About the Trip
Join The Curiosity Project as we partner with the Kudvumisa Foundation to facilitate our second community health outreach program in the eastern Lubombo Region of Eswatini, formerly named Swaziland. Our partners Daran and Teresa Rehmeyer of Kudvumisa Foundation have been living and working in eSwatini for over 13 years. They are dedicated to meeting the health care needs of this impoverished and marginalized population. Kudvumisa just opened the doors to their own medical clinic in the region to help provide even more sustainable health care access. While participating in this annual trip you will have the opportunity to participate in a combination of mobile clinics, community health workshops, trainings for local medical staff and clinic days in the newly opened facility.
All medical professionals are needed, there is also a few spaces available for non-medical volunteers to help with logistics and program coordination. OBGYN specialists greatly needed!
About the Country
eSwatini, formally named The Kingdom of Swaziland is small country of approximately 6,700 square miles that is an absolute monarchy in southern Africa and is landlocked, bordering South Africa to the west, north and south and Mozambique to the east. The roughly 1.1 million people of Eswatini are largely ethnic Swazis who mainly practice some form of Christianity and yet retain some traditional, animistic beliefs. There are also small numbers of Zulu and White Africans.
Two-thirds of Swazis live in poverty, most of them in rural areas. Nearly 40 per cent are HIV-positive, giving eSwatini the highest HIV prevalence rate in the world. Nearly 125,000 Swazi children have lost at least one parent to the epidemic.
About the Clinic Sites
Maphiveni, Lumombo Region
Of the four regions in eSwatini, the Lubombo Region is one of the poorest, rural and chronically under served. Maphiveni, is located in the northeast of the region, boarding Mozambique. The nearest government clinic is over 8km away and the three other clinics serving this region are private, which makes them inaccessible to the community. The community is mainly made up of migrant sugar cane field workers and their families. The population of Maphiveni is approximately 4000, but it is hard to know the actual number since so many are undocumented.
HIV has had a devastating effect on Eswatini with 26% of its population being infected. This is the highest rate of infection in the world. Tuberculosis is also a significant problem in the region. Both contributing to a comparatively low life expectancy of roughly 50 years, which is among the world’s lowest. Healthcare is not widely available outside of the metropolitan areas. Patients must pay in cash for the services they receive at hospitals, an option most do not have. Fortunately, the Kudvumisa Foundation has helped reverse this trend. They have done so by taking healthcare to the people where they live. They provide health and wellness education, testing for HIV and link patients to treatment. Volunteer medical teams provide huge value to Kudvumisa in these remote areas, as they are be able to screen, educate and treat large numbers of patients in a short amount of time. Kudvumisa then has accurate patient information allowing them to provide valuable referrals and follow up.
About the Program Cost
The cost to participate in The Curiosity Project medical service trip to eSwatini is
$ 2,100. This program cost covers all accommodations, meals, clean water, and transportation once in-country, including buses/cars/taxis, fuel costs, drivers, tips and fun excursions! Costs also include the coverage of translators, medications, program supplies, community health training materials, travel and evacuation insurance, Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) with the State Department, medical license transfer procedures, and all associated shipping costs. Additionally, a safari and other cultural touristic excursions and activities are included. Please note, international airfare, alcohol, internet access, laundry, and personal souvenirs are not covered in the program cost. A portion of your donation will be tax deductible.
Day 1-2 Travel Day : Your journey will begin by departing the USA and arriving in Johannesburg, SA the next day Sat Oct 22 in the evening . We will meet, connect, rest and spend the night in Johannesburg, SA.
Day 3: Depart for eSwatini in the morning, traveling by bus for approx. 4-5 hour drive. Upon arrival we will meet our hosts, settle in and spend the afternoon unpacking and sorting, supplies to prepare for our upcoming work days.
Day 4: Travel to a rural community to provide primary medical care and community health education on your first impact day in the country.
Day 5: Day two of our rural mobile impact day where we will be providing primary medical care, screenings and health education and possibly some home health/wellness visits.
Day 6: We will spend the morning at the newly constructed Kudvumisa Clinic providing staff trainings, helping with inventory and clinic coordination. The second half of the day the clinic will open to the community and we will help and provide hands on training with the local staff as they see patients.
Day 7:. Community Impact
In the afternoon we will head into the game park, spend night and experience a game drive in evening.
Day 8: Morning game drive and then head to Ezulmini for shopping and a cultural village visit. Celebration dinner.
Day 9: Say our goodbyes and depart for Johannesburg. We will stop along the way in Ngywena for a bit more shopping. Depart in the evening from Johannesburg.
Arrive back in the USA.
Day 10, Sun. Oct 30: Welcome Home