Access to medical care was a huge problem in the isolated villages where we work; neither Sarambei nor its neighbours ever had a medical facility of any kind. Sarambei experiences the same health issues that affect most areas of Kenya, where many people die from preventable and curable diseases such as malaria and typhoid.
In June 2015 we opened a new Medical Dispensary on the grounds of our demonstration farm; we cater for over 3,000 people and are the nearest medical facility for 2,000. The following are the services we provided to the community:
- General consultancy
- Vaccination programs (free - in association with the Ministry of Health)
- Ante-natal care (free - in association with the Ministry of Health)
- Laboratory services
- Family planning
- Dispensary service for low-cost drugs
- Occupational therapy
Access to Healthcare Professionals
A doctor and/or nurse are available each day in order to provide diagnosis and treatment of the most common ailments in the area (malaria, typhoid and dysentery). This service also provides better access to vaccinations and ante-natal care and allows us to hold workshops on public health for prevention purposes. The salary of the doctor / nurse is covered by consultancy fees (€0.50 per adult and €0.20 per child) and profits from the sale of drugs from the dispensary.
Up until now, the nearest place to purchase prescription drugs was Nakuru (even Mogotio town does not have a dispensary). Such drugs were thus beyond the reach of many. Drugs for many of the most common ailments are now available at our facility. Dispensation is overseen by the doctor / nurse.
A dedicated physiotherapy room is staffed by a physiotherapist two days per week. This allows much easier access to physiotherapy services both for the general public and for members of our disability program who require regular treatments. Up until now, physiotherapy was only available in Nakuru town where patients had to make a 120km round trip for each session. The physiotherapist's salary is covered by the disability program we run in conjunction with CASA.
We are extremely grateful to everyone who has contributed to this project - especially to Fr Francis McAuliffe who provided part of the money for the building work and to the Cork/Kerry branch of SHARP (an association funded by staff of the HSE) who generously funded the kit-out of the facility. And of course to all our donors who have contributed to this project - the family of Jock Shanahan, the family of Eilish O'Sullivan, Steve and Terry Kiely, Caitrin Kelly and family, Ursula and Raj Chopra, our board in Ireland (especially Brendan, Rachel and Lynn), the late Fr. Bill Dowling, Paddy and Joe Murray and the Caring and Sharing Association.