Kenya: Turkana Drought Relief Outreach Year End Update

March 23, 2011

Derrick Lowoto, Rebekah Bartsch and Dr. Martina Fuchs


Project Goal:

To improve the delivery of primary Health Care Services within the Turkana Drought Region in Northern Kenya, its capital Lodwar and the people living in the remote villages of Turkana, Kenya.

Project Objectives:

  • 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 Health Facility in Lodwar town:
  • Supporting the physical/medical needs of the targeted population
  • Home visiting
  • Referrals of patients to tertiary care clinic/hospital, HIV and TB government clinics
  • Teaching about and providing nutritious food

Summary of RMF-sponsored activities carried out during the reporting period under each project objective (note any changes from original plans):

  • A large shipment of medicine was ordered 5 times during the third and fourth quarter.
  • The staff currently maintains the medicine inventory, using paper tally and computer.
  • Eighty nine clinic days were held in the town of Lodwar, with a total of 2,030 patients treated.
  • Thirty five mobile clinics were conducted in the third and fourth quarter with a total of 4,376 patients treated.
  • Thirty seven home visits were conducted during the third and fourth quarter.
  • Twenty three referrals were made during the third and fourth quarter.
  • Continued public health education was done at the clinic Lodwar and during mobile clinics.
  • A large shipment of medicines purchased three times from MEDS in Nairobi, Kenya. 

Results and/or accomplishments achieved during this reporting period:

  • 5 shipments of medicine received from MEDS in Nairobi, Kenya through end of December.
  • Staff maintains the medicine inventory, a process just started in 2010.
  • Eighty nine clinic days (Monday to Wednesday) were held at the clinic, with a total of 2,030 patients treated and thirty five mobile clinic days were held with a total of 4,376 patients treated.
  • Thirty seven home visits were made during the third and fourth quarter.
  • Twenty three referrals done during the third and fourth quarter from the remote villages to tertiary level facilities for further management.
  • Public health teaching performed at the beginning of every clinic day for the patients who arrive early and additional individualized teaching in the course of the patient’s treatment.

Success Stories as written by Derrick Lowoto, Clinical Officer:

1) Ms. Jemima Lomodo, a 32-year-old lady from Nawoitorong Village who lives with HIV is grateful for what RMF/MMI has done for her. Last year she developed opportunistic infections that included diarrhea, respiratory diseases and skin diseases. Due to these, we counseled her about her HIV status so she would start treatment. When we took her for VCT (Voluntary counseling and testing), she was HIV positive. After the test, she was started on treatment. On 9/22/2010 I visited the lady in her home to know how she was doing. After the discussion I decided to allocate KSH 500(USD $7) for her from the hospice allocation fund in order to improve her vegetable business. Jemima was happy and set plans to improve her business in order to generate money to care for her children and herself. Jemima received the money and has improved her business.

2) Mr. Joseph Eregae, aged 42 years from Nayuu Village developed severe pneumonia while looking after his goats far from the village. Fortunately, a good Samaritan who was heading to Lodwar town encountered the man under a tree unable to breathe well. The good Samaritan called his relative in Lodwar to get the vehicle to save the life of the patient. This relative came to us and told us of the sick patient in Nayuu Village. It was then that the health team travelled to the site to rescue the sick patient. We treated the sick man at our facility since we had good medications for that case. One week later, Mr. Eregae travelled from Nayuu Village to our facility in Lodwar to give thanks for the good we did to save his life.

3) Mr. Joshua Nangitoi, a 57-year-old man from Nayuu Village, lacked adequate words to explain the good we did for him. This man had acute diarrhea that he caught while looking after his goats in the bush. It was on that fateful afternoon that his wife got worried because he was missing and decided to search him in the bush. Fortunately she found him, but he was already worn out due to diarrhea and vomiting. It was at this point that Joshua’s wife thought of help from the health team in Lodwar. The lady ran over 20 km to our facility in Lodwar for help. When we learned of the news, we packed the necessary medications and left with the mobile clinic vehicle.
The patient was in poor condition when the health team reached him. Treatment started immediately there before transfer to Lodwar for further management. At our clinic in Lodwar, we kept the patient for observation since we had good medications to treat the patient. After four hours, the patient was able to talk and even identify people, which he had not been able to do before. Overnight, the patient and caretaker stayed near our clinic where his relative lives. The following day, the patient was stable and we discharged him to go home on treatment. He was taken home the long distance to his village with the mobile clinic vehicle. One week later, Mr. Joshua visited us in the Lodwar clinic just to give thanks for the good we did to save his life. He narrated to us the cause of his diarrhea as being the meat he was given by a stranger who was travelling to Lodwar Town.

4) Mrs. Miriam Lochede, a 16-year-old young mother from Kanamkemer Village had difficulty in passing urine after giving birth. The first two days after delivery with a full bladder were the worst days in her life. However, her mother came to our clinic in Lodwar for help. After explaining the problem, we packed the necessary supplies and went to see the patient. When we reached her house, we found the patient in pain with elevated body temperature. We started treatment immediately. The patient required a bladder catheter for three days besides other treatment. Fortunately, after five days the patient was stable and free from any danger.