An Ounce of Prevention Saves Lives

Shambani Village, Kenya


Shambani Village has been facing an outbreak of tuberculosis. This has been a big threat to all of Shambani because the disease kills many people, especially the elderly and newborn babies. But the problem came to an end after GHNI noticed that the disease had killed many people in the community. GHNI and some Community Health Volunteers (CHV) met and decided to come up with solutions to eradicate this threat. They came up with a plan to teach Shambani villagers measures to prevent tuberculosis.


This was a door-to-door activity and the Shambani villagers learned three major keys for preventing tuberculosis. First, someone who is not infected should not use the same cup, spoon, or plate that has been used by someone with tuberculosis. They must clean it well to avoid the disease being transmitted. Second was to avoid coughing freely, especially in crowded areas, and to avoid non-ventilated rooms since tuberculosis transmits through the air. Third, if you are infected, you must avoid contaminating others, so you should take care of yourself. You should take all the medication fully as prescribed by a doctor because tuberculosis is a curable disease, and if you take the medication, you can be cured.


The villagers were happy after they were taught how to prevent tuberculosis, and they promised to take care of themselves to avoid being infected. Changes have been seen since the teaching because the death rate has been reduced and the number of those infected has also been reduced. Those who have it are recovering day by day as they take their medicines and follow the lessons. The community was really thankful to GHNI for showing them how to control tuberculosis. Agnes is one of the villagers who was infected, but now she is among those who were healed after she followed GHNI’s lessons. She is really happy and thankful to GHNI.


Transformational Community Development (TCD) Update


The training on preventing tuberculosis reached many villagers, and it seems the community is practicing what they have learned. Villagers were also taught how to prevent other communicable diseases through good hygiene. The Water Committee taught forty villagers how to best utilize available water and they were happy for the lesson. The GHNI coach met with fifty-seven parents and stressed the importance of education for both genders. He also tried to discourage early marriages while encouraging the guidance and counseling of young girls. Micro-entrepreneurship continues to be encouraged and the committee is following up on loan repayments.