Medical Management Plan Togo

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1 Medical Management Plan Togo OVERVIEW Company Mission Our mission is to encourage young people to volunteer for worthwhile work in developing countries. We expect that doing this kind of voluntary work will in time become the norm. As more and more people join us, we aim to create a multi-national community with a passion to serve, to learn, to understand, to teach, to inspire, and to be inspired. Medical Programme Mission Our Medical programme mission is to enable an exchange of medical knowledge and facilitate a greater understanding of global healthcare practices. By empowering local communities, we aim to improve standards of health through awareness, prevention and treatment. Background Information Togo, officially the Togolese Republic, is a narrow country in West Africa, bordering Ghana to the West, Benin to the East, and Burkina Faso to the North. It has a population of about 7 million people, including 37 different ethnic groups. The two major groups are the Ewe in the South and the Kabye in the North. The country has struggled for years to recover from a lengthy period of socio-political difficulties that have slowed down its development i. Today, over 30% of the country s population lives below the poverty line ii (in some rural areas reaching up to 70% of the population iii ) and a lack of healthcare remains an urgent problem. Togo has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in West Africa iv and still suffers from a high child mortality rate, despite progress being made with regards to vaccinations and preventable diseases v. The nutritional and health status of the population remains precarious, and over the course of the last twenty years, there have been only very few improvements in terms of healthcare, notably regarding mothers and children. Preventable acute childhood diseases, birthing complications, nutritional deficiencies and endemic diseases are largely responsible for the high morbidity and mortality rates within the country. Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are gaining in importance with changes in lifestyle and diets. Quality healthcare services are very limited with problems in equity due to its geographic distribution vi. Partners Projects Abroad Togo is registered as a non-governmental organisation (NGO). We work with a number of private and state-run institutions, as well as partner NGOs. Medical students and professional volunteers will be placed within one of Lomé s public hospitals or centres, which are often understaffed and severely lack resources, such as the main public hospital, CHU Sylvanus Olympio. Inexperienced volunteers will have the opportunity to work closely with local staff in a private clinic or institution where they will gain invaluable knowledge about local diseases, healthcare problems, as well as gain some basic treatment skills. Specialist volunteers will be placed within a relevant centre, such as CNAO where we focus on physiotherapy and speech therapy.

2 GOALS In order to work towards our Medical programme mission, we have set the following goals to achieve in the placements where we send our volunteers: 1. Encourage an understanding of medical practices and promote an exchange of medical knowledge (*** priority goal ***) Many of our medical volunteers have no or little experience within the medical field. Their project allows them to gain invaluable insight into the healthcare system and procedures within a developing country, as well as prevalent local diseases. We aim to create a platform for a true cultural exchange, with volunteers learning from local staff as well as sharing their experiences with one another. Professional medical volunteers are able to share their knowledge and experiences both with other volunteers as well as the local teams, initiating a discussion and exchange around best practices. We also aim to promote a better knowledge of best medical practices with other partner institutions such as local schools and orphanages, to encourage better hygiene and healthier lifestyle choices. Through these actions, the project is able to become a real learning experience. 2. Promote awareness of non-communicable diseases (*** priority goal ***) Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are the primary cause of death around the world, with over 35 million deaths each year, representing 60% of all deaths worldwide. With changes in lifestyle and diets in Togo, they now represent over 34% of deaths here vii, a number that continues to grow and threaten the country s development. Studies have shown that NCDs represent a real public health issue in Togo, and fighting them has become one of the Ministry of Health s priorities. However, a lack of education and knowledge, lack of material and human resources make it difficult to combat these preventable diseases within the country. We aim to educate and raise awareness on these diseases as well as promote healthier lifestyle choices to limit their growth. 3. Improve the quality of specialised or alternative healthcare to patients Due to poor maternal health, many babies in Togo are born with disabilities, notably cerebral palsy. However, due to indigenous beliefs and a lack of education, disabled children are often seen as a bad omen. Their families often hide them, leave them behind or they become the victim of abuse. There is no social structure to accommodate these children and so they experience limited help, support and poor healthcare. We work alongside partner institutions to promote the development and independence of people with disabilities, with the parallel goal of changing people s attitudes towards those with disabilities. We aim to help provide children and adults with the tools to improve their future and quality of life. 4. Improve hygiene standards Standards of cleanliness and sanitation within different institutions (hospitals, schools, orphanages) are often quite poor. Many people also come from low income families where this is not a priority. However, globally, the majority of health problems in Togo arise from infectious, microbial or parasitic, causes that are avoidable, with poverty and poor sanitation being catalysts for these viii. We educate, raise awareness and run activities to promote proper hygiene with the aim of improving the overall health of the population. 5. Improve access to basic healthcare for disadvantaged groups Over 30% of the Togolese population falls below the poverty line, so many people do not have access to a healthcare system. Through our outreach programme of visits to local orphanages, schools and nearby villages, we aim to provide basic healthcare to some of these vulnerable groups as well as raise awareness about some of the more pressing health issues facing the country.

3 RESOURCES Human Resources Average Medical volunteers per year Projects Abroad global staff teams Placement staff support Physical Resources Projects Abroad offices Placement materials Online Resources Volunteer Resources Database Myprojectsabroad webpages Financial Resources Monthly budgets for overall operations Donations to specific projects or placements Intangible Resources Reputation in destination communities Goodwill; genuine desire to help Expertise Projects Abroad provides a range of resources for each of our programmes. These fall into four interdependent categories: Human: Volunteers themselves are our most crucial asset in achieving our goals. Through their creativity and energy, all of our ambitions can be realised. Another central support team is our extensive network of Projects Abroad staff worldwide, dedicated to supporting volunteers and achieving our company mission. We also depend greatly on the staff in all of our placements; whose support guides volunteers through their daily activities. Physical: Projects Abroad has offices in all of our destinations, where volunteers can come to speak to staff or attend workshops. There are also office materials and placement supplies available to volunteers. Online: The Volunteers Resources Database and myprojectsabroad webpages all provide vital support before, during and after their placements. Financial: Funds for all of Projects Abroad s work come solely from volunteer placement fees. These are distributed via monthly budgets, to ensure fair allocation of funds for each destination. Occasionally volunteers may also send donations directly for a specific placement or project. Intangible: The good reputation of volunteers in local communities is what makes our work possible. This reputation has been earned over years of dedicated volunteer contribution. This is supported by the combined knowledge of our extensive staff network. With over 700 staff across every continent, we are proud to be a diverse and accomplished team.

4 MONITORING & EVALUATION Placement visits Volunteer workshop sessions Staff meetings Volunteer Resources Database Feedback evaluation Physical monitoring: Through placement visits and volunteer workshops, volunteers are in frequent contact with staff members, who will observe and advise volunteers in action. Staff participate in regular meetings to discuss best practices within and between destinations. Online monitoring: The Volunteer Resource Database is platform for staff and volunteers to share and develop ideas. Feedback evaluation: Feedback from placement staff, Projects Abroad staff and volunteers is continuously gathered and used to inform future plans. LOCATION OF PLACEMENTS Projects Abroad Togo is currently based in the vibrant Togolese capital of Lomé, along the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. Our Medical placements can be found in the capital s different neighbourhoods, including Tokoin, Adidogomé, and Campus. i ii iii iv https://www.childfund.org/health-care-awareness-programs-in-togo/ v

5 vi vii viii

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