The rural health post in Thiamene Taba, Senegal is now officially open! Through hard work and a great deal of community organizing, this project came together and is now operational. This facility will handle basic health services and the delivery of babies in the village.
Access to health care in remote parts of Senegal is extremely limited, which is further exacerbated by problematic road conditions and unreliable transport. To seek treatment, people must walk long distances or find transport of some form, which often means hitching a ride on a cart drawn by a donkey. While this works some of the time, it is extremely problematic in emergency situations, especially in cases of child birth.
This health post will greatly alleviate problems associated with these situations. Three village members have received extensive training from the government and gained experience at nearby health clinics. They will staff the facility and be on call for emergency situations. They also provide services like monthly child-weighing to monitor for malnutrition and basic first aid. The health post will also be used to host vaccination efforts and clinics from outside organizations.
We recently had the opportunity to attend the grand opening of the facility, and it was quite the occasion! Many local and regional dignitaries attended, gave speeches, and noted the importance of steps like these in the health of rural areas. The fact that many local chiefs, mayors, health workers, and even a parliamentarian were there shows just how vital these efforts are in village life.
The facility has four rooms - a delivery room with full plumbing, a recover room for new mothers to stay (also with plumbing), a treatment/consultation room, and a large waiting room area with seating. As the use of the health post develops, we will work with regional partners to fully equip the post with everything it needs.
We are very excited to be a part of broadening health care access in Senegal and to see the health of this village and the surrounding community benefit because of it. It was very encouraging throughout the process in working alongside community partners and seeing them mobilize and create a real momentum that will carry this project to success.
A huge THANK YOU to all our partners who helped make this a reality!