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Wegmans School of Nursing’s “Project Pad” in Full Swing


Wegmans School of Nursing’s “Project Pad” in Full Swing

When members of the St. John Fisher College Wegmans School of Nursing traveled to Kenya last year, not only did they provide free health care and health education to several communities, they also learned about issues that Kenyan females face in those communities.

Drs. Karen Parker and Vivian Cunningham, Visiting Assistant Professors, led the group of 18 students on the mission trip, and heard about a problem at the Mbaka Oromo School where young women were suffering through their menstrual cycles with no access to sanitary supplies. A teacher at the school told them that these young women were forced to trade their bodies in exchange for money in order to purchase those supplies.

“The teacher asked us to talk to the girls and see if there was anything we could do, which we did. But we thought we could, and should, do more,” said Cunningham.

Once back home in Rochester, the group connected with other nursing students, faculty, and women in the surrounding Rochester communities to collect sanitary supplies for the young women at the schools in Mbaka Oromo. The first 100 kits were delivered in February, and another group of Fisher faculty and students will personally deliver over 100 additional kits to the schools when they leave for their next mission trip on Sunday, April 8.

A group of eight undergraduate students will be completing their last clinical rotation while in Kenya for three weeks, and Cunningham, along with Adjunct Professor Jessica Thomsen, will be accompanying them. They will divide their time working in Mercy Mission Hospital in the Central Rift Valley in Nakuru and the Anglican Mission Hospital in Maseno. They will also spend some time in the Mbaka Oromo Primary and Secondary schools providing health screenings and health care.

While there, the students will use the Wegmans School of Nursing’s low resource simulation model called, “Mamma Natalie and Baby Natalie,” to teach Kenyan nurses about postpartum hemorrhage and neonatal resuscitation.

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