Community partnership is key to C2C’s model of care. We do not simply offer health care services; we speak directly with community members to hear what they need, hold information and education sessions at our clinics and in the communities we serve, and work to increase overall health awareness.
In December, C2C hosted an end-of-year community education session at our clinic in the Democratic Resettlement Community near Swakopmund, Namibia. More than 60 women and men attended.
C2C’s Community Health Coordinator, Sister Elago, spoke on a variety of topics, including personal hygiene and food preparation, children’s health, and reproductive health. Other prominent community members joined C2C, and a traditional birth attendant encouraged women to give birth under the supervision of midwives and doctors, in a safe environment.
Attendees were given the opportunity to express their thoughts on the C2C clinic, what other services might be needed, and to ask any questions of the staff. At the end of the meeting, which also served as the staff’s way of thanking community members, guests received gift packets full of healthy cooking ingredients.
C2C’s primary goal is a healthy community, and we know to achieve that we must offer preventative information as well as high-quality care.
In Swakopmund, Namibia, teenage pregnancy rates have increased dramatically in recent years. C2C’s local partner, the Ministry of Health and Social Services, has launched a campaign to educate local teenagers about safe sex and delaying pregnancy.
Launched on October 9th, the “Education First, Baby Later” campaign has so far reached more than 4,200 teens in the region. Hundreds of local residents marched the main street of Swakopmund to raise awareness. C2C’s community health coordinator, Maria Elago, provided health education sessions at several schools, giving teens the opportunity to ask questions and to discuss their experiences and concerns.
Distinguished speakers for the campaign have included the Mayor of Swakopmund and the Governor of the Erongo Region. C2C is proud to support the Ministry of Health and Social Services with generous funding from the IZUMI Foundation. The Ministry hopes to replicate this awareness campaign in other cities throughout Namibia. For more information from local media, see this article.
It’s winter in Namibia and at C2C’s clinic in the informal Democratic Resettlement Community (DRC) near Swakopmund, increasing numbers of women are seeking health services. In July, over 650 women visited our clinic— many received pre-natal or post-natal check-ups, others attended health education sessions on family planning and sexual health (one of which is pictured above).
An important component of our work in Namibia is our relationship with the local Ministry of Health office. This partnership was designed to increase the government’s capacity to offer health services to women and children in the informal squatter community of DRC. Indeed, the population of the settlement continues to grow as migrant workers flock to the area in the hopes of securing work at local mines.
The growth of the population is not only from those seeking work, however. As the migrant worker population surges, so too does the rate of teenage pregnancy. Over the course of the next year, we aim to assist in the lowering of this rate.
Through a grant from the Izumi Foundation, C2C will work with the Ministry of Health to promote a health campaign to curb teenage pregnancy. Partnering with schools, parents, and community leaders we’ll work to help young people make healthy decisions about their futures, delay having children and complete their schooling.
The President enjoyed spending time with Sister Elago, C2C’s Community Education Program Coordinator, as well as with Ministry of Health clinical staff members and clinic patients, too!
C2C is delighted to have President Pohamba’s support and looks forward to a strong partnership with the Namibian government for years to come! C2C especially thanks the Izumi Foundation for generous support that makes this partnership possible.
During my two week trip to Namibia at the end of May, the national media was humming with renewed interest in the country’s alarming maternal death rate. Three women died of preventable obstetric complications in Namibia’s primary tertiary hospital in the past month alone. Namibia’s maternal death rate has doubled in a decade and the contributing factors are complex: rural populations without accessible clinics, lack of sufficient antenatal care for pregnant women, lack of emergency obstetric capacity in regional hospitals, and a deficit of health care professionals in the public system. In the DRC community, an informal settlement outside the town of Swakopmund, C2C’s maternal and child health clinic will open next month and will provide comprehensive pre- and post-natal care, immunizations for children <1 year of age, and urgently needed family planning services.