topics pertinent to the street children, such as wound care, handwashing, personal hygiene, etc, preventing diseases from occurring and from potentially infecting more members of Mwanza community.
Please see further information and media coverage on the projects:
- On medical care for street children in Mwanza: http://medicopress.media/2017/11/13/cure-and-care-beyond-social-class-a-tale-of-mwanza-citys-achilles-heel/
- On antibiotics resistant infections among street children in Mwanza: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28215715
- On Mwanza social projects and city partnerships in Europe (in German): https://m.mainpost.de/regional/wuerzburg/Austauschprogramme-Drohnen-Fussballtrainer-Medizin-Messen-Museen-und-Galerien-Sportzentren-Viktoriasee-Visionen;art735,9866091
- On donations of medical supply (in German): http://www.bemeco.de/tanzania-rural-health-movement/#tab-id-3