ATLANTIC GLOBAL AID TOOK OVER MSF IJARA PROJECT
MSF stands for “Medecins sans Frontieres” In French; the English translation is “Doctors without Borders”.
Ijara district is located in North Eastern Province of Kenya in Garissa County. It has population of 100,000 people.
MSF project started in April 2010 and was targeting the population in Hulugho and Sangailu divisions; MSF started the project in Ijara District with an aim to support provision of quality services in reproductive health including caesarean section, immunization services, and tuberculosis for the populations attending Hulugho, Sangailu and Masalani health facilities in Ijara district. The project was implemented in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, District Health Management Team in Ijara District and the Provincial Health Management Team in North Eastern Province.
Over the project period MSF has provided:
• Antenatal care services to 3,980 women.
• Post natal care services to 713 women.
• Conducted 465 deliveries in the health facility.
• Facilitated MoH to conduct immunization and nutrition screening in the community.
• Trained 32 CHWs and community leaders to identify suspected TB cases and to provide health messages in the community.
• Sensitized traditional birth attendants on the importance of institutional deliveries.
• Supported national health campaigns in Ijara District.
• Donated drugs, medical supplies and equipments.
• Improved water supply, waste management and energy supply in the supported facilities.
The Project succeeded to improve:
• Institutional deliveries in Hulugho and Sangailu health facilities from 5-6 deliveries per month to 50 per month.
• Establishment of postnatal care services that were none existent in the facilities.
• ANC services that were an average of 50 increased to over 200 per month.
• Hulugho and Sangailu health facilities to provide focused ante natal care services and safe delivery services.
The factors that brought an improvement in reproductive health services were:
• Human resources provision of one midwife in each of the supported health facilities on a 24 hour basis and every day of the week.
• Efficient referral system from villages to the facilities.
• Technical support by a medical doctor/ gynecologist at the district hospital as a back-up for caesarean section and a technical referent for difficult cases in the rural facilities.
MSF signed a MOU with the MoH in April 2010 and they committed to work for two years in Ijara district. MSF project period was supposed to end in April 2012.
MSF has also been lobbying among interested NGOs with an aim to ensure continuity of services as they were implemented by MSF.
Atlantic Global Aid (AGA) was identified by the
Ministry of health to take over MSF activities in Ijara district on October 2012.
AGA took over the MSF Ijara Project and promised to add Nutrition and Wash components in the program. AGA will replicate
This program more facilities.
There is one ambulance in each facility to help
patient to bring from rural to the health facility.
By ABDIKADIR SUGOW
Health Boost Standard Newspaper
Elderly Halima Abdi Ibrahim has knee-related medical complications
but could not consult a doctor due to the long distance between her
home and the nearest medical centre, about 190 kilometers away.
For many years now, Halima has been forced to staying indoors –
reeling in her traditional bed, nursing the pain on her knees without
any due medication or even counseling.
This has remained a normal daily experience for her, perhaps
because of the surrounding environment, and many other old ailing
people. Like Halima, they continue suffering with serious health
problems, including eye and ear infections.
They have lost hope since they are not in a position to travel the long
distance to seek medical attention and there is no transport or Good
Samaritan to come to their rescue.
The matter is further complicated by the fact that the local residents,
the majority of them nomadic pastoralists, with no formal education
have resorted to the traditional way of curing diseases, using herbs,
other concoctions and fire burnings.
But there is some hope of relief for Halima who resides in a little tinny
grass-thatched home and many other residents of Masalani township
in Ijara District, with a helping hand coming from miles away in the
United States of America, with a donation of a medical consignment
valued at $350,000 (about KSh30 million).
Thanks to the Atlantic Global Aid (AGA), a non-governmental
organization whose officials travelled a long distance to come to
the rescue of ailing elders like of Halima who, not only received
immediate medical attention, but was also given a wheelchair.
An estimated 200,000 residents of Ijara and Hulugho districts will
benefit from the medical supply, which includes theatre surgical
For this poor marginalized society, serious medical treatment is a
nightmare because patients have to be transported for 190km on
a rough road leading to the only medical facility in the area – the
Garissa Provincial General Hospital.
To worsen the situation, there are no ambulances to transfer the
patients and yet still the cost of medication remains expensive for the
locals whose income is less than one dollar a day.
