The Village Trust Fund and Tigania West Constituency held its 6th annual Medical Camp on 26th May 2012 and it was a huge success.
On behalf of TVT board of trustees and the member of Parliament of Tigania West Constituency, TVT management wishes to convey sincere appreciation to all partners and supports for your generous contribution by way of medical supplies and finances to support the organization of this philanthropic event.
This report highlights the main achievements and lessons learnt for your attention. TVT request you to provide any feedback which would facilitate continuous improvement in the organization of the future medical camps. You could post your comments on TVT Facebook or through the comment option in the website. TVT is planning on the next medical camp which will be held in Igembe , Meru North, during the 3rd quarter of the year 2012 and as usual we count on your support to make it a success. The actual dates and venue will be posted on this in the very near future.
II. Objectives of the 2012 Kianjai Free Medical Camp
The main objective of this particular camp, and indeed of all the medical camps organized by TVT, was to bring affordable healthcare and free health information to the community and identify the common healthy problems of the community in order to devise ways of addressing them, in partnership with District Medical Authorities. Specifically, the medical camp sought to : Provide VCT services to the community; provide both preventive and curative treatment for common conditions in the community; refer those who require specialized treatment to the relevant centers; create awareness and provide counseling on HIV/AIDS, Diabetes, breast cancer and other ailments; create awareness on the need for personal hygiene in prevention of serious disabling diseases such as eye and dental, which are prevalent in the area due to dust and lack of adequate water. The free medical camp also aimed at encouraging use of available nutritious food products in the area; and discouraging drug/substance abuse among the community members.
Furthermore the medical camp provided opportunities to both medical and non medical personnel to give back to the community by way of volunteering their time, energy and expertise. Over 250 men and women set aside their personal engagements and spent the whole day serving the needy in various capacities and it is because of the input of everybody who came out to help that the medical camp was a success.
III. Achievement of the Kianjai Medical Camp
Patients and people with disabilities starting arriving at the venue at 6 am to ensure that they were the first in the queue and by 5 pm everybody had been attended to. TVT, through the support of various partners, acknowledged herein, oversaw the provision of various medical related services to approximately 4,500 people. The success of the medical camp was attributed to the high quality services and medicines provided together with the collaboration of TVT staff and the staff of the constituency office in Meru and Nairobi.
Action in Focus and Family Care Mission, were the main partners at the medical camp. They provided medicines enough to cover over 2,000 patients while the donations from KEMSA and private pharmaceutical companies was adequate to serve all those who attended. A team of Italian medical doctors and dentists from the Aina Onlus Children’s home in Meru worked nonstop from 9 am to 4 pm with a little break for a little bite and the community was greatly appreciative of their love and care. The promised to join in the next medical camp because rhey saw the demand for dental services among the rural people.
Since the inception of the free medical camp initiative, TVT and the Tigania West constituency office have continued to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of subsequent camps based on the lessons learnt from the previous one. The Kianjai medical camp was well organized with regular meetings being held to plan for event. Identification of clear division of duties and responsibilities was agreed on by all committee members and on the material day many people had already been attended to by 9 am. There was a steady flow of patients