In November, the Texas based Journey Charitable Foundation awarded the Mother Maryam Foundation a generous grant of $2,500 to support our projects. These funds will help communities served by the Kolomiseed Health Center address critical public health issues at this difficult time.
In November, the Kolomiseed Health Center hosted a mobile clinic sponsored by a German – Saudi – UAE charity. Twelve health care workers provided a mobile clinic and tents outside the Health Center. They offered free testing, medication, and treatments to over 200 patients. The village community provided food, lodging, and hospitality to the health care workers.
Sudan had unprecedented flooding in the fall of 2020. Floods destroyed 100,000 homes and affected over 3 million people. To assist flooded communities, Mother Maryam Foundation jointly hosted a Free Health Care Caravan with the University of Dongola Faculty of Medicine, local health authorities, local environmental health authorities, the Omdurman National Bank, and the Sudanese Red Cross and Red Crescent Society. Starting on October 2, staff from the Kolomiseed Health Center joined a team of medical specialists and environmental technicians who provided food, medicine, health care, and environmental health services to the village of Dal, around 200 km north of Kolomiseed Health Center. Starting on October 9, the Caravan provided food and health care to the villages of Az-Zooma, Magashy, and Al-Huzayma in the Meroe area, 120 km south of our Health Center.
In August, Mother Maryam Foundation sent $5,000 to help prepare the schools in Az-Zawrat village for their COVID-19 delayed opening in November. Five hand washing stations with appropriately spaced faucets are being built at schools in the village, one in each elementary school and two in the high school. We have committed to supply each school with locally made soap and hand sanitizer for the school year. Medical students from the University of Dongola have volunteered to conduct health education on hand washing and COVID-19 protection to students and staff when the schools open. This effort will help protect the 1,132 students, teachers, and staff in this village.
In June, Mother Maryam Foundation supported a COVID-19 Health Education Project in the village of Az-Zawrat on the Nile River in Sudan. Dr. Mohamad Osman Abdelaziz (Dr. Omda), the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Dongola University, supervised health educators who visited all 1,006 homes in this rural agricultural village. The volunteer health workers included medical students, practitioners from the Sudanese Red Crescent Society and the Dongola Locality Health Authority, and other local volunteers. The masked gloved health workers visited households to teach how COVID-19 is transmitted, and taught social distancing, wearing cloth masks, covering coughs and sneezes, how to wash hands and use hand sanitizer, and how best to protect themselves and their families. They gave each household locally made antiseptic soap and hand sanitizer. They gave hand sanitizer and soap to four schools, three elementary schools and one high school. Health officers and mosquito control workers sanitized all public areas in the village, including the Kolomiseed Health Center. The village women prepared food for the health care teams.
The Kolomiseed Health Center in Az-Zawrat continues to operate during the coronavirus pandemic, following WHO guidelines for safety. The Health Center has not had any COVID cases. The staff has been educating the community in proper social distancing and sanitation standards. The schools ended the school year early due to the pandemic.
The Clinic’s development plan for 2020 has been delayed due to these circumstances. The plan was to build a home on Clinic grounds to house a Doctor with a family. Since the opening of the Clinic in 2011, it has been served by a Resident Physician, a live-in physician who is undergoing the Residency requirement of medical training. During their year of service, the physicians have lived in a bedroom attached to the Clinic. While each doctor was much appreciated, the community hopes to have a Doctor who might remain in the village for a longer period of time, so wants to be able to house a doctor with a family. The village plans to recruit a female doctor.
Mother Maryam Foundation supported the construction of an exterior wall and a traditional Nubian style gate in the last of the three elementary schools in the village. Now all schools have renovated exterior walls and traditional Nubian style entrance gateways.
The Clinic building was renovated, with new paint, new plumbing, repaired windows, and an enlargement of the Doctor’s quarters. The Mother Maryam Foundation cooperated with the Nubian Cultural Organization and the Khartoum Eye Clinic to host a Vision Care Day, in which students from five villages received free examinations, treatment, and glasses (if necessary).
The Clinic hosted a UNICEF vaccination campaign against yellow fever, polio, and other diseases. It hosted two Free Health Care Days (with volunteer specialists from the provincial capital as well as Clinic Doctor and staff) and two Dental Missions. A team of Medical students and professors from Dongola University surveyed students from all three Az-Zawrat Elementary Schools: recording height, weight, nutritional status, and screening for medical conditions.
Mother Maryam Foundation funded the transport of medicines donated by Americares to the Clinic and to four regional hospitals.
The Mother Maryam Foundation paid for the renovations of a second elementary school in Az-Zawrat. Volunteer laborers (supervised by a local builder) built traditional Nubian style gates at the entrance to the schools’ compounds.
The Mother Maryam Foundation received a generous bequest from the estate of Nancy Kott Tunnell and Curtis Tunnell of Austin TX. The village community and its cooperatives have been holding meetings to figure out their greatest needs for projects in the future.
The Kolomiseed Health Care Center hosted two Free Health Care Days, two Dental Care Days, and an Ophthalmological Day, all with visiting specialists. Because of the deteriorating condition of the health services in the area, the Clinic has served greater numbers of patients from outlying villages.
Thoraya Abdelraheem Abdelgadir became Ombudsman for the Clinic. She is at the Clinic when it is open so that she is able to assist staff and patients in resolving any problems or issues they encounter there.
The Kolomiseed Health Center’s Doctor and staff and volunteer medical specialists from the provincial capital hosted a Free Health Care Day that served over 1,000 patients. It hosted a visiting Dental Team which provided free examinations and treatment and an Ophthalmological Team that provided eye examinations and treatment.
The Clinic hosted a team from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Society that trained community members in First Aid and Home Health Care. They provided all trainees with free first aid kits.
The Mother Maryam Foundation sent money to remodel classrooms and build a new wall around the Kolomiseed Elementary School, one of the three elementary schools in Az-Zawrat village. This wall includes a traditional Nubian style gateway at the entrance. The Foundation provided the materials, while the village donated labor for construction. The men did the building, while the women did the painting and cooked meals for the volunteer laborers.
The Mother Maryam Foundation sent watermelon, onion, and tomato seeds for distribution to local farmers.