Headline November 20, 2016/ ''' *SLUM* DOCS PAUPER '''


HERE, IN  *PROUD  PAKISTAN*,   the first historic conceptual and temporary host, of  *The World Students Society*,  I get deeply honoured-

By all the Grand-Parents, Parents, Students, Teachers and all the inhabitants of the slums. 
Having covered every single slum in Karachi, and Multan by foot, and now Rawalpindi and Islamabad-

And having shared their abodes, their food, their daily struggles, their hopes and their aspirations, for  A New World,  The World Students Society, most lovingly called, !WOW!, has the singular honour  to dedicate this research to their World. 

VOTERS in the West, often suspicious that their taxes are being frittered away on dubious projects in, say, Africa and elsewhere in the world, increasingly expect transparency and over sight in all  *aid projects*.

In 2011, for example, the British government set up an independent Commission for   *Aid Impact*,   which led to a number of aid projects, including a large one in Southern Africa, being scrapped.         

IN MAKING AID WORK -one very relevant question that comes to mind is: Where do slum-dwellers go when they fall ill?

Mukuru, a densely packed warren of corrugated iron shacks in south-east Nairobi, the usual answer is to find a backstreet pharmacist.

At one of these, customers can buy packet of pills for the ailments caused by living in a tough neighbourhood: antimalarials; antibiotics; aspirin. Drugs are not always reliable: fake or out-of-date medicines are common.

A patient who thinks he has malaria when he actually has flu will not be put right by slum pharmacist. For the past few years, however, in one corner of Mukuru, people with medical problems have a better option. 

Opposite a makeshift public urinal which costs  five Kenyan shillings [about 5 cents] to use is a  smart-green and white-painted clinic.

From 7am until 8pm  each day it offers primary health care to anyone who walks in.

A price list explains that a consultation is 100 shillings; the various tests and treatments on offer cost a little more. Staff tap patients' details into an iPad-
The shift's clinician, Ian Oyola, shows of an examination room with scales, blood-pressure monitor and the various other tools of a modern doctor's surgery.

The clinics is one of the two run by  Access Afya,   an NGO that also provides health care to children in several   low-cost private schools in Nairobi's slums. It illustrates how aid is evolving.

Funding is a mix of public and private; smart technology is used to improve efficiency and results  -and the aim is as much to show the way for others as to serve immediate needs.

Though the  NGO gets some money from donors, including Grand Challenges Canada,   a Canadian government funds for health-care innovations, and  USAID,  America's aid agency, 70% of the clinics running costs are covered by patients fees, and that share is rising.

Mellisa Menke,  the American founder, plans to open three more clinics in Nairobi. But just as important is to create a model for affordable, self-sustaining clinics that can be copied by others across the developing world.

The clinics record patients' data via a custom-built iPad app that automatically uploads the information to head office, where the information can be analysed.

A spike in upset tummies might suggest a problem with *local water supply*; that in turn could prompt a message to patients in the affected area warning them to be careful -{and perhaps buy water-purification tablets}. 

All patients receive  phone calls  after consultations to check that the treatment is working. Drugs inventory is managed with commercial retail software, which tracks trends and alerts staff when something is running low.

Patients are mostly drawn from  *Nairobi's Poorest*, making perhaps $50 to $150 a month running informal businesses in the slum.

But a growing minority are slightly better off, working as security guards or in the factories.

Dommianah Mwikali, one of  Access Afya's  community workers, says that many of the best customers are members of  local savings and self-help groups.

If health care is good, she says, people will pay for it.

With most respectful dedication to all the Slum Dwellers,  Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' The Best Medicine '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!