Osani Project

Club continues it's support for the Osani Clinic Project in Kenya

Osani Maternity Wing to the left of the main Clinic

Club Donates £500 to Rural Maternity Clinic in Kenya.

Continuation of Support for the Osani Project

Rachel Simpkins, a midwife  from the John Radcliffe Hospital, visited a club meeting to tell members about her recent visit to Osani, a rural community of 8000+ people situated in the Homa Bay District, South Nyanza, Western Kenya. Homa Bay is a port and fishing town on the shores of Lake Victoria. People travel there for many hours to reach their nearest hospital.

Rachel first visited Osani in 2008 to share her knowledge and skills on the care of pregnant women at the Osani Clinic, although at that stage a maternity wing only existed on paper.

Speaking to members about her recent visit Rachel outlined the improvements that have taken place:  

The maternity wing has been completed alongside the original clinic building. The main part of the new wing consists of 2 rooms joined by an open archway each with 4 beds. One side is used for the early stages of labour and for postnatal recovery, whereas the other side is used for deliveries. There is also a room used for HIV counselling and testing, a small clinic room and a room where the nurse lives. Solar panels installed on the roof have made a huge difference as even having a single light at night means deliveries are easier and is a major improvement. The introduction of a water container outside the clinic to promote the important practice of hand washing is another important step forward.

Rachel explained how she spent some time walking around the community and examining pregnant women in their own homes. "It was interesting to see the conditions in which they live and this helped us to appreciate the challenges they face. These women grow their own food, wash clothes by hand, raise large families and travel everywhere on foot - we could understand why some could not find the time to attend for antenatal care if they were feeling well".  

During the stay one lady delivered her baby at the clinic "The techniques used by the nurse to deliver the baby were very different to what we are used to and made our eyes water!!! When the baby was born, he was not breathing and barely had a heart rate. Fortunately we had brought some resuscitation equipment with us to leave at the clinic and we used this. After a tense few minutes, the baby made a good recovery. However, this really highlighted to us how important it is for women to deliver in an environment with the basic resuscitation equipment we take for granted back home.

Also being a nurse/midwife in this environment must be very frightening because in an emergency there is no support and no way of transferring women and babies to hospital. Therefore it is vital that women receive good antenatal care so that those with potential complications can be advised to travel to a hospital in Homa Bay to deliver. It is also imperative that the Osani clinic has the right equipment to help the nurse deal with any emergencies she may face".

At the conclusion of the meeting Club President Ron presented a £500 cheque for the Osani Project.

In response Rachel thanked the Witney Rotary Club for their extremely generous  support of the project over the last 5 years.

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