Kenya: Turkana Lodwar Clinic First Quarter 2012 Progress Report
June 8, 2012
Derrick Lowoto and Jonathan White
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.
Photo: Boy diagnosed with Tuberculosis
Since December of 2009, RMF has had a long term partnership with Share International supporting the only clinic in Lodwar, Turkana’s capital, with a population of almost 30,000 as well as expanding medical outreach programs and mobile clinics, and food and water aid where needed. Funding from Medical Mission International (MMI) made it possible to significantly enlarge this program at the beginning of 2010.
In addition to RMF’s long term support of the Lodwar Clinic, we expanded our medical outreach programs and the frequency of our mobile clinics this past year, and are now reaching 16 villages and a target population of 55,300. An average of 1,300 patients is seen by the mobile clinic teams every month, and over 300 patients per month at the permanent clinic in Lodwar.
- 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 to tertiary care hospital, and HIV and TB government clinics
- Teaching about and providing nutritious food
Photo: Medical Clinic at a rural village
Summary of RMF/MMI-sponsored activities carried out during the reporting period under each project objective:
- The staff is maintaining the medicine inventory using a computerized inventory system.
- There were 39 clinic days in the Lodwar Clinic, with a total of 954 patients treated.
- 24 mobile clinics were conducted in this quarter with a total of 3,291 patients treated.
- 12 home visits were made.
- 25 referrals were made.
- Public health education continued at the beginning of every clinic session, at the Lodwar Clinic and during the mobile clinics.
- Medicine was purchased from MEDS, in Nairobi, Kenya.
- A new water system was installed.
- Two refrigerators were bought in readiness for maternal-child health and laboratory services.
- Five patients were provided transportation and cost coverage to seek further treatment in advanced health facilities in the country.
- Maintenance of the mobile clinic vehicle.
Photo: Mobile Outreach clinic
Results and/or accomplishments achieved during this reporting period:
- 39 clinic days were held in the clinic in Lodwar town, with a total of 954patients treated.
- 24 mobile clinic days with a total of 3,291patients treated.
- 12 home visits (hospice visits) were done in this quarter.
- 25 referrals were made to hospitals or tertiary care centers.
- Public health teaching was done at the beginning of every clinic day for the patients who arrive early and individual teaching on specific cases in the course of treatment.
- Purchased medicine from MEDS, a company supplying medications in Nairobi, Kenya
- Maintenance of the clinic vehicle.
- A new water system was installed at the clinic.
- Bought two refrigerators for vaccines and laboratory reagents.
- Helped five patients who have been waiting for specialized treatment.
Photo: People lined up to receive nutritious food parcels and medical care at the Lodwar Clinic
The target population of this project reaches now 79,800 persons,additional villages served include: Lokori, Kalokol, Lokichar, Katilu, Kerio, Kalokutanyang, Kimabur, Lochwaa, Nakepokan, Nakoret, Kaikir, Kapua, Lolupe, Lokichogio, Lomuriae, Lorengelup.
Number served/number of direct project beneficiaries:
– A total of 4,245 patients and 5,975 cases were treated during this first quarter of 2012.
By Clinical Officer, Derrick Lowoto
Last January, we were able to save the life of a young man named Ekidor, from Nadoto Village in Kerio zone, which is far into the desert. The man had suffered for four months from tuberculosis, not aware of the free tuberculosis treatment provided by the government. According to the history of the Kerio people, being sick is a bad omen and means that a person is bewitched. So, this is exactly what this young man thought he had, not knowing he was suffering from TB. After the condition got worse, he visited the pastor in his village for prayers since he was in a bad state by then. The pastor who had my phone number, called me to come and evaluate Ekidor’s condition as a suspected case of TB. Because he was so ill, I went right away and arrived within two hours. I found the patient was really sick and a clinical case of TB and therefore organized a referral appointment right away to Lodwar Hospital for further management. Mr. Ekidor has started on Tuberculosis treatment and is now doing well.
One evening a person from one of the local villages called the clinic on the telephone for help. He explained to me the need to come and see a young boy – only 10 years of age – who was feared to be dying. However, after inquiring further as to the state of the child, I thought I knew what the boy might need. After collecting the necessary emergency medicines, I traveled in our mobile clinic vehicle and within 30 minutes I was in the village giving the child first line treatment and then referring him to Lodwar Hospital for further management. The following day several laboratory tests were done, and the boy was found to have tuberculosis and was started on treatment immediately. The boy is now growing healthier and doing well with the treatment.
This month the program managed to help five special cases. This occurred because the government donated a supply of medicine to the Lodwar Clinic and thus enabled the program to use the funds from RMF meant for purchase of medicine to be reserved for special cases. Some of the patients have been visiting our clinic in Lodwar but have never benefited as their conditions needed the attention of a specialist. Among those patients were two children who had epilepsy and rheumatic disease. I referred them to a pediatrician in Kitale Town, 286 kilometers from Lodwar. Two of the patients went to other specialty clinics with the help of the funds to see specialists, i.e. one went to see a specialist in Nakuru General Hospital and the other who had prostate cancer went to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. The fifth patient, a young boy named Sebastian, has cerebral palsy and a care program was developed for him. The patients and their relatives expressed joy over the help that RMF/MMI is extending to vulnerable patients who had no way to overcome their illness and disease. For example, Sebastian’s mother commented that RMF is touching the lives of the vulnerable group of people in Turkana. She related how she has been struggling to get physical therapy and a baby sitter for her child and fortunately RMF funding has met her needs.