After our days in Prangbung we were ready to walk 1,5 hours to Memeng. The doctor and the laboratory assistants already left the day before to start early the following morning. When we arrived, the checks and follow ups were already happening. We came to a completely organized Health Post – no comparison to last year. What a great start to our 2nd visit in Memeng. At the end of the day over 80 new blood sugar and blood pressure checks were given and 20 suspects gave their blood for a fasting blood check. The good news are again that only two suspects had high fasting readings. With the help of the doctor two times pressure and one time diabetes medication was prescribed, many people were educated on prevention and some patients wanted to try out diet changes first – especially for hypertension. We really got the same impression as we did in Prangbung – people are being more aware of diabetes and hypertension and more open to change some habits or their diet. The follow up quote for Memeng was 46 % – a good number in our opinion. We also became a witness of a woman delivering a healthy baby boy during our health camp. Once baby and mother were doing well within a couple of hours, they carried her back home on a stretcher.
Doctor and lab assistants left the next morning, but we were not yet done with our projects in Memeng… . On one of the next days we started our walk with Mr. Jagat, one of the employees of the Health Post, to 2 further wards. In Ward 9 we conducted more free checks. As we continued our walk to ward 7 to stay the night, we stopped by at a local school and talked to the headmaster and his staff. The school was in the process of adding a new building and the school already had computers (this time in good shape and covered). But are they using them for the students? – “Very rarely”. Sad to hear that, but some of the class sizes are up to 60-80 students, so they were missing a good system to make this work.
Early morning in Ward 7 we offered some more free health checks before we were heading to Ward 1 – the furthest ward in Memeng. Ward 1 has no shops – they all depend on getting everything from Ward 7 or even the main ward if they can’t produce it by themselves. We had no one showing up during last year’s checks from this ward. It was the right decision to go there this time as we had over 100 villagers show up for a free check what brings the total of checks this year in Memeng to 233 and including last year to 355. People were very appreciative and excited to see us in their ward. We saw young mothers of the age 16 holding their babies on their arms what made us quite speechless. We were grateful for this experience as we see the needs and the difference road access makes. This ward has one school but only until class 5 what means for further education walking to a different ward is necessary. Let’s see what we can do for these students in the future.
Back in the center of Memeng we conducted yoga classes and encouraged the villagers to continue as a group with the donated yoga mats. It seems that in any village people are always enthusiastic about yoga as they understand the benefits, but creating a routine and believing in the impact it could have for their health issues like hypertension, needs a volunteer there for at least a month.
And then the big day came where we donated 3 new computers, 4 sacks of books to establish our 3rd library, badminton sets, soccer/ volley balls and skipping ropes to the school in Memeng. In the morning many students helped us getting all the new supplies to the school with big smiles on their faces. The students couldn’t wait to see the computers being set up and especially try them out. It was the first time for them to sit in front of a real computer, type something on the keyboard and see it appear on the monitor. Before that all their knowledge about computers was coming from their study books. Did I mention that not only the kids were excited – the computer teacher was excited too. Let’s hope they use them to the fullest and they get their garbage issue on the way to the school under control as we requested this time.
During last year’s visit we observed the kids wearing their school uniform even when there was no school. Therefore we asked for clothes donations. We started with class 1 and made it through class 3 – all students and some orphans received either a new jacket, T-shirt, sweater or pants. They loved their new clothes! We wish we could have brought more…
After all these days it was time for us to leave Memeng and visit Chyangthapu and Falaicha for the first time.
We want to thank everyone in Memeng who supported us during our stay. We had a wonderful time, were treated very respectfully and greeted by the villagers as they recognized us from last year. We will be back again for sure.
What are our first thoughts on upcoming projects in Memeng??? – Continue free checks in a couple of further wards with lower participation, offer more yoga classes and continue the discussion on the waste. We want to extend the library as well and bring school bags with school supplies for around 100 students in Ward 1. We still need to visit more schools as well. And if we are able to bring a dental camp to Memeng, we would make another big step in making health care accessible. More information to come…