Liberia

Sinoe County Health Team Extends Services To Hard To Reach Communities

Packaging and carefully administering medicines Packaging and carefully administering medicines Yohn Sinoe CHT

Monrovia 28th January, 2017 - Sinoe County is the second least densely populated county in Liberia with a population of 102,391. The County has one hospital and 34 clinics with a total of two Medical Doctors, 18 Physician Assistants and 67 Nurses. 41% of the population of the county live more than 5km away from any health facility. Some communities are hard to reach or inaccessible due to heavy forest cover and rivers which include Japuken community which has no health facility.

In an effort to bring services closer to the underserved, the Sinoe County Health Team in collaboration with WHO regularly conducts medical outreach services. From December 7th – 8th, 2016 the team conducted an outreach in Japuken community, Jeadae District for the second time in 2016 after a previous visit in June. This community is located between River Gee and Grand Kru Counties and is inaccessible by motor vehicles, requiring a nine-hour walk through the thick forest, crossing rivers, swamps and climbing hills to reach the nearest health facility, the government camp clinic. The team was comprised of one medical doctor from the World Health Organization, five registered nurses and one vaccinator.

Over a period of two days the team screened 207 patients in Japuken, 22% of them under five-year old children. The team performed rapid tests for malaria, urinalysis and pregnancy to support their diagnoses. Malaria was the most common diagnosis in all the age groups from 0-49 years. From the 74 rapid diagnostic tests performed, 73% (54) were positive for malaria and were successfully treated, the majority of them (19 patients) being under-five year old children. The team provided antenatal care for eight pregnant women (including tetanus vaccine); four of them (50%) were confirmed with malaria by rapid diagnostic tests and then successfully treated with quinine. One woman delivered safely during the visit and was assisted by the team. The baby and the mother were both fine.

The search of surgical cases was also part of the outreach activities; the team diagnosed three cases of inguinal hernia and provided advice for the patients to visit the health facility for the necessary surgery.

During the medical outreach in Japuken patients were treated for a range of ailments, including Acute Respiratory Infections, Diarrhea, Otitis, Impetigo, Scabies, Dysentery, Worm Infestations, Tropical ulcers, Urinary Tract Infections (confirmed with urinalysis) and Conjunctivitis. In addition, the team looked after non-communicable diseases including four cases of high blood pressure (two of them confirmed with measurements taken over two different days), asthma, arthritis, gastritis, senile cataract, hemorrhoids and gynecological disorders, providing treatment and advice.  The team de-wormed every child in Japuken from 1-5 years of age and vaccinated about 50 children below one year of age with BCG, Measles, Yellow Fever, OPV, Pneumococcus, Pentavalent, and Rotavirus Vaccine. Nine of children these received vaccination for the first time and 7 were fully immunized. Women of reproductive age were also vaccinated against tetanus.

The Japuken community expressed their satisfaction and deep appreciation for the medical services provided by the team, including practical health promotion information that will help to keep their families safe.  Community leaders requested that a clinic be established in Japuken to provide the village population with basic and sustainable health care services. Ideally local women would be trained to provide the services especially for women and children in the future.

The Town Chief of Japuken community, Daniel Sneh, said; “the work you do for the people of the village we all very much need and appreciate. Everybody received treatment. I will even make an announcement again for people from other villages to come here tomorrow. So I really thank you.”

WHO provided technical support with one medical doctor and one nurse as well as logistical support in terms of medicines and laboratory test kits. In addition, WHO provided transportation for team members from Greenville the capital City of Sinoe County to the Government Camp clinic, where they proceeded to Jupuken community on foot.

The outreach activities will help to increase the vaccination coverage in the county, reduce the burden of malaria and prevent complications from non-communicable diseases such as high blood pressure.

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For more information, please contact:

Technical: Dr Jeremias Naiene, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Communication: Luwaga Liliane, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Below:

01. The team crossing a river on their way to Japuken

02. (R) Dr Jeramias Naiene of WHO with the patients

03. Packaging and carefully administering medicines