The NGO SIM organized in August a new mission to Mozambique, this time the main themes were Education and Health. In addition to the leaders of SIM, the mission had the contribution of a well none doctor - Dr . Vasco Sousa Coutinho, an expert of the Center for Dermatology, at the Hospital CUF Descobertas - and three volunteers : Caetana Lucena , Constance Lameiras and Ana Margarida Oliveira.
The doctor of our mission traveled to the vilage of Inhassoro and Bazaruto Island to collect informations and study the major skin diseases that affect the communities supported by SIM.
Infectious diseases are the major problem at the area, particularly fungal diseases (ringworm), sometimes with annoying and potentially dangerous bacterial infections. Parasitic diseases, especially matacanha, and some viral ones are also very present.
In children, some forms of ringworm are hardly inflammatory and cause little discomfort and damage, usually they heal around puberty, but the families do not care, they not even increase the hygiene cares that could reduce contamination, and don't seek for help.
These behaviors must be changed, NGO SIM in collaboration with the local authorities will seek to address the problem in the best way. These diseases can cause large inflammations in some cases, frequently with an intense itch and secondary infections, often leading to permanent scars and some baldness in the afected areas. More importantly, it weakens the children and they become more vulnerable to more serious infections, restrain their psychomotor development and, consequently, their school performance.
It remains to ensure a tight sanitary surveillance of other more serious problems, which have already cost a lot of lifes among the habitants of Bazaruto Island, including HIV AIDS and tuberculosis. There is a need of a major attention to this situation, sometimes undervalued locally, because in addition to the human loss may come to be a threat to the economic activities of the Island and it's cluster, if not properly addressed.
The mission of SIM counted with a lot of information gathered in Maputo from some resident doctors of the capital. In the vilages of Vilanculos and Inhassoro was possible to achieved the precious collaboration of Dr. Yussuf, M.D., and Dr. Isis, M.D., this last one is an internal doctor from Inhassoro Hospital and after visiting the SIM's Place, stayed in direct contact with our teenagers to help address the most urgent situations detected in the surrounding community.
In the Education field, our volunteers did a global and comprehensive review of the school situation and performance of our students at SIM's Place. Because the resources were limited, it was necessary to reinforce the mechanisms for recognition of merit, allowing those who struggled to continue their studies and freeing spots for new scholarship applications. One of the recurring problems in this area is the monitoring of students and, therefore, the contact made by the volunteers with the teacher was very important.
The evaluation brought the awarness of a need to create conditions for a regular follow-up, therefor NGO SIM recruited the Professor Celso Azevedo, teacher at the Starfish Industrial and Commercial School in Inhassoro, as the new guardian of the scholarship holders of SIM's Home.
This mission also allowed to improve the living conditions of the childrens, with new infrastructures, including piped water and electricity provided by solar energy in all installations.
At Bazaruto Island, the Mission Education and Health continued its humanitarian action, not only with the doctor's visit for needs assessment, but specially with the distribution of school supplies and materials, food, clothes and blankets. The king Mazalleti followed all the initiatives of the mission and alerted SIM, once again, to the major needs of the local populations.
In Sitone School, was held a big meeting with the families from the community to deliver food and clothing. A great moment of joy was played by all children when the volunteers and the young scholarship holders proceeded to the distribution of GUD juices, offered by Sumol/Compal .
The mission of SIM established contact with the new Solidarity Association Tilizinwe and together made the distribution of t-shirts, coloring books, pencils, pens and hats to the children from the local school.
With the operational support and help from the Bazaruto National Park, was possible to made the distribution of blankets to the population of the island, offered by supporters of the NGO SIM.
Institutionally speaking, the leaders of the SIM and the mission members had the opportunity to meet with the new Inhassoro District Administrator and the Permanent Secretary of the District.The results of these contacts were mutual commitment to strengthening relations in the future, in a view to try solving the major problems in the field of Education and Health. A regular visit of a doctor at the North zone of Bazaruto Island, the recovery of existing Nursing Center and permanence of a nurse on site are certainly the most urgent measures to be taken.