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Community Placement Programme-My Experience
With frequent notions and taboos on matters health associated to different cultures, this is what Francis Mpathe, an intern at Scope Kenya, came face to face with while on field work at Chigombero village in Msambweni Division of the larger Kwale County, South Coast region. A community whose beliefs of sleeping inside a mosquito net are tied to strange and awkward thoughts of superstitious tendencies as having bad dreams, experiencing headaches and so forth are exactly some of the shortcomings that we as an organization experience in the fight against such diseases as malaria, diarrhea and HIV/AIDS.
Francis, a student of Promese Africa Development Institute who currently completed his community placement programme at Scope Kenya, was assigned duty to work in this community majorly on two things. First, youth peer education programme and secondly, health sensitization and awareness. On the youth education programme platform, emphasis was on youth to take seriously their education and mentoring them on being responsible on their health. In addition, the community was sensitized on proper hygiene and sanitation. This included proper disposal of waste, where waste is classified into biodegradables, plastics and polythene paper bags and glass and metal products. Moreover, clearing of bushes and general environmental cleanliness to ensure that there are no breeding grounds for disease carrying vectors. More on this, he administered oral vaccinations to children under a health worker, engaged the community on socio-economic empowerment initiatives where he successfully executed a local chicken breeding project and small-scale pawpaw farming to improve the living standards of the local communities.
While staying at the village for three good whole months in one of the local homesteads and stationed at Kikoneni Health Facility, Francis was able to interact with the immediate community directly while at the same time engaging community health workers in ensuring that the work was done and also a proper follow up through monitoring and evaluation.
"When I came to this village, a sense of helplessness and destitute villagers in dire need of help could be felt through the harrowing tales of the frequent long treacherous walks to and fro the medical clinics in search of medical attention on various ailments. The villagers learnt that these diseases could be prevented by taking several measures and adopting healthy living. It was also an opportunity for me to learn from their culture so a win-win situation. I achieved my goals now I’m leaving smiley faces of healthy individuals.’ He quipped.
At scope that is exactly what we work for; strengthening community partnership and empowerment.
A healthy people, a prosperous people.

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