Health ... and here’s a completely different way to improve village health care

Merging creative ideas in order to increase cash income with simultaneously improving  social conditions has become almost a trademark of  The Good Village. And here is yet another way:

Eva Åberg, professional masseuse, is grinding shea nuts which will turn into clay which in turn will produce a butterlike oil, shea butter (karité), the new product, Nakamtenga massage oil.

– It took almost a whole day but now the training is in full swing.

Eva did her own training at Axelson Institute. By coincidence, she learnt from Stina Berge that the local project coordinator Pauline Conde had launched an idea to offer massage to visitors at the guest centre, e.g. people staying longer as consultants or trainees.

Eva contacted Axelsons, who decided to finance a 10 day training course on site including the necessary equipment. Pauline, together with nurse Nadine Birba and midwife Colette Compaore at the clinic, are presently learning the basics from Eva in a room next to the visitors' centre, now furnished with massage benches. But it is not at all only about making paying visitors feel good:

– As I understand, the knowledge in physiotherapy at the health clinic is limited, says Eva. Our idea is to introduce massage as a complement but we were concerned that it would be regarded with suspicion as a completely new concept. On the contrary, however, our massage project has been very well received.

The Dr Denis Mukwege Center in Nakamtenga is based on Nobel laureate Dr Denis Mukwege’s vision of improved health for women – thereby also good health for the whole family. Introducing massage at the clinic is labeled as a women’s programme, not least focusing on the maternity ward and on babies. Massage not only brings general wellness but can reduce pain and teach patients to better look after themselves. Furthermore, it is regarded as a tool to strengthen relations between mothers and newborns, as well as between patients and health workers.

– However, men seem to be just as curious of our activities. When one elderly gentleman, who is a real veteran in the project, asked for help with his sore back, I helped him of course, Eva says.

After this initial training, the ambition is to spread the knowledge within the clinic and hopefully add specific courses in e.g. massage for sports and babies and in the school, etc….

Nakamtenga since long has a ”daddies' group” and here the men can learn how massage can help their wives to alleviate pain and tiredness during pregnancy.

– It is absolutely wonderful to be able to initiate this programme on site!