Saturday, April 07, 2007

Bicycles for Kenya (and a fundraiser for Kisesini Health Clinic)


By Laura Casselman

What if you built a health clinic in a rural community and your health workers could not get to the clinic? We'll get to that point later.

First, let's talk about the clinic.

Global Health Partnerships, a new non-profit organization based in Albuquerque,
is working on a project with a women's basket-making cooperative in the Kisesini region of Kenya. The partnership is building a health center centrally located within one day's walking distance from several rural villages.

In Kenya more than 50% of the population lives in extreme poverty, defined as less than $1 per day. One of every nine children dies before age 5, mostly from preventable causes like malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea. There are simple and inexpensive ways to prevent and treat these maladies: mosquito nets and medicine for malaria, antibiotics for pneumonia, and oral rehydration solution for diarrhea. Since one third of the children also suffer from malnutrition, improving nutrition and sanitation are also being addressed.

The Kisesini clinic is just one of many possible projects for GHP. The organization, comprised of medical professionals and other volunteers, will be looking for opportunities to work in partnership with local health providers and grassroots community organizations to improve the health and well being of the poor and marginalized peoples throughout the world. GHP provides direct medical services, delivers medical supplies and equipment, and trains local health workers.

Fundraiser on June 23
On Saturday, June 23, there will be a fund raiser for GHP and the Kisesini clinic at the
Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice, 202 Harvard SE. It should be a fun and informative evening. Still in the planning, there will be African entertainment and Kenyan speakers.

Dr. Angelo
Tomedi, the founder of GHP, will speak about the clinic's progress. He and other medical professionals have already gone to Kisesini to begin the training of the health workers. Donations will be used to finish the clinic (exterior walls are up), purchase supplies and medicine and continue the training. Tickets for the event will be sold at Peacecraft starting in June.

How else can you help? Donations are already being collected and sent to
Global Health Partnerships, PO BOX 4385, Albuquerque, NM 87196.

Is Your Old Bike Going to Kenya?
Now, here's the answer to the question about transportation for health workers. Besides training and medical supplies there is one other thing the health workers need: bicycles to travel between the villages and the clinic. If you would like to send your bike to Kenya so a health worker can get around, just bring it to PeaceCraft at 3215 Central NE. Of course bikes and other donations are tax deductible and you will be sent a receipt.

old bike is going to Kenya. How about yours?

The author is involved with The ONE Campaign in Albuquerque.

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