Patient numbers increase by 40% with So They Can’s support at rural dispensary in Kenya
Imagine walking 15km under a scorching sun, in desperate need of medical attention for your child, only to be turned away at the health facility due to a lack of medicines and supplies. For mothers, and community members, in Baringo Kenya it is a far too common reality. Health facilities are sparse and lack sufficient resources, which leaves surrounding pastoralist communities vulnerable to preventable illness and disease, especially children.
At So They Can we know that health and education are inextricably linked. Children and their families rely on good health to attend school, maintain livelihoods, and live quality lives. That’s why So They Can Kenya strategically partners with local government medical facilities to ensure that communities can engage in positive healthcare seeking behaviours and improve health outcomes.
One of our two partner facilities in 2023, Chesirimion Dispensary, services a catchment area of 9,000 residents in Baringo to provide essential services in:
- Diagnosis and out-patient treatments
- Emergency deliveries
- Nutrition packs
- Antenatal care
It is an area where 60% of the community suffer from multidimensional poverty. So They Can partners with 10 government schools whose children and families are serviced by the facility.
Our partnership with Cheirimion Dispensary over the past two years has increased patient numbers by 40% – 7,000 community members are treated annually.
Our impact is a result of our support to date:
- consistent and reliable supply of medicines and consumables, to ensure an inventory of 4 weeks’ stock;
- a burning chamber (incinerator and placenta pit) for the safe disposal of clinical waste to avoid the risk of exposed hazardous waste on the site;
- repair and installation of gutters on the dispensary roof, with connection to existing water tanks, to enable functioning of the rainwater harvesting system to increase availability of clean water;
- a 64-person waiting bay area with benches, so that patients do not need to wait under trees on the ground outside exposed to the weather;
- ongoing capacity building of the facility’s Health Management Committee for improved facility management;
- ongoing training of the cadre of Community Health Volunteers to support community mobilisation in accessing preventative and curative health care.
For the Nurse-In-Charge the improvements at the dispensary have made a big difference, but the shortage in healthcare workers to support her remains a challenge. She explains, ‘I would like to congratulate So They Can for the good that they have done at this facility, especially assisting with our supply of essential medicines. Working alone here is tiring, because I have to offer a range of services that are needed in our community like antenatal care, family planning, nutritional packs as well as maintain medical records and dispense medicines.’
In June, So They Can’s Community Development staff in Kenya met with the Baringo Executive Committee Member and his team responsible for regional healthcare, to discuss our partnership and further collaboration. Working together, we can transform the healthcare landscape in Baringo, ensuring that quality healthcare is accessible to all, regardless of geographical location or socio-economic status.
The Eurofins Foundation is a valued ongoing supporter of So They Can’s Community Health Project in Kenya.