A Kerosene Powered Refrigerator for our Health Center
People from the surrounding villages come to seek medical help from our paramedic. Some even explicitly expressed that they prefer coming here than walking to the only hospital in the big town of Tsiroanomandidy.
Having a refrigerator is a major step towards modernization and reliable health care delivery in our Health Center.
Our founder, Dr. Ihanta writes: “We need a refrigerator to store vaccines as 100% of kids must be immunized and some medicines for hemorrhage post partum have to be stored in a refrigerator as well. Our center is a CARMMA which means it is designated by the Ministry of Health as a specialized health facility to accelerate the reduction of maternal and child mortality rate. We are very proud to be one of the currently 19 designated CARMMA centers in Madagascar. Now that we have found a paramedic that is dedicated to the village we look forward to a bright future for our health center. It is important to note that in all other CARMMA in the country the paramedic or midwifes are female, with the only exception of our Health Center. Since our paramedic had earned the trust of our esteemed healer Dadaleva the community accepted our paramedic in his new role as the sole health care provider whole heartedly.”
There is one drawback though. Our Health Center currently has two rooms. One room is dedicated to giving birth and possibly stay there postpartum to recover. One room has a bed for people who need to be hospitalized overnight or stay for a few days for observation. In addition there is a small room, or better a broom closet, to store medical supplies and medicines. Because space is limited the only space available for the refrigerator is in the “birth” room. The refrigerator is powered by kerosene and is smelly and noisy. This is a less then ideal situation that we hope to address with the community’s request to enlarge the Health Center. We are currently also on a waiting list for a solar refrigerator from UNICEF that would greatly reduce cost and the need of kerosene and indoor pollution.
Over a year ago our first midwife had resigned due to family reasons, but a few months later we found a paramedic from the nearby town of Tsiroanomandidy, who was willing to fill the vacant position. This proved to be an excellent choice in more ways than one. Not only is he a public official with his salary paid by the government, but first and foremost he was able to earn the trust of Dadaleva and work hand in hand with him in our Heath Center. A true collaboration between traditional and Western medicine making our vision for an integrated health center a reality.
Dadaleva was for the longest time the only medical provider in the village had been present at births for decades. Our paramedic was able to organically become part of the birthing team in tandem with Raleva. Therefore the community is supporting him in this position, now that he has to run the health center by himself.