Kenya: Lwala Healthcare Project
Lwala Community Hospital, Q3 2015: Hospital Connecting Wing Completed
December 08, 2015
Public Health Program
Improved, Sustained Positive Health-seeking Behavior
Data reviews and mentorship for 80 community health workers is ongoing on a monthly basis
Improved Graduation Rates, Educational Results
The out-of-school girls mentoring program is proving successful, as the participants are dedicated, participatory and are showing improvement in their maturity and ability to handle responsibility.
Economic Development Program
Increased Economic Opportunities Promote Self-reliance
The Economic Development Program is being evaluated and a new program structure will be implemented in 2016.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Data Collection and Management to Improve Outcomes
Program teams are entering data consistently into our central data management systems; the data is then checked for quality and analyzed for program feedback.
Managing LCA’s Buildings, Grounds, Assets
The connecting wing construction is completed and clinical services are fully occupying the space; renovations of the existing hospital are ongoing and expected to be complete by the end of 2015.
Lwala is a village of approximately 1,500 people near Lake Victoria in western Kenya. Within an hour’s walk, approximately 3,000 additional people live in nearby villages accessible by dirt roads. Poor physical infrastructure, including impassable roads during the rainy season, lack of electricity and lack of reliable drinking water, have helped to create a critical healthcare challenge in Lwala. The mission of the Lwala Community Hospital is to meet the holistic health needs of all members of the Lwala community.
- Improve patient care and clinical operations
- Improve access and facility infrastructure
- Expand and improve quality of education programs
- Professionalize the organization through better policies and practices
- Properly procure and account for physical, financial, and human resources
- Increase impact of health outreach programs
- Build capacity of community members in income generating activities
- Improve programs through better communication and monitoring and evaluation
Hospital Expansion Update
The completed connecting wing of the hospital is fully operational. The clinical records department, cashier, and electronic medical records officer are operating from the new building. Well patient services are being offered in the new hospital building, including maternal and child health services, family planning, prevention of mother-to-child (HIV) transmission, and the new laboratory and pharmacy. The contractor and architect continue to make minor improvements around the building. The parking area is being finished and has been extended to the old hospital building to allow drop-off and pick-up of maternal and very sick patients. The drainage system is also being improved to allow proper flow of water during the rainy season. The existing hospital building renovation is ongoing, with new internal and external walls already in place. At the same time, the new staff housing is moving toward completion. Because of a slight delay in project activities for the staff housing, LCA’s Operations Team and LCA management are actively working with the contractor to move the progress forward to complete construction by the end of 2015.
Emily Adhiambo Otieno, a community resident from Kuna Village, is married with five children. She and her family attend church some ways down the road from her house and spend a good portion of time at church on Saturdays as services can last over four hours. Several months ago, Emily stopped bringing her young children to church with her because the children would need to relieve themselves, but there was no latrine at the church.
Emily attended a WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) training earlier in the year, which was what triggered Emily to make the decision to leave her children at home during church where they had access to proper sanitation. She realized that disposing of feces openly, even if it was not at their home, was improper and likely to spread germs around the community. She figured it was better for her children to stay home than be exposed and expose others to diseases.
But Emily did not stop at her own family. Instead she requested for the WASH Advocates in her community to assist the church in creating a better environment for all of its members. The WASH Advocates organized an Action Day, where community members came together to construct a latrine within the church compound. The WASH Advocates also provided education to all in attendance on proper WASH behaviors and how to maintain the new latrine.
Now the church proudly boasts a latrine and Emily has started bringing her children to church again. The members of the church were very grateful to the WASH Advocates. Now, Emily has even joined many of the events held by the WASH Advocate group in her community to promote full latrine coverage and improved WASH behavior at every household.
At the age of 40, Joseph Asudi is married and has 14 children – 8 are still in school. This husband and father strives to provide a good life for his family and education for his children through agriculture.
Although Joseph is an experienced farmer, his road to increased productivity has had many challenges. In the past, Joseph’s farm often suffered from poor crop yields due to a lack of money to purchase pesticides and fertilizers. As a result, his crops died from disease, forcing him into a cycle of unstable and insufficient income. Joseph also believed agriculture was a seasonal activity, due to his understanding of growing sugar cane, and was often frustrated with his inability to afford tuition fees for his children during the low seasons.
But, a turning point for Joseph and his family came in early 2014. Joseph joined the Kuna Micomucs table banking group, where members receive financial training, including mechanisms for group savings and individual credit building and business management from the Lwala Community Alliance Economic Development Team. They also attend regular meetings, interact and exchange ideas with one another and support each other in times of grief.
Micomucs is one of the many adult groups sponsored by Lwala Community Alliance’s partner Development in Gardening. DIG aims to empower communities through agricultural and financial training. This group meets weekly to learn about loans, debt management, and basic financial skills in business.
Having been educated in the ways and importance of saving, Joseph is ensuring a savings culture is passed onto his children. And, he now earns an income selling a variety of produce from his farm, including bananas, ground nuts and vegetables.
“Currently, I have more than 200 banana stems, which is the main source of income for my family,” he said. Joseph is encouraged and motivated by the improved crop yield and enjoys ploughing his farm and watering his plants with the hope that enhanced productivity will continue.
His table banking group has not only empowered Joseph and his family with increased knowledge and improved agricultural output but has also enabled him to purchase higher quality seeds and fertilizer with the loan he receives from the group. This has helped increase soil fertility and productivity on Joseph’s farm as well as dramatically improved the health and quality of life for him and his family.
As Joseph continues to grow as a farmer, father, and husband, he feels empowered and is more confident that his knowledge will benefit his family and the community at large.