Kenya: Lodwar Clinic and Turkana Drought Relief and Mobile Medical Outreach Project

Lodwar Clinic, Turkana, Q1 2015 Report

June 10, 2015

Derrick Lowoto

Summary of RMF/MMI-sponsored activities carried out during the reporting period under each project objective :
– During the first quarter 2015, 2,253 patients were treated in the medical outreach clinics and 2,214 patients in the Lodwar Clinic.
– A total of 32 outreach clinics were conducted in the rural villages in the first quarter.
– 10 home visits (hospice visits) were made in the rural villages and within and around Lodwar Town to patients not able to come to the Lodwar Clinic.
– We made 11 referrals mostly collecting patients who were very sick from rural villages and transporting them to our clinic in Lodwar and Lodwar District Hospital.
– Continued public health education done at the beginning of every clinic session.
– Purchased medicines.
– The program met the cost of medical fees for some patients whom we referred for treatment to other secondary and tertiary health facilities. 
– The staff maintained the medicine inventory.
– The mobile clinic vehicle was serviced.

Results and/or accomplishments achieved during this reporting period:
– This quarter, we treated a total of 4,467 patients both in the Lodwar Clinic and villages.
– During this quarter, 1,882 laboratory tests were conducted with 1,218 tests showing positive results.  Many patients tested positive for malaria.
– The program conducted 32 outreach clinics in the rural villages where health facilities are far from reach.
– We made 10 home visits mostly in villages on the outskirts of Lodwar Town.
– We provided transportation for 11 referrals mostly from rural villages to health facilities in Lodwar.
567 children and expectant mothers were immunized where 230 were male children, 250 were female children and 87 were expectant mothers.
– Public health teaching was done at the beginning of every clinic day for the patients who arrive early and individual teaching on specific cases in the course of treatment.
– Purchased medicines from pharmaceutical company in Nairobi, Kenya.
– The program paid salaries for the staff.
– The mobile clinic vehicle serviced.
– We started building a new room for maternal-child health services and medication storage.

Number served/number of direct project beneficiaries:
A total of 4,467 patients were treated during this quarter; 1,860 patients were male and 2,607 were female. We treated 5,439 cases during this quarter.

Notable project challenges and obstacles:
The present maternal-child health clinic does not have adequate space to cater to the population requiring its services. Two additional rooms in the clinic are required to relieve the congestion in the current small building, which currently lacks a friendly environment for women presenting for prenatal care and for children visiting the clinic for immunizations.
Maternal-child health services are currently not sufficient to provide for all the patients in rural villages needing these services, where, i.e. children are not immunized against childhood immunizable diseases. The major problem is a shortage of staff that can offer these services to mothers and children. Three additional staff members would be required to run these programs to ensure adequate provision of maternal and child healthcare to the population we are serving.

If applicable, plans for next reporting:
– 36 mobile clinics in the next quarter.
– Make emergency trips to villages and offer transport to Lodwar District Hospital if needed; especially for complicated obstetrics deliveries and other medical conditions.
– 12 hospice services (home visits) in the next quarter.
– Consider how to best meet the needs of the special cases, which require funds not in the budget.
– Pay salaries for the staff.
– Purchase medicine from pharmaceutical company in Nairobi, Kenya at least on monthly basis.
– Continue supporting education for staff members, including additional training for the nurse in charge.
– Continue looking for additional means of support like the County Government of Turkana supplying the program with medicines on a quarterly basis through the Ministry of Health.

Success story(s) highlighting project impact.

During the last four years, Lodwar Clinic has been having space problems following the increasing activities taking place in the current building. Due to this, the program has been working on plans on how to raise funds that will help to ease this problem of space. This February the program received a consignment of medicines from the county government of Turkana through the Ministry of Health that provided enough medicine for February and March.  This enabled the program to channel money from RMF/MMI usually required for purchasing medicines and add it to the money that has been raised locally for the same purpose.  For now one room is under way to serve as maternal child health clinic as well as a store for medicines.  We are hoping to add another room as funds become available.  Many thanks for RMF/MMI’s support!

Construction of one additional room at Lodwar Clinic

Front part of the room constructed at Lodwar Clinic.

The new structure at Lodwar Clinic

The month of January began with drought and famine.  Water was hard to come by, and Turkana people who are nomadic had to travel long distances in search of water for their households and domestic animals.  Following this, there was a rise in diarrheal diseases experienced in many rural villages, so the health program mobilized enough medicines to treat these conditions.  Moreover, the program increased networking in villages that are hard to reach within the catchment area to report cases of diarrhea once they are noticed.  We hoped to arrive as soon as possible to treat patients with diarrhea early in the course, especially vulnerable children and babies.  Moreover, people received public health education in relation to clinical diagnosis and management of diarrhea in the event it occurs in the absence of health workers.
Besides that, we had to stock enough medicines and schedule enough time for the regular medical outreaches in the villages.  This made a big impact for the patients suffering from diarrheal diseases.  In the course of the month the cases we encountered were managed right there in the field at the village level.  Water also was delivered regularly by the SI water truck to the villages.  But this water was not enough considering the many villages we have in the rural areas.  So, people again had to walk long distances to get water for their domestic use and animals.
Patient with diarrheal disease seen by health team.

Medical outreach in a rural village.



After responding to a September 7th, 2009 NY Times article by Jeffrey Gettleman, which highlighted the life threatening impact of the drought in Northern Kenya, Real Medicine Foundation coordinated a supply chain for water and food aid, and medical support to the region. We were able to provide a 4-week supply of food and water to 4,500 persons in severely drought affected regions of Turkana, Kenya where it had not rained in 4 years.


  • Provide Medicines and Medical supplies to meet the needs of the targeted population
  • Increase Mobile/Outreach Clinics in the remote villages
  • Provide Medical Services at the Health Facility in Lodwar Town:
  • Supporting the physical/medical needs of the targeted population
  • Home visiting
  • Referrals of patients needing advanced care to tertiary care hospital, and HIV and TB government clinics
  • Teaching about and providing nutritious food