Last Sunday one of the community nurses took a group of us on a hike up to see two of the villages that he works with. The community nurses are assigned a section of the hospital catchment area each and visit every village once a month on the same day of the month. They work closely with the village health workers and see all the pregnant women and newborn babies. Their main role is in education, rather than treatment.
The villages we walked to are relatively close to the hospital but are up a massive mountain on the border with the DRC. There has been problems with rebels at the border and tourists going missing in the past but not recently – I was only told this 3 hours into the hike where it was definitely too late to change my mind!
The reason we were visiting the villages was that they have no safe water source at the moment. They collect rain water during rainy season but during the dry season they have to walk for hours down the mountain to the nearest stream. I found the hike very tiring and hard work so can not imagine doing it every day and carrying water back up. The nursing school have recently formed a rotary club and this is one of the projects that the students are thinking of trying to support. This may in turn help to get more funding for the nursing school.