Kenya: Lodwar Clinic and Turkana Drought Relief and Mobile Medical Outreach Project
179 Patients Immunized: Q4 2015
April 16, 2016
Summary of Activities
Real Medicine Foundation continues to provide medical relief and public health education in the drought-stricken Turkana District of northern Kenya. The most common illnesses are malaria, respiratory tract infections, skin diseases, and gastroenteritis. This quarter, the project focused on:
- Reaching rural villages and shut-ins
- Providing consistent, well-stocked clinics
- Preventing illness through immunization and education
- Transporting and referring patients when necessary
RMF welcomed and educated a total of 3,538 people in rural clinics and the region’s major city, Lodwar, and 2,686 of these people received medical treatment.
Sparsity of supplies and clinics (especially dire in villages) was addressed through:
- 14 medical outreach clinics
- 9 home visits
- 3 trips to Nairobi to stock medication
The program immunized 179 children and adults for:
- BCG (to prevent tuberculosis)
Increasing health education to prevent future illness, RMF continues group instruction before each clinic and individual instruction during treatment, emphasizing:
- Detecting symptoms
- Emergency calls for referrals
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
In early October 2015, the program faced an acute shortage of medication, which even the government could not address. RMF sent emergency funds, enabling its clinics to restock and reach villages where no other medical help was available. This was especially a relief to families whose children would not otherwise receive treatment.
In December 2015, we received an urgent call from a pastor requesting treatment for a local grandmother who had been bitten by a poisonous spider that morning. We hurried to the village and found the elderly grandmother in bad condition, oozing secretions from her eyes and nose. The team administered the necessary medications and observed the grandmother for two hours. Because of our quick response, she is alive.