Maternal Health in Africa (August, '99)

Sorry, translation has not been completed yet. Please enjoy photos and captions.

I participated in a volunteer program held by Earthwatch, Maternal Health in Africa, in August '99. Please read a brief outline of Zimbabwe first.

Zimbabwe means Stone House in Shona.「ジンバブエ」は、「石の家」という意味です。

Local people welcomed us to their village.
The puopose of this project is that このプロジェクトは、ジンバブエの田舎に住む女性と子供の健康,栄養の改善、病気予防や栄養に関する教育を行っていくことを目的としています。
Why women and children in rural area? なぜ、田舎の女性と子供なのか? WHO's slogan, All for Health by Year 2000, is heard all over the world. But goal is still far away. Many of children in developing countries die due to malnutrition. This is a preventable tragedy. Only a small number of children die from starvation or infectious disease.
Many women die because of pregnancy-related problems in Zimbabwe and other countries.ジンバブエでは、女性の多くが妊娠に関連する疾病により亡くなっています。さらに、田舎の女性は、伝統的に朝早くから夜まで、食事,水汲み,洗濯,畑仕事,子供の世話等の重労働をこなします。男はというと、昼間からビールを飲んで時間をつぶしています。もちろん全員ではありませんが。
But these are preventable. しかし、これらの多くは予防できることです。これらについて主任研究者のプリスカ博士が中心になり、現地の人々を指導したり、いっしょになって改善方法を考えていこうというのがこのプロジェクトです。

The reasons why I chose this project were shown below.
@This project takes place in Africa. (I really like Africa after visiting Kenya in '98.)
AThere are many opptunities to contact local people in this project.現地の人々と交流する機会が多いプロジェクトであること。(環境,動物生態調査等では、日常生活がチーム内で完結してしまう。)
BThe principal investigator, Dr. Prisca Nemapare, was supposed to come to Japan in June. So I thought I had a chance to listen to her explanation.
In fact, I met many Zimbabweans and got acquainted with them.

The photo on the right shows Prisca and our volunteer members. In addition, some assistants and interpreters who translated English and local language, Ndebele, worked together. Each volunteer had one interpreter. Regarding volunteer members, they were American ladies except me. 、看護婦,栄養学を専攻している大学生,衛生学を昔学んでいた人等、それなりに関連する知識をもっていました。私はそんなものとは一切関連のない仕事をしているので大丈夫かなあと思いましたが、杞憂でした。唯一の男性ボランティアとして、それなりに貢献できたと思います。これは、主任研究者プリスカのオープンな人柄によることも大きかったです。
The resarch area in '99 was Matabeleland South Province, in the south of Zimbabwe. Our team went to a village, called Mtshabezi Mission. We stayed in Guwanda. It takes about 1 and a half hour from Bulawayo, the second biggest city in Zimbabwe by car. From Guwanda to Mtshabezi Mission, it takes about 1 hour by car.
Volunteers' tasks were
A volunteer is lectuturing on.
@Interviews to identify community needs村人にインタビューし、現在の状況把握,なにが必要かの吸い上げ。
A村人へのレクチャーとその手伝い。(health, nutrition, hygiene, other special expertise in education, gardening, income generating activities (ex. raising small animals), anything that is useful in rural area is O.K.
CAssist in physical examination on clinic day
We also visited schools and a hospital.

A local people's houseSchool students we visited.