Day 5: Outreach in the community: Touring local homes

Tania Haas is the health and wellness writer at Medcan. She produces the monthly newsletter and the Medcan.com articles found here 

As mentioned in the previous blog, Rosaline and I spent the morning focused on health promotion. The afternoon, we toured a 2KM radius around the clinic and visited with local residents and asked to tour their homes and crops. Some photos and videos below.  

 Paul let us tour his sitting area, kitchen and backyard where cows come to drink and rest.

Paul let us tour his sitting area, kitchen and backyard where cows come to drink and rest.

 With very little rain this season left the crops small, dry. 

With very little rain this season left the crops small, dry. 

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While every home is unique to its inhabitants, we found that there was a common characteristic to their kitchens: poor ventilation. 

Most people are cooking in wooden shacks where the smoke circulates without a vent or a fan and inevitably the ash and smoke will risk affecting vision and respiratory health. This would explain the coughing and itchy eyes that so many of our patients describe. 

We spoke about this later with Drs Hawkes and Sidiqa and they told us about smart clean cooking technologies that cook faster while reducing fuel use, smoke, and toxic emissions. This may be a worthwhile investment for Naweza, or Naweza's supporters to look into. 

This video is a tour of a local home near the Lewa Clinic. As you will see, Rosaline takes us on a tour of local resident Sophia's home -- where we see where she stores her onions and other small scale farming; rabbits; chickens; where the cows sleep and where the water is gathered (it had been a very dry winter so there was very little water collected); and then finally we had a tour of the sitting room and the kitchen. 

This tour is very much in line with other homes we visited around the Meru outreach. We hope to make clean cooking a priority as Naweza moves forward and focuses on health promotion in this community. 

Here's Rosaline and her amazing tour! Rosaline, the next Anderson Cooper! 

~Tania