International Medical Aid Kenya

International Medical Aid Kenya

From Kelly Russell

Fee for program, including secure and safe housing, transportation, and education for all of the volunteers. The rest of the program fee goes directly back towards helping to sustain and further develop the program

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As most of you know, I graduated from University of Colorado's Midwifery Program with a masters in nursing in December and passed my midwifery boards to make me a Certified Nurse Midwife! 

The reason I went to nursing school was initially because I wrote a paper at Elon about neonatal and maternal mortality and its prevalence around the world and I became so interested in this topic and wanted to help. So many moms and babies are dying in third world countries due to the lack of basic education in healthcare and the best way to help besides money/resources is to train the healthcare workers in these countries to help better take care of these women and babies. Coincidentally I ended up loving pregnancy, childbirth, and caring for women! So, now here I am, a Certified Nurse Midwife (a nurse practitioner that delivers babies but also provides care for women throughout their pregnancy and their lifespan), and before starting a job (hopefully) on the East Coast, I wanted to finally get the chance to use my skills and training to help moms and babies internationally.

 I was recently interviewed and accepted into the International Medical Aid program, a non-profit organization through Johns Hopkins that provides medical care, clinics, and teaching in areas that need it most. The trip I was accepted on goes to Kenya this year. The country's most vulnerable population are women and children living in slums outside of the major cities, due to lack of basic medical care and hygiene practices. 

I will get the chance to work one on one with the resident health care staff to assist with births, staff training and providing education sessions for expectant mothers. The program takes a holistic approach to care, collaborating with local leaders to develop ethical and sustainable community-led initiatives that address the issues surrounding women’s health.  IMA is a not-for-profit organization that reinvests into all of the communities in which it operates. We will also be doing HIV/STI clinics and education, and hygiene clinics for local children which is an extremely important public health initiative that is lacking in the area. The hospital also partners with a unique center called The Gender Based Violence Recovery Center, which provides 24/7 care to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence for free.

Ted has also offered to volunteer his time and video skills to create an informational video for the program to help promote and educate others on what the program does and why it is so important. They do not currently have much video content to highlight what the organization does and what the trips on the program entail, so they were grateful for his offer to help them with this. So, we will both be going on this trip together in June.

I'm so excited for this opportunity and to help these women and their babies! However, it is an expensive fee for program, as the organization has to provide secure and safe housing, transportation, and education to all of the participants. The rest of the program fee goes directly back towards helping to sustain and further develop International Medical Aid’s humanitarian initiatives in South America, East Africa and the Caribbean. I think this is a really amazing program and experience that is truly helping women and children in countries where help is needed most. 

If you are interested in donating to my program, I would be so grateful. Any amount would help to make this trip a reality for me. I have attached the link below to my fundraising site. And if you are unable to donate at this time, that's okay, too! It was important to me that I could just communicate with all of my friends and family what's going on and what I have been working so hard towards over the last few years and to fill you in on the important trip that we will be taking in a few short months. I appreciate any positive thoughts and prayers you could send our way!

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