Drought Relief Project Update, Turkana, Kenya

April 8, 2010

Jonathan White with reporting from Dr. Sammy Murimi, Derrick Lowoto, and Anna Karimojong

Through our partnership with Share International (SI), the new Real Medicine Foundation – Share International Health Program has been operating successfully for the past few months delivering primary healthcare services within the drought ravaged Turkana region of Northern Kenya. Specifically, the medical staff has been delivering much needed healthcare services to Lodwar and the surrounding remote villages, including the following:

  • Provide Medicines and Medical supplies to meet the needs of the targeted population
  • Increase Mobile/Outreach Clinics in the remote villages and underserved communities in the Lodwar area
  • Provide weekly Medical Services at the Health Facility in Lodwar town: Supporting the physical/medical needs of the targeted population, Home visiting, Referrals of patients to area hospitals for further treatment, Education and outreach regarding nutritious diet and other programs

With funding from RMF, Share International was also able to purchase quality medications at affordable prices from the Mission for Essential Drugs and Supplies in Nairobi. During this time the program conducted 4 Mobile Clinics in the villages of Nabuin, Chokchok, Nayanae & Nakabaran. Several home visits to the terminally ill and other vulnerable groups were made as part of the initiative. As part of the referral component of the program, 7 patients were referred to the Moi Teaching & Referral Hospital (over 200 miles away) and 12 patients to our facility in Lodwar and the Government Lodwar District Hospital. The referral services have become more efficient as we are able to transport more patients from the remote villages to the District Hospital in Lodwar. In addition to the mobile clinic services, we increased our outpatient services to those that went to the Share International facility in Lodwar.

Overall, during the January and February time period, we treated 710 patients for malaria, respiratory tract infection, gastroenteritis, skin diseases, tuberculosis, and many other tropical diseases.

Looking ahead with this project, our partners at SIHP are committed to the following goals:

  • Conduct 8 mobile clinic trips a month – every Thursday & Friday
  • Continue providing medical services to outpatients at the Health facility – Monday to Wednesday
  • Be more vigilant in responding to emergencies
  • Visit more homes
  • Provide more counseling services
  • Oversee facility repairs & maintenance
  • Install power (electricity) to the Health facility in Lodwar.

Patient Success Stories:

Recently, Alice Nanyait, a resident from Chokchok village (25km from Lodwar) walked to our facility in Lodwar just give to give thanks for the treatment we gave her during the mobile clinic in her village. She had been suffering from mastitis. Her left breast was oozing pus. We provided her with antibiotics and her condition was soon relieved. She was grateful for the work we are doing in the remote villages.

Jemimah Lomodo, a 32-year old lady from Nawoitorong village is suffering from HIV/AIDS (now confirmed). One evening her relatives called us to help as she had been severely ill for a month. When we got there, she was bedridden with high fever, oral thrush, dehydration due to diarrhea and vomiting, and loss of weight. After the initial treatment, we referred her to Lodwar District Hospital for further treatment. She was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and placed on ARVs immediately. Presently, she is doing better and is now able to come to our facility on a regular basis for treatment and education about the HIV treatment process. She has also become an active member of the Salvation Army church in Lodwar.

Ewoi Lotukoi, a 55-year old man from Kaikir village (one of the outpost villages of the large Nakabaran village) was suffering from a chronic urinary tract infection for four years. He was on treatment on-and-off, but all in vain. He had received treatment from Lodwar District Hospital, Kakuma Mission Hospital, all big facilities, and other health facilities in Turkana District. Nothing had worked. In February, he came to our facility. We diagnosed the problem put him on Norflaxicin 500mg for six weeks. We also told him to trust our medicines; that they will stop the long suffering. Soon after, he was a free from the urinary tract infection. He exclaimed, “Long Live Share International with her friends.” He has chosen our Health facility as his facility of choice for himself and his family.