MMM News Update

By Sr. Ursula Agge MMM
In the Eastern part of Nairobi, Kenya, lies Mukuru slum, an informal settlement with an estimated population of 1,000,000 people. MMM Mukuru was born right in the middle of this slum in the year 1995 (twenty-seven years ago). We minister to the health needs of the community. Over the years, the area in which the facility is situated has attracted an influx of people from rural areas in search of opportunities in the city, due to its proximity to Nairobi’s industrial area. COMMUNITY CLEAN UP

“My name is Uyai (not original name). I am twenty six years old. I am married and this was my first pregnancy. I had this sad experience of VVF for six months. I was pregnant and during labour, I went to a prayer house to deliver. This happened when the doctors during my AnteNatal visit warned me that I can only deliver through Caesarean Section (C/S). 

Mukuru slum has attracted an influx of people from rural areas in search of opportunities in the city due to its proximity to Nairobi’s Industrial Area. The industries provide casual labourers with daily wages, other people engage in petty trade and hawking, to feed, clothe and entertain the thousands of inhabitants. Poverty is widespread, with a population density of about 50,000 people per square mile, housing is congested. They are mainly from semi-permanent materials, iron sheets, mud, wood and plastic, resulting in poorly ventilated buildings susceptible to destruction by flooding/fires. Six people may be occupying one single room measuring 3 by 4 square meters, a room that performs various functions from cooking to sleeping. The road network is bad; there is no drainage system, no solid waste disposal facilities, and no proper garbage collection equipment. This combinations of factors poses a serious threat to the health and well-being of the population, especially for children, pregnant women and those who are ailing. 

When the clinic building was taken down, the Sisters first concern was to maintain the health services they provide in the community. Two containers were immediately stripped of their contents and converted into a makeshift clinic. In December, using iron sheets and wood, a temporary building was erected for the Mother and Child clinic and the two containers were available for other services for the pregnant women of the area. Many are HIV positive and a special programme is run to prevent Mother to Child transmission. There is voluntary HIV testing for pregnant women on their first antenatal visit.

Many families, unfortunately, had their dwellings destroyed at this time and this had led to great unrest in the area, particularly among the youth. There have been episodes of vandalism, protests and further destruction of property by the protesters themselves. The Sisters are now looking at ways to encourage the community leaders to channel some of this energy into more life promoting activities. With civil unrest, many clients are defaulting from attending the clinic and looking after their health needs.
Presently the Sisters are looking for funds to rebuild the clinic, and have the necessary clearance from the local authorities.

Demolished MCH building3 Resized


Treating Covid-19 Related Stress

by Sr. Bernadette Fadegnon MMM

It all began with a thought, listening to how people expressed the way they felt. They were tense and anxious, because of the excess stress generated by the pandemic. Bernadette Fadegnon cropped
This touched me deeply because for me as a Medical Missionary of Mary. Our Congregation has a Charism directed towards healing. It calls me to do anything that I could to relieve some of the suffering of people in this time of need. I observed and reflected on how I could help and I now offer my learnings, giftedness and passion to help those in need of healing.
Massage is an alternative way to release many from severe stress after they have been accompanied by a psychologist, I thought. 

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