Seven dedicated individuals provided six weeks of relief medical attention to remote communities of Somali refugees around Garissa, Kenya. The team consisted of two doctors, three nurses and two logistics personnel. Most of the estimated 2500 people that they saw in the clinics had very limited access to quality health care and the team was able to assist some seriously ill people.
The medical team treated the illnesses and injuries which they were equipped to deal with and referred and paid for patients with more serious problems to receive treatment in Garissa or Nairobi. The team encountered four children suffering from hydrocephalus whom they were able to send to Garissa in order to receive proper medical attention which the patients' parents could not afford.
A young man who had badly injured his leg, due to his inability to pay for the surgery he needed, without help would have been permanently disabled. The team was able to refer him to Nairobi and pay for his surgery and all related expenses. One of the nurses from the team, with labour and delivery experience, was able to deliver a baby and provide post-recovery care for another mother. More commonly the team treated patients for malaria, worms, diarrhea, dehydration, upper-respiratory infections, urinary tract infections and anemia.
The team worked closely with the Ministry of Health in Garissa in order to make the impact of our trip longer lasting. The team worked with locally trained nurses, pharmacists and midwives over the course of the trip. The team was able to learn about local medical conditions specific to this area of Kenya from the local medical workers. At the same time their medical personnel were able to provide a deeper understanding of proper medical and pharmaceutical practices for local health workers.
The cost of the trip also included funds to build a new clinic in a populated area. A new clinic was built in cooperation with the ministry of health which a Kenyan community health worker will attend and hold clinics in, on a regular basis. This clinic is located in an extremely rural area where no health care has been available until now. The new clinic will give hundreds, possibly thousands, of rural people access to health care for the first time in this area.
The trip was extremely successful in furthering the conversation of what level of health care should be provided in this area and in what manner it should be distributed. The ministry of health is extremely limited by its budget but would like to do more remote clinics in the future. Many people's lives have been significantly affected by this trip and the benefits will be felt in that area for years to come.