Hopefully the 40 feet container of medical equipment and supplies
donated by the US-based Atlantic Global Aid (AGA), which is also
locally registered NGO in Kenya and Somalia, will help alleviate the
problems bedeviling the local residents.
AGA Executive Director Dr Abdifatah Ahmed says he is optimistic
that if utilized properly, the equipment which include a critical care
nursery suite, ultra sound, dental care and labour and delivery suites,
will greatly improve the health of the local residents.
Ahmed said the mission of the NGO is to enhance sustainable
development through regular humanitarian interventions in health,
education, livelihood, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene
Ijara MP and Defence minister Mohamed Yusuf Haji, who received
the donation on behalf of the residents, appreciated the humanitarian
NGO for bringing most needed medical equipment for district medical
centres in Ijara, Hulugho and Sangailu
Haji said he appreciates the role of the Somali and other Africans in
the Diaspora has increased their participation in promoting education,
supply of relief food and health care facilities, development and
peace-building in their homelands. He asked the local people to take
advantage of the facilities.
Elder Abdi Hassan Shide thanked AGA for recognizing the needs
of the people, particularly in the health sector. He said there is great
need for equipment such as ultrasound and dental care which the
whole district does not have and people usually have to travel to
Garissa for such services.
Ms Maryan Yahye Mohamoud, a resident of Masalani Township,
says: “We as women will benefit from the ultrasound, labour and
delivery equipment. We are very grateful to Atlantic Global Aid for
making life easier for women in Ijara District.”
According to AGA director, Ahmed, the NGO has signed a
partnership with Kenyan Ministry of Health and has also taken over
the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) of Spain project in Ijara District.
MSF Spain has been working with Hulugho and Sangailu medical
centres, covering reproductive health, nutrition and immunization.
He said the NGO works on cross border projects and has done many
humanitarian interventions in Kenya and Somalia with operational
offices in Nairobi and Masalani in Kenya, Kolbio in Lower Jubba and
Mogadishu in Somalia and in Boston, Lewiston and Maine in the US.
AGA is a charitable organization established in 2010 to bring capacity
building experience, medical supplies, nutritional supplements and
medical personnel volunteers to Africa to build and strengthen
sustainable community development initiatives through peace-
building and participatory approaches.
It focuses on specific sectors priorities; nutrition, clean water,
sanitation and hygiene (WASH) health care, education in youth
livelihoods, peace-building and good governance.
“We are a tax-exempt organization. Our board of directors, advisory
board, volunteers and staff comprise of leading medical practitioners,
educators, and business managers,” explains Ahmed.
He said the NGO carries out its work by collaborating with other
NGOs, health facilities and medical staff to bring in expert in capacity
building workshops, medical volunteers, medical supplies, nutritional
supplements to selected areas and helps distribute them effectively in
the area where there is a great need.
He said the main objective of the NGO is to help raise the living
standards of the local communities through the provision of better
education and health care services.
A key achievement of the NGO was the delivery and distribution of
bales of clothes donated from Somali Diaspora in the US to 1,500
families in Badhade and Kolbio, Lower Jubba of Somalia.
AGA has taken over MSF Spain Ijara District Project on October 22,
AGA has also conducted an assessment report on the Somalia/
Kenya borderline population on health conditions, clean water
supplies, and food shortages educational capacity.
In September last year, the NGO raised funds for the victims of
famine in the Horn of Africa, particularly in Somalia and helped in the
shipment of the relief consignment. The NGO also sponsored the
Nairobi World Refugee Cup Competition in Kenya in May 2011.
AGA also works with hospitals in Kenya, American Refugee
Committee (ARC), ADESO, Mercy Corps and MSF
On June 7, 2012, Atlantic Global Aid has assumed the task of delivering donated humanitarian clothes from the Somali Diaspora in the United States of America to the people of Badhadhe district and Kulbiyow in Somalia. A truck carrying over 1800 sacks of clothing has departed from Mombasa Port City on the long trip to the other side Kulbiyow, a city located on the Somalia/Kenya border.
Atlantic Global Aid with the assistance of local elders, Somali youth groups and local community leaders in the city of Kulbiyow has successfully distributed the clothing to a total of 14 towns under the Badhadhe district. The names of local the towns we have been able to provide the badly needed clothes to are as follows:
We completed a very extensive mobilization of the people 2 days prior to our distribution so we can reach all the surrounding local communities in Badhadhe district located on lower Jubba region in Somalia. We held a meeting with local elders, community leaders, youth groups and local imams in the area to ensure that everyone in the community is reached out and mobilized.
On the day of distributions, Friday June 7, 2012, all stakeholders have agreed to designate Kulbiyow to be the distributing center. We set up a local committee of elders and local youth as well as local TFG administration for assisting a smooth and secure distribution. The highly trained Atlantic Global Aid staff has taken full control of distributing the supplies themselves to make sure no one is left behind.
We have distributed all types of clothes and shoes to the total of 1800 families including women’s clothes, children’s clothes and men’s clothes.
Assessment of the community needs and area in general:
After our distribution we had an opportunity to assess the community needs. We visited the only primary school local to the area and in Kulbiyow. We met the principal (Younis Aaden Said) along with some teachers. The school opened on August 2004 with full capacity of 250 students. Due to the insecurity in the area for the last 6 years, large numbers of students fled the area to the refugee camps. The area is returning to a relatively stable condition in terms of peace. Because of the recently gained stability, the principal said that students are now coming back home and the school is exceeding beyond its originally intended capacity. We have also assessed the structure of the school itself and noticed that the school needs complete renovation not to mention an increase in capacity such as adding adjacent buildings. In addition, there is great need for school supplies such as books, teacher supplies, office supplies and etc. Due to lack of funding there is also a shortage of teachers. Because of these needs, there are a lot of children and youth who are not attending schools, therefore, illiteracy is very high in the area and lack of opportunities for the youth in the area. There was lack of sanitation and hygiene at the school, for example, no bathrooms, no clean water at all and no food provided to students.
We also visited the only hospital in the area which is currently not operating due to lack of funding, doctors, nurses and administration. The community is without any medical clinics at the time and there is no foreseeable initiative to reopen this hospital. Therefore, there is great need for nutrition for children and mothers. According to the local elders and administration infant mortality is very high in the area.
One of the most challenging issues we have seen with our own eyes and complained mostly by community elders is clean water as there is no running water. People rely on the rainy fall season however there wasn’t enough rain for several of the past years. People were drinking from dirty manmade water reservoir ponds that have been saved from previous rainy seasons. Elders have asked us to reach out to anyone who can help them with clean water such as digging wells to be used for drinking and cooking food.
April 2012 – Atlantic Global Aid partnered with International Medical Equipment Collaborative (IMEC) and sponsored a 40 ft container of medical supplies and equipments to Ijara District Hospital-Masalani, Kenya. Project value was $290,600. This donation will help alleviate the pain and suffering of the Ijara District community and will provide the basic need of health care and education.
On Friday April 20th 2012 Atlantic Global Aid hosted a Press Conference at IMEC headquarters in North Andover, MA. We held a press conference to thank all who contributed and made this worthwhile project possible. The speakers were Mayor Larry Gilbert of Lewiston, Jim Lysen board member of Atlantic Global Aid, Dr. Abdifatah Ahmed Executive Director of Atlantic Global Aid and Ahmed Hassan Treasurer of Atlantic Global Aid.
On September 17th 2011, Atlantic Global Aid hosted a fundraising dinner featuring Maine’s Second District Congressman Mike Michaud and Lewiston Mayor Larry Gilbert, as well as leaders from the local Somali-American community and board members of Atlantic Global Aid. Funds raised during the event support AGA’s mission to deliver medical supplies and nutritional aid to victims of famine and drought in Somalia and Kenya.
Dr. Abdifatah Ahmed, executive director of Atlantic Global Aid, and Jim Lysen, a member of the board of directors of Atlantic Global Aid, represented the organization at the Social Impact Expo at Harvard University on Thursday. AGA was invited to the Expo, which is a way to help recent graduates of Harvard to find jobs.
Atlantic Global Aid is the first Maine-based charity to have an office on ground in the horn of Africa. Our focus is building capacity for sustainability through regular humanitarian missions, youth empowerment and education programs, and health care training and mobilization.
Check out the photographs below of AGA at Harvard University.