As a volunteer for Friends of Buburi and a midwife in the UK, I was really excited to see the completed maternity unit when I visited this year along with another midwife volunteer, Yaa.
I last visited Buburi in 2012 when I helped Noreen, one of the Trustees, set up some basic ante natal care at the clinic. This time it was lovely to see women coming for their regular ante natal check ups and looking forward to delivering their babies at the clinic. The Buburi baby bag continues to be very popular and the women were thrilled to get one at their fourth visit. We spent many hours packing them with all the donated items from the UK. Yaa was particularly good at colour co-ordinating the grobags donated by the Gro Company, baby clothes and blankets.
On a more worrying note, the lack of rain for most of the year was causing real hardship as crops failed and the numbers of children with early signs of malnutrition were increasing. However It was good to see so many trained staff on duty, an increase since my last visit, dedicated to caring for the children to ensure their successful recovery to good health.
The new laboratory is a valuable addition to the clinic and is vital for blood screening and early diagnosis for all patients. Yaa and I were pleased to be reminded of our Diploma in Tropical Nursing training as we looked down the microscope to identify the Malaria parasites. Sadly, the deadliest strain of Malaria is rife in this area but a combination of community education provided by the Community Health Workers and the distribution of mosquito nets plus early detection has reduced the incidence of Malaria in the under 5s by 77% between 2010 and 2016. It’s a great success story.
We were surprised that some of the staff lived a long way from the clinic and often had to travel for over an hour to get there. But they all seem to love their work and appreciate being part of such a well run facility.