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Mobile Clinics serving the Turkana region, First Quarter 2014
July 31, 2014
Derrick Lowoto and Jonathan White
Summary of Activities
During Q1 2014, 2,406 patients were treated in the medical outreach clinics and 1,167 patients at the Lodwar Clinic. Outreach clinics, home visits, referrals, public health teachings were conducted. Additional medicine, maintenance on the mobile clinic, and staff salaries were paid. The program also met the costs of medical fees for some patients whom we referred for treatment to other health facilities.
Clinic & Outreach
A total of 3,573 patients were treated both in the Lodwar Clinic and through outreach mobile clinics.
Thirty outreach clinics were conducted in the rural villages during the first quarter of 2014.
Making it Personal
Twelve home visits were made in the rural villages and villages within Lodwar.
Much Needed Transport
Fourteen referrals were made, mostly picking up patients from rural villages and transporting them to health facilities.
Knowledge is Key
Continued public health education at the beginning of every clinic session.
The program purchased medicines twice from pharmaceutical company in Nairobi, Kenya.
Category 4 Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, and over 75,000 residents are still living in damaged or destroyed homes, without the resources to fund repairs or reconstructions. In order to address Puerto Rico’s infrastructure and shelter needs, RMF has enacted a series of construction projects and partnered with FEMA on other building projects. These benefit primarily ill, elderly, or disabled homeowners living in the most hurricane-affected areas of the island. Projects include the rebuilding of roofs, installation of water tanks/jet pumps, the reconstruction of entire homes, and more.
- Conduct major repairs on or reconstructions of badly damaged homes
- Conduct minor repairs on moderately damaged homes
- Install necessary equipment, such as water tanks or electrical equipment
- Improve the quality of life and wellbeing of homeowners
- Prepare homes for subsequent storms and disasters
Villages along the Turkwel River
The New Year has begun with a difficult time for the rural folks here. Life is hard due to the ongoing drought and famine for the last six months because of no rainfall. People and animals are both facing challenging circumstances. People are migrating from one place to another in search of water and pasture. Some family members are left alone in their usual dwelling place while others have to travel far in search of pastureland for the goats. The areas to which they are traveling are not safe for the elderly and for children because of hostile tribes near the Kenyan-Ugandan border. Due to this hostility from other tribes, children, mothers and the elderly are left behind until rainy season when other members, mostly the men and boys caring for the livestock, join them again.
They are left alone to face various challenges ranging from illnesses to starvation due to lack of food. Water is a scarce commodity in these times of drought. Mothers and children walk long distances in the hot, dry weather to get water. Malnutrition is increasing due to the scarcity food. Thankfully, UNICEF is providing supplementary food which it makes available to other health organizations for distribution. We are able to distribute these supplements to the most malnourished during our clinics in the rural villages.
During the month of January, we concentrated our activities in the villages that are farthest away in our assigned area of responsibility. During this round, we focused on public health teachings on the management of malnutrition both at present and in future. For example, villages along the Turkwel River received teaching on how to start vegetable gardens along the river. The people living here were eager to start some vegetable gardens but lacked money for seeds and tools for cultivating the land. Access to vegetables is very important in order to reduce the cases of night blindness due to vitamin deficiencies experienced during this time. Unfortunately, with the drought and increased presence of malnutrition, cases of it are increasing. Supplementary food was distributed during outreach clinics as well as in our Lodwar Clinic, which also helped.
In the month of February, our medical team reached a village called Nariamao about 48 miles northeast of Lodwar Town. The village consists of pastoralist communities whose livelihood focuses on the raising of domestic animals. This village is in an isolated area far from essential services such as health care facilities, schools, shopping centers, roads and clean water. The pastor who has planted a church in the village is the one who reported the needs of the village to us for help. Our mobile clinic entered the village upon the invitation of the pastor of this church who asked for medical help in the village.
When our team went there for the outreach clinic, the need of this village was obvious. The sick had nowhere to go to seek medical services. The nearest facility is 18 miles away. Our arrival for a medical outreach in the village was received as a blessing from God. The whole village came to witness the medical clinic going on, since they have never seen one before. Even patients from nearby villages came for treatment.
That day, it was difficult for the team to control and triage. It took the team nine hours to treat the sick. At some point some medicines were used up, and we had to proceed treating what we could with the available medicines. The elderly, the mothers and the pastor expressed a lot of joy for the medical clinic. They were frank to say that that was their first medical clinic ever in the village and they were thankful for our services. They made a request to be considered for a monthly medical clinic. We promised them a medical clinic every month including immunization and nutrition services.