CJTF-HOA Partners with Kenyan Health Ministry

MALINDI, Kenya (April 19, 2011) - U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer James Walker, Maritime Civil Affairs Team (MCAT) 208 hospital corpsman talks to Vera Hamena, nurse in charge at the Maziwa Health Dispensary April 19. The MCAT 208 is conducting assessments at different health dispensaries at the request of the Kenyan Department of Health in preparation for an upcoming Medical Civil Action Project. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jennifer Pearson) CJTF-HOA Photo MALINDI, Kenya (April 19, 2011) - U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer James Walker, Maritime Civil Affairs Team (MCAT) 208 hospital corpsman talks to Vera Hamena, nurse in charge at the Maziwa Health Dispensary April 19. The MCAT 208 is conducting assessments at different health dispensaries at the request of the Kenyan Department of Health in preparation for an upcoming Medical Civil Action Project. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jennifer Pearson)
MALINDI, Kenya (April 19, 2011) -Patients wait to be seen at the Mazwia Dispensary April 19. This health clinic is one of many being assessed by the Maritime Civil Affairs Team 208 from Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa in preparation for a future Medical Civil Action Project. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jennifer Pearson) CJTF-HOA Photo MALINDI, Kenya (April 19, 2011) -Patients wait to be seen at the Mazwia Dispensary April 19. This health clinic is one of many being assessed by the Maritime Civil Affairs Team 208 from Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa in preparation for a future Medical Civil Action Project. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jennifer Pearson)
MALINDI, Kenya (April 19, 2011) -U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer James Walker, and Lieutenant Andrew Moyer, Maritime Civil Affairs Team 208 , talk to community health workers at the Sera Dispensary in Kenya April 19. The clinic is one of many being assessed by the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa's MCAT in preparation for an upcoming Medical Civil Action Project to support Kenya's Ministry of Public Health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jennifer Pearson) CJTF-HOA Photo MALINDI, Kenya (April 19, 2011) -U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer James Walker, and Lieutenant Andrew Moyer, Maritime Civil Affairs Team 208 , talk to community health workers at the Sera Dispensary in Kenya April 19. The clinic is one of many being assessed by the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa's MCAT in preparation for an upcoming Medical Civil Action Project to support Kenya's Ministry of Public Health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jennifer Pearson)

The Maritime Civil Affairs Team (MCAT) 208 from Manda Bay, Kenya, spent a week visiting health dispensaries in the Tana Delta region to conduct assessments, and speak with nurses, community health workers and locals in preparation for a future Medical Civil Action Project (MEDCAP) to support Kenya’s Ministry of Public Health.

The team is currently working with the area’s health officer to identify the hospital or health dispensary most in need of additional training or assistance, according to officials.

“Our civil affairs team supports the local health ministry by going to remote dispensaries areas and determining the level of support each provides to the surrounding villages,” said U.S. Navy Lieutenant Andrew Moyer, MCAT 208 officer in charge. They then decide where additional resources would strengthen the health service provision.

The focus of the upcoming MEDCAP will be determined following these assessments. Historically MEDCAPs have included basic first aid, malaria prevention, immunizations, sanitation practices and improving access to clean water.

“We already know the community health workers and villagers understand that drinking unsafe water can lead to health problems; but right now there is no alternative,” said Moyer.

To leverage U.S. government resources to increase clean water access, MCAT 208 is actively seeking non-government organizations (NGOs) to partner with to equip some dispensaries with rainwater harvesting and storage equipment, said Moyer.

Verna Hamena, nurse in charge of the Mazwia dispensary serves 4,500 individuals from the surrounding villages and sees nearly 40 patients a day. She is the dispensary’s only nurse but has two community health workers who support her and the surrounding villages.

“What we could use most is a small structure for a maternity wing, maternity training and laboratory training,” said Hamena.

Emma Hawako, a community health worker at the Sera dispensary, says the clinic she works at supports 5,000 individuals and sees 15 to 30 patients per day.

“Having water near the clinic is what we need most,” said Emma. “The current water well is on the other side of the village, not near the dispensary.”

The MCAT will take their findings and provide recommendations for the upcoming project that meets CJTF-HOA’s, the district health officer’s and the partner nation’s priorities.

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