Category: Kenya


Lwala Healthcare Project

An Interview with Mercy Owuor

August 27, 2016 - Kenya

Danielle Etter

In the month of August, Real Medicine Foundation has been featuring the Lwala Healthcare Project in Kenya. Since Lwala Community Alliance’s beginning in 2007, RMF has played a critical role, providing funding and mentorship throughout the organization’s development. Currently, RMF provides medicines for children under 5, clinical staff salaries, ambulance repairs and fuel, and funds for hospital referral costs.

In our previous blogs, you can read more about the role of community within LCA and the incredible work they are doing to limit the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Over the last month, I…

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HIV/AIDS: It’s Still Here

A Story with Hope

August 15, 2016 - Kenya

Danielle Etter

When I think of HIV/AIDS, the first things that come to mind are films and literature: Philadelphia, Forest Gump, RENT. I once read part of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America for a college English course. When I was 16, my sister took me to see The Phantom of the Opera in New York City, and after the show, the costumed cast stood in the lobby with buckets, taking donations for AIDS awareness. I didn’t know it was such a problem. I didn’t donate a dime.

That was 2002, only 7 years after a period…

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Everything is Connected.

Everyone Plays a Part.

July 31, 2016 - Kenya

Danielle Etter

It’s no secret that the modern United States is lacking in its sense of community. Gone are the days of block parties, neighbors visiting on the front porch, and families helping to raise one another’s children. We’ve replaced this with the isolated new mother getting a handle on things alone in her home with only Google to help her and with neighbors hiding out, curtains drawn, preferring virtual community to flesh and blood.

We live in isolation. And we venerate the independent. It’s almost a cliché at this point.

Or so I thought.

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James Nardella, Executive Director of our partner Lwala Community Alliance, has written two chapters for The Mother & Child Project. See below for a press release.

Lwala Community Alliance Executive Director Pens Two Chapters in Zondervan’s The Mother & Child Project

NASHVILLE, TN — The work of Lwala Community Alliance is featured in two chapters of The Mother & Child Project: Raising our Voices for Health and Hope, to be released March 31, 2015. This book, published by Zondervan, is a collaboration of 42 essays by notable politicians, celebrities, pastors and global health advocates – including Hillary…

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Help us give more women and children the chance to realize their potential this holiday season by making a donation to our Giving Tuesday campaign. Every dollar will go directly to the field and give people like Cellestine Adhiambo a chance to create better lives for themselves and their communities.

18 year-old Cellestine Adhiambo smiles as she talks about what she like to do for a job someday. “I would like to be a nurse,” she says, “and work at the hospital in Lwala.” Cellestine’s dreams for her future point to her resiliency and hard…

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Help us give more women and children the chance to realize their potential this holiday season by making a donation to our Giving Tuesday campaign. Every dollar will go directly to the field and give people like Marceline Auma a chance to create better lives for themselves and their communities.

Marceline Auma smiles as she holds her newborn baby during a postnatal visit at the Lwala Community Hospital. After her one previous pregnancy, her child succumbed to common childhood diseases and infections soon after birth. But this 23-year-old mother is not worried about the survival…

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Help us give more women and children the chance to realize their potential this holiday season by making a donation to our Giving Tuesday campaign. Every dollar will go directly to the field and give people like Rose and Beldine a chance to create better lives for themselves and their communities.

In Lwala, sugar cane is the primary cash crop and often one of the only viable sources of income for young men and women between the ages of 20 and 35. Low supply of sugar cane in the area has increased competition among the…

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At RMF we believe every life deserves the chance to realize its potential. When people are liberated from their fight for survival, they begin creating a better life for themselves and their community.

We believe in the human ability to transform. Our innate capacity to create transcends differences of ethnicity and economic standing. We are human because of our potential to change the world. When we are at our best, we are co-creators.

By empowering the people we are trying to help, we discover visionaries and partners who are best able to solve their…

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Kenya: Economic Development

Through Agricultural Training, Partnership with Development in Gardening (DIG)

April 24, 2014 - Kenya

Excerpt from a progress report prepared by Katherine Falk and Jonathan White

The Lwala Community Alliance is a non-profit health and development agency working in Nyanza Province, Kenya. Supported by Real Medicine Foundation Kenya and World Children’s Fund, the organization provides 33,000 patient visits each year through the Lwala Community Hospital. The mission of the organization is to meet the health needs of all people living in north Kamagambo, including its poorest. The hospital is part of a larger effort to achieve holistic development in Lwala, including educational and economic development.

One of the main project objectives is building the capacity of community members in income generating activities.…

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Pablo Ng’asike, a 13-month-old boy from Loareng Village in Turkana County, was admitted to Lodwar District Hospital with Kwashiorkor (a form of malnutrition that occurs when there is not enough protein in the diet), severe anemia, oedema+ (also known as dropsy, is where there is an excessive build-up of fluid in the body’s tissues), dermatitis (inflammation of the skin) and very high fever. Pablo is the 2nd born in a family with six children. The mother and father are alive but very sickly. The mother is a housewife and the father is a herdsman. On admission Pablo had massive swelling…

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The following update was written by James Nardella, our partner in Lwala, Kenya of the Lwala Communty Alliance and our support of the Ochieng’ Memorial Lwala Community Health Center

photo: The Lwala Staff conducting a recent youth outreach activity on reproductive health

by James Nardella of RMF Partner The Lwala Community Alliance

The Election

The election on Monday was generally peaceful, as I am sure many of you have been following in the news. The results are still coming out, and you can click here for a very good…

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photo: Children from the Lwala community

RMF Partner in Lwala, Kenya the "Lwala Community Alliance" writes about the wonderful fundraiser/race they held in Kenya simultaneously with our LA Marathon fundraiser this past weekend.

More information about our program in Lwala can be found here

RMF/LCA Health Race in Lwala, Kenya – simultaneous to the LA Marathon on March 18, 2012

By Kelly Baird

Only a few of the feet at the starting line were clothed in worn-out Keds, a pair or two of sandals, and a single pair of sneakers.…

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Photo: Dr. Martina C. Fuchs, RMF Founder/CEO, making new friends at the Lwala, Kenya Community Hospital, October 1, 2011

We are so grateful to all our friends, supporters and teams around the world and wish everyone a fantastic 2012!

Having wrapped up another successful  we want to pause and say a huge THANK YOU to all of you who supported our work in 2011.  You have helped us achieve so much, and we give our deep thanks to everyone for your generosity and support!

In 2011 we..

In Japan, post-earthquake and…

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Last 3 days to give!

December 29, 2010

If you were considering donating to a worthy cause in 2010 and taking advantage of the tax benefits of charitable donations, now is your last chance to contribute!

As we look towards new efforts and projects in 2011 it is only through your generous funding that we will be able to continue our long term development projects in some of the poorest areas on this planet.

As you know, we have set the goal of raising $100,000 by December 31st, and would greatly appreciate if you consider Real Medicine for your year-end donation.

In the spirit of Real Medicine…

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Photos by Angela Hess Geddes

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By Derrick Lowoto, Clinical Officer

photo: Derrick seeing a patient at an outreach camp

Our health care outreach program in collaboration with Share International and Medical Mission International serves the area of Turkana Kenya. The aim is to improve the delivery of primary Health Care Services within the Turkana Drought Region in Northern Kenya, its capital Lodwar and the people living in the remote villages of Turkana, Kenya.

The following are some patient success stories told by Derrick Lowoto, the Clinical Officer, over the past three months from Turkana.

“Lokorio is a…

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Our new 15 minute documentary film covers both the history of Real Medicine and highlights our medical and relief work in Turkana, Kenya. This film features incredible on the ground footage of our relief efforts in Turkana, footage of our founder Dr. Martina Fuchs in action, and an interview with New York Times author Jeffrey Gettleman whose article inspired our work in Turkana.  A very special thanks to the whole RMF production team, but especially George Papuashvili, who tirelessly donated both his time and talents to producing this moving documentary for RMF.  Remember…

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by Jonathan White

Last month, Real Medicine’s Lwala Community Health Center in Kenya welcomed two 18 year old first time mothers on a Saturday morning: Millicent, nearly silent in labor  in one corner, and Maureen, a vigorous and loud laborer in the other.  There was never better proof of the need for a larger space for deliveries in our clinic, Real Medicine’s support of the new maternity center is much appreciated. Despite the small space, Clinic Officer Michael Omollo and clinic founder Milton Ochieng’ MD were smiling as silent Millicent pushed out a crying healthy…

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Kenya: Opiyo’s story and RMF’s Lwala Community Health Center

July 23, 2010 - Kenya

by Jonathan White and James Nardella

Real Medicine’s Ochieng’ Memorial Lwala Community Health Center in Kenya is a community-based health care project that is managed and supported in partnership with the Lwala Community Alliance, a U.S. based humanitarian organization.  The mission of the clinic is to meet the holistic health needs of all members of the Lwala Community, including its poorest.

Whenever possible it addresses health problems at their roots through community health interventions.  It aims to provide excellent community-based health care, not to become a tertiary care facility.  The health center is part of a larger effort to achieve…

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Children’s Club

Providing care and treatment to HIV infected children is a priority for the Lwala Community Health Center and FACES, our partner in providing comprehensive HIV services to the community. HIV positive children often go undetected because parents are reluctant to bring their children in for testing. Using a family centered approach, Lwala’s staff has worked with FACES to counsel, test, and enroll children into care.

The Children’s Club for HIV positive children and families was developed to provide psychosocial support for HIV positive children and their families. One Saturday each month, children and families gather…

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Dear Friends,

We are excited to announce that we have another PSA that will be running on this time raising awareness for the people of Turkana, Kenya.

The Turkana are an ancient tribal people of Northern Kenya who for generations have lived rural, pastoral lives that rely heavily on the rainy seasons and the 2 rivers that run through their land for water. In this arid region however, water can be very scarce and in 2009 a devastating drought swept across Kenya, killing livestock, crops and children.

Suddenly, families were forced…

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Meet Judah Yarberry: RMF Youth Team, Hawaii, Uganda, and Kenya

Judah is a 9 year old in Hilo, Hawaii. Since he was 6 years old he has been traveling with his mother to East Africa where she does relief work with RMF. Judah raises money for these trips by selling plants and greeting cards at his mother’s clinic, and doing yard service and other chores for friends, neighbors and supporters. He often collects and takes school supplies, toys, and other needed items to children in Uganda and Kenya. His favorite part about his travels is…

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When Gracia Atieno’s mother came to the Lwala Community Health Center in April of 2009, she was very sick. Clinic staff counseled and tested her for HIV. After confirming a positive diagnosis, the staff tested Gracia. Sadly, the 8-month-old little girl was positive.

A close examination quickly demonstrated that Gracia was facing a multitude of clinical problems including HIV encephalopathy, severe anemia, toxemia, and tuberculosis. To make matters worse, Gracia weighed only 2.4 kgs (5.28 pounds).

Because of Gracia’s severe situation, the regimen of ARVs that is typically prescribed was inappropriate. Clinical Officer…

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Elisha’s Story

In March 2009, 2 boys carried their very sick brother of 21 years to the Lwala Community Health Center.

Elisha had been working in Nairobi when he first fell sick. After attending private clinics in Nairobi with no improvement, Elisha was unable to work, and traveled home. By the time he reached Lwala, his health status had deteriorated drastically. Elisha was first seen by clinical officer John Badia, who diagnosed the young man with pulmonary tuberculosis and Stage 4 HIV disease. Minute lesions were detected on Elisha’s body and were biopsied.

Elisha’s blood work…

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Lwala Public Health Project, Kenya

February 16, 2010 - Kenya

January 2010 By Caitlin Reiner and James Nardella, Michael Lear and Dr. Martina Fuchs

The mission of the Ochieng’ Memorial Lwala Community Health Center is to meet the holistic health needs of all members of the Lwala community, including its poorest. Whenever possible it addresses health problems at their roots through community health interventions. It aims to provide excellent community-based health care, not to become a tertiary care facility. The health center is part of a larger effort to achieve holistic health and development in Lwala, including educational and economic development. The primary beneficiaries are…

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Giving back by getting away

DonationTravel joins Real Medicine to help Turkana, Kenya.

Between now and March 21st, DonationTravel will be donating $0.10 per search to RMF Turkana relief. Go to and begin your search.

DonationTravel was designed to give back without slowing down.

"We are trying to create a new way of doing business," says DonationTravel’s Founder. "Up until recently, money from marketing and advertising on these kinds of sites has bypassed all the philanthropic concepts that drive people to do good. This…

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From BBC World News: Millions at risk as East Africa rains fail

Aid agency Oxfam warns that a failure of rains across swathes of East Africa is putting millions of lives at risk.

This is the sixth successive season of failed rains in an area already hit by its worst drought in 20 years.

Some 20 million people face starvation in vast areas of Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, the UN has already warned.

Oxfam says November rainfall was less than 5% of normal in much of Turkana in…

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Vivid People Without Their Smiles

September 21, 2009 - Kenya

Turkana Region, Kenya

“Witnessing such beautiful, vivid people without their smiles was heartbreaking and to view the arid lands void of life, tragic. Arriving at a food distribution location and actually hear the Turkana singing brought me to tears. They generously offered their dignity in these photos in exchange for the hope that aid will come.”

Michael Lear CTP RYT Director, International Relations Country Director, Sri Lanka and Sudan

Here is a link to Michaels photo album from the trip.

To let the people of Turkana know you are thinking about…

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RMF Searches for Well Water in Kenya

September 14, 2009 - Mozambique

RMF’s Michael Lear is in the arid Turkana district of Northern Kenya trying to find the best way to help the most people get clean drinking water.

Like so many areas, the Turkana district has suffered the same hunger and thirst for longer than most would like to remember. And with rain becoming more and more scarce with each passing year, faith in the future is becoming equally hard to come by here.

Here is a video that touches on the desperation these people are feeling: Millions face starvation in Horn of…

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Video from Kenya

September 10, 2009 - Kenya

New York Times reporter Jeffrey Gettleman visits the Turkana region of Northern Kenya where an extended drought threatens crops, livestock and the people who count on them for survival.

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Drought in Kenya Devastates Millions

September 02, 2009 - Kenya

The following has been taken from Drought, death grips Kenyan heartland, by David McKenzie, CNN: September 2, 2009

For as long as anyone cares to remember, the pastoralists of Kenya’s Rift Valley have fled with their herds to the fertile slopes of Mount Kenya when times are tough. When the rains failed this year they set off once again in search of water and pasture — but they found only despair.

Across the folds of this mountain everyone has the same story. Hundreds of dead cattle dot the forests, young herdsmen try…

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Dispute over results of the 2007 Kenyan presidential election resulted in widespread demonstrations and ethnic violence. Tragically, over 300,000 people were displaced and as many as 12,000 Kenyans made their way into neighboring Uganda to find shelter in refugee camps.

One specific need among the refugee population was treatment for the psychological effects of trauma, and RMF was quick to get on the ground and assist, bringing acupuncture services to camps.

Recent studies suggest that acupuncture may be as effective as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for psychological conditions. “Acupuncture is a proven, easily transportable, and cost-effective healthcare…

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Final week in East Africa

December 16, 2008

by Megan Yarberry

Megan Yarberry is Project Coordinator in Africa for RMF’s Team Whole Health, and has been facilitating acupuncture trainings in East Africa since 2005.  She shares her experiences here.

Our final week in East Africa held some challenges as well as some rewards.

I was able to attend the meeting that Beth had with the UNHCR and representatives of the refugee community my last day in Kiryandongo. It was interesting in that the information being provided by the various sources we have met with is often contradictory, and there are obviously some glitches and gaps in the communication…

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African Projects – Day 7

November 29, 2008

by Megan Yarberry

Nairobi, Kenya (11/26-11/27) – We arrived in Nairobi early in the am – unfortunately, our bags did not. One of the bags has 18,000+ needles, and the other had all of Judah’s painstakingly collected donations of toys, clothes, and school supplies for school children here. I’d been told in Munich that, despite our 9 hour layover in Atlanta, Delta hadn’t managed to get our bags on our flight, so we already had a file # running. After many phone calls and extra trips to the airport, Judah’s bag did arrive, but I’m still working with KLM and Kenya Airways…

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June 25, 2008 - Kenya