There are three key areas of support we try to give to Penyem: Health, Education and Sport. The first thing we gave to Penyem in 2004 was a football kit. This was closely followed by an Izusu Trooper 4×4 which the village used as a Community Ambulance for ten years. This vehicle was replaced in 2014 by a similar one to carry on it’s heavy workload. The ambulance not only serves Penyem but now can be seen in the wider community. In the last year a new tarmac road has been constructed through the village replacing the dusty and bumpy dirt track. We hope that this road will allow the vehicle a longer life – coupled with a maintenance budget to allow regular servicing. This budget also allows regular refuelling of the vehicle for it’s daily use.
In January 2014, we started a mosquito net appeal. The aim was to provide every family with a mosquito net by the end of the year. In fact, through overwhelming generosity of our supporters, we achieved our target by the end of the month! The replacement ambulance was the project for 2015. This was replaced by the end of February 2014 – thanks mainly to the fundraising efforts of The Kingswood Secondary Academy, Corby.
We were able to make basic improvements to the village Health Centre two years ago which included water and electricity being connected. A nice point to make here is that the plumbing and electrical supply were installed by men who have benefitted from our education programme.
We employ a full time doctor (Sponsored by Imerja UK Ltd)and have a nurse being trained (a local woman) at a nearby establishment. She is sponsored by DJB Labcare. We employ a full time ambulance driver who takes the trainee nurse to her training establishment. Whilst he waits for her, we have arranged that he receives basic first aid training, which is important to support his driving role. In 2014, the Health Centre in Penyem was officially opened as ‘The Jasper Brown Block’ – named after the second Grandson of Anne and Andy Butler! The Health Centre has a large waiting area, consultation room, pharmacy/treatment room and an isolation room which is sponsored by Corby Phoenix Rotary Club.
There are difficulties with funding of drugs and medicines. We supply what we can from donations and take them to Penyem whenever we can. However, the doctor needs to buy more specialist drugs locally. So it is necessary to make a charge to patients. The question therefore arises….what happens if they cannot afford the treatment? We have not been able to solve that problem yet. We are now working on a long term plan to fund the supply of medicines. Initially it was a three year plan, but as the mosquito net project and the ambulance replacement took just two months – not two years, the funding of medicines has been brought forward.