Thursday, March 26, 2015

Outreach to Nyameboame

Nicole and myself had the amazing opportunity to go on an "outreach day" to the small village of Nyameboame to weigh and vaccinate young children ages 0-5. Nyameboame (which translates to "God help me" in English) is about 20 minutes outside of Enchi (the town we were residing in at the time). The outreach nurses visit Nyameboame once a month to keep up to date on vaccinations and ensure adequate weight gain of the children.

I had the opportunity to be at the 'weighing station' where a scale (resembling produce scales back home) was hung from a door frame. Moms provided their own slings and would hang their child, and I would then record the weight. Each mom provided me with their child's health record book (which they are expected to keep safe at home). Nicole was ensuring the children's records were up to date, and kept track of trends in regards to weight and amount of attendees. Specifically, Nicole was determining which children were of normal weight - unfortunately, all of the children were moderately to severely underweight.

The children were shy, but so adorable. Many school aged children were waiting outside the clinic the entire time we were in there as they wanted to know our names and say hello (this is common here - we feel like celebrities!) The moms were then provided with a 'health promotion talk' regarding child nutrition. One of the women attending the clinic was considered their leader, so she was speaking on behalf of the mothers and would pose and answer questions to the nurses in English. She would then relay the information back to the women in Twi (the local language). It was nice to see this kind of advocacy on behalf of the women in the village.

During the clinic, Philomena asked the women in attendance why there were no men present. The answer was that it is not that they did not want to attend, but that they were working in the farms .in preparation for the following day's Market.


We then checked the child's immunization records and proceeded to assist the outreach nurses in preparing the vaccinations. We were taught the technique and landmarks of child vaccinations - the nurses are very experienced and knowledgeable.  We definitely learned a lot!

Overall, we both thoroughly enjoyed our experience, and it was a nice change from the routine of the clinic in Enchi!

Samaya and Nicole.


  1. Dear Samaya & Nicole,

    Your stories make me wonder about the sources of malnutrition where you are practicing right now. Is it all due to lack of sufficient local food? Is any of it due to lack of education about how to make the best use of the food supplies available? What do the nurses say about the sources of malnutrition for this part of the country?

    Thinking and wondering on,


  2. Hi Tricia,

    We apologize for the late response! There is a combination of factors that have resulted in the malnutrition. There is a lack of nutrient rich food in their location- the food that they eat is food that 'fills your belly' as opposed to having high nutritional value. This is due in part to their lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables in their remote location. Also, many of them can not afford to purchase fruits and vegetables, and in comparison to their staple foods (high in starch) fresh fruits and vegetables don't keep for long. In our discussion with the women, we encouraged them to increase their family's intake of green, leafy vegetables when possible, but it's a challenge that I think they will continue to face due to their location and finances.

    Thank you for your comment,