Our meeting in Państwo-Miasto

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On the 30th of March, 2017 another meeting of the „Safe Water Safe Land” volunteers was held in Warsaw’s social-cafe „Państwo-Miasto”. There were 18 (!) of us, including some two two-years-old, but already well-seasoned travelers-rescuers. Their travels were mostly about bouncing between chairs and under the table J.

At the meeting, we discussed the projects that were in progress and shared experiences of the already realized activities. One of the most important things to discuss was, of course, the next training projects. In the vote, Burma won almost unanimously. A lot of us want to go there and the working group is strong, so Myanmar is at 99% probability :)

The competitive idea of ​​action in Africa is postponed in time. There were also new ideas for training courses in Cuba and Brazil. In turn, the issue of the Tatra Mountains and the project „Nas obchodzi – We care” has aroused many emotions, but also valuable discussion. It is now known that we must change mountains in order to organise it. A bit pity, but the project will be great and we are not giving up.

we will certainly inform you on our further progress… :)

 

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First meeting in 2017

On 27 Febuary 2017 the volunteers of our foundation met for the first time this year to discuss both the already implemented projects as well as further plans.

As usually we had a lot of fun. We started by summarizing the previous projects. The volunteers who participated in the Thailand project shared more details about the event, and adventures back in Thailand. Then we had a brainstorm about further plans and ideas what the foundation could do in the next few years. For sure we did not struggle with the lack of ideas. On the contrary, we came up with a number of courageous plans. After all, sky is the limit. Now it’s time to verify them.

It was a very fruitful meeting, also due to the fact that more and more people are joining the foundation. It means more energy, more ideas and more hands on deck! Welcome on board :)

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Let’s get to know each other

Hi!

Let us introduce our team of Safe Water Safe Land volunteers, who are participating in the Thailand project.

Jasiek is the expert in AED equipment, who sells also other medical equipment;  Monika is a CPR instructor in Emergency First Response, who works with medical personnel recruitment; Kasia is also an international first aid instructor, who works as an architect. Jurek is one of our trainer, but on the daily work, he designs airplane jets, Ane is paramedic and first aid trainer – instructor, and Lukasz is EFR instructor, motorcyclist and travel enthusiast.

Our training team is supported by Tereska and Marzena, who are in charge of photos and films of the project, as well as Kasia and Monika, who moderate our facebook fanpage.

We have made all efforts to realized that project, but it was worth that. As a feedback, we received a lot of gratefulness and energy that drive us to the next projects.

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It was amazing!

After today, we are speechless – more than 60 people  participated in our training. There was a lot of practical CPR exercise as well as the first aid competition. The remarkable part was the simulation, which presented how to help the drowning person, without needless words and additional translation. We understood each other without words.

Finally, our hosts thanked us singing. It was absolutely amazing.

It was really energetic and great training at Baan Than Namchai Foundation.

A good and important day for us!

Watch the video here.

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Home&Life

Today, apart from the training, we had also opportunity to visit orphanage Home&Life Thailand. We spent some time with young pupils of the foundation and home orphanage. This type of institutions are not financed by the public funds, so they need to fundraise money from the different sources. In order to maintenance the place for children, Home and Life runs a cafe and hydrophobic plantations.

You can see their activities on Fb: https://www.facebook.com/home.and.life

We hope that the afternoon with first aid and rescuers was interesting, inspirational and educational for all participants. Looking at the cheerful smiles of children, we are sure about it. It was worth it! We also had a great time!

 

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FED foundation

We could not dream of a better beginning for our trainings. It was really an exciting day – hard workouts and incredibly energetic groups!
Welcome was very warm and we were most professionally received – we have met some of the foundation staff, teachers, carers. Not only did we train two large groups at Grassroots Foundation, but we also donated phantoms along with a set of CPR training accessories. It will allow students to train more after our departure! Indeed a good day is behind us! We hope the pictures speak louder than words!

Check out our FB fanpage for more pics!

 

 

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Ready, steady… go!

Today is the 5th of January and the first day of our project – the most important! This is the real start for Thailand 2017. We are stressed and we cannot hide it! Until the last minute there were preaparations, we have done a general rehearsal, last briefing, and … we will be face to face with a demanding group. We have been working on this for months – really!

First training is in the large Grassroots Human Rights Education & Development (GHRE-FED) foundation in #KhuekKha. Fantastic people that started working first with the victims of the tsunami, leading an orphanage and educational center, and now they are evolving and working with legal and financial assistance to migrant workers, mainly from Burma. This is a very difficult issue here in Thailand that we hope to tell you on another occasion.

 

first day

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Preparing for Thailand project

We are almost ready for the Thailand project. There has been a lot of work, e-mails, planning and as well expenses for the oncoming trainings. We are going to be in the Khao Lak region between the 4th and 8th of January and then moving to Phuket penninsula for two more days of trainings. We will inform you on Facebook as well as here on the blog about the events and hopefully will be able to post some pictures as well.

Many thanks to Foundation for Education & Development (FED) that was helpful in so many ways with information and tips about the volunteering in Thailand. They are doing a great job since 2007 having been working constantly on helping affected comunities with humanitarian aid, but as well legal assistance and basic healthcare. We hope to be of some assistance to their greater and long-term establised project in this area.

We have been raising money for the project and one of the action aimed at arising awarness about situation in Thailand and other parts of the world where first aid and emergency services are not established was 24hours in hammocks. Short movie relation is posted on our facebook site. Enjoy!:

https://www.facebook.com/fundacjasafe/videos/1824140397843516/

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Yellow fever is a viral and dangerous disease transmitted by mosquitos of the Aedes, Haemagogus or Sabethes family. Diagnosis, especially at the early stages can be confused with other viruses as malaria, dengue, viral hepatitis or other diseases as well as poisoning. Blood test can detect fever antibodies, tests require specialised equipment and staff.

Transsmissions can regard people working in the jungle – infected mosquitos that feed on monkeys infect humans, semi-domestic mosquitos that breed in the wild and around households infect monkeys and people. That outbreak is common type in Africa. The third one – urban means that epidemics occur when infected people introduce the virus into a populated area with high number of non-immune people.

The virus incubates for 3 to 6 days and is followed by infection. The first phase usually causes fever, muscle pain with backache, headache, shivers, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting. Most patients improve after that and the symptoms disappear after several days. Nonetheless – about 15% of patients enter a second, toxic phase within 24 hours of the initial remission. There is again high fever and body systems gets affected. Such patients develop jaundice very quickly. They complain of abdominal pain and vomit. There might be bleeding from the mouth, nose, eyes or stomach, then blood appears in the vomit and faeces. There is malfunction of kidneys. Important: half of the patients who enter the toxic phase die within 10 to 14 days, the rest recover without significant organ damage. It is a dangerous disease and cannot be underestimated. There is no specific treatment – only supportive care to dehydration, respiratory failure and fever. Antibiotics are used to treat associated bacterial infections.

Vaccine – it is safe for children over 9 months, quite affordable and single dose can provide life-long immunity against the disease. Sometimes a booster dose is needed after 10 years. They are noted by a physician in the so called “Yellow book”. If you plan travelling to Africa or via Africa do vaccine yourself. It is required as well in some parts of Americas.
STAMARIL – produced by Sanofi Pasteur – price ca. 50€
YFbook

An outbreak of disease was detected in Angola at the end of 2015. It spread quite significantly through the country with an alert situation now, in May with over 2400 suspected cases. There has been consequently confirmed cases in other countries in connection to Angola. Democratic Republic of Congo – almost 50 laboratory confirmed cases, 60 suspect cases in Uganda. Risk in Angola is still high, despite a large number of vaccinated people, especially in areas hard to reach and highly populated. Due to crossborder economic and social activities yellow fever with connection to Angola was confirmed in Kenya and China.

This outbreak has even raised concerns about the global supply and its adequacy in case of large epidemic. There has been about 10 million doses diverted to Angola between March and May 2016 of emergency stockpiles. The general demand for preventive campaigns increased from ca. 5 million per year to over 60 million per year. Production of the vaccine is at the level of 35 million per year.

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Sources: 

http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/206548/1/yellowfeversitrep_20May2016_eng.pdf?ua=1
https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/9846
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According to the WHO the rate of dengue fever increased in the second half of the twentieth century, almost thirty times. This huge leap is caused by urbanization, population growth, the increasing popularity and number of travellers and global warming. Dengue is currently the second most commonly diagnosed infection after malaria in this group of diseases.

Research to overcome the disease and find an effective vaccine for dengue has been sought for for a long time. In December 2015, Sanofi Pasteur as the first company announced success in the field. Yet, it is worth mentioning that there are five other potential vaccines during trials, of which two are currently undergoing Phase III of clinical tests.

Dengvaxia (Sanofi Pasteur) is designed to stimulate the immune system by producing antibodies to all four serotypes of dengue virus. But then again it is not 100% effective – in clinical tests, the vaccine reduced the risk of infection by about 60%. The positive news is that the observed efficacy of the vaccine was higher for the two more dangerous dengue serotypes. Doubts regard effectiveness of the vaccine for children, particularly under 9 years of age, and the elderly people. Therefore, the vaccine has been registered and approved in the Philippines, Brasil, and Salvador and in Mexico only for patients between 9 and 45 years old.

In early April, a program of vaccination of approximately one million public school students from areas where dengue is endemic has been launched in the Philippines. The vaccine is administered in three doses according to 0/6/12 months scheme.

Undoubtedly, this is a big step forward and if further studies prove the effectiveness of the vaccine it is likely that it will become available for travellers going to Southeast Asia, South America or Africa.

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Description of the disease
Dengue is an infectious disease – caused by a virus (Flaviviridae, type: Flavivirus). The most dangerous are serotypes 3 and 4 of the virus (there are a total of four) causing hemorrhagic fever. Important information: The infection of one serotype, though it gives a person lifetime immunity on this particular serotype of the virus, at the same time increases the risk of complications in case of infection of other serotypes of the virus.

Dengue is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes of the genus Aedes, usually Aedes aegypti. They typically live on the area between 35 ° N and 35 ° S and under 1000 m.n.p.m. Mosquitos are able to bite and therefore spread the virus at any time of day and year, though usually they bite in the morning and evening. The virus cannot be transmitted from human to human.

The disease is a bit harder for adults, but children are at greater risk of serious complications. The incubation period is between a few up till 14 days – that means that travelers, who observed uncomplicated fever after more than 2 weeks since returning home from endemic areas have a low probability of dengue.
Symptoms: fever, bone – joint pain, headache, swollen lymph nodes and liver. Typical dengue fever is two-phased: high temperature and joint pain, especially the knee joints. Than fever decreases after 2-4 days. After a short (up to 20-30 hours) remission, the fever returns, and this time accompanied by a maculopapular rash on the hands and feet passing on the limbs, trunk, rarely face. The most severe clinical form of dengue is hemorrhagic fever. This is a severe form and is characterized by high mortality rate. The initial symptoms are stronger and include vomiting, after 2-3 days comes abdominal pain, enlarged liver and hemorrhagic diathesis – petechiae caused by the cracking of blood vessels. It can lead to coma. Bleeding into body cavities appear after 4-5 day of the disease – in the absence of treatment shock and following even death may occur. However, it should be noted that most patients recover after Dengue (all serotypes) without serious consequences – yet it is necessary to implement the treatment. You really cannot take this disease too lightly.

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