Latest Project – Kimanjo Dispensary becomes Kimanjo Hospital
Poverty-related disease is rife here.
Infant mortality is high, tuberculosis, chronic gastrointestinal disease mainly due to contaminated water, eye and respiratory disease caused by smoky living conditions, and the complications of female genital mutilation are all common.
In 2006, when the Trust started work in the area, the Government community dispensary (the most basic level of formal healthcare facility in Kenya) had been unstaffed and closed for years.
The Trust and the community lobbied the government to post a nurse and we employed a Trust nurse as well in 2008. We provided a vaccine fridge, solar power, nurse accommodation and IT equipment.
Through the generosity of the Hestia Foundation, in 2008 we started the Nabakisho (health-for-all) Healthcare Programme:
- A mobile clinic vehicle was provided
- 34 Community Health Workers (CHWs) were employed and trained to be the eyes and ears of the Nurses in the wider area
- They were equipped with bicycles to cover more land (and provide them with a possibility for income generating activities)
- They were given mobile phones (so they could send SMS messages and photographs to nurses to speed up and make more accurate first-responder decisions). M-Health!
- Each CHW was given and trained to use home-care medical kits.
The CHWs were instrumental in persuading families to sign up to a programme to provide latrines and hand-washing facilities. So far we have rolled out over 50 of these.
In 2010 the Trust’s healthcare division received a grant from the Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation, enabling us to start the construction of a brand new health facility next door to the old dispensary. With community leaders, we lobbied for MoH support and the ranch transferred 10 acres of land over to the Ministry. Building was completed in May 2013.
The facility is designed as a cluster of four linked buildings with a combined roof to maximise rainwater harvesting.
- There is a reception wing at the centre plus an office and waiting area.
- The outpatient wing has a further intimate waiting area, 4 consulting rooms, treatment room, laboratory, pharmacy, and patient toilet.
- On the opposite side is the service wing, with laundry and kitchen, staff room, and doctors’ accommodation.
- At the rear is the inpatient wing, comprising 3 wards and a maternity suite, x-ray room, and operating theatre.
- The old dispensary has been converted into nurse living quarters.
The facility will be largely solar powered, supported by a diesel generator to be operated when needed (for example for x-rays and instrument sterilisation).
We are currently working with the GoK to register the facility as a Sub-District Hospital, which will enable them to staff it and to aid us in equipping it. The Trust has provided hospital beds, with support from generous guests of The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille. We are actively seeking more funding for equipment.
We are excited that in September 2013 we are going to benefit from the expertise in Primary Healthcare of the world-famous AMPATH project.
An important part of NHP is monitoring and evaluation of healthcare indicators in the community, to justify further funding and intervention in years to come. Though we do not yet have sufficient concrete data on the impact of the hospital, the nurses say they are seeing distinct changes for the better in the incidence of common disease and illness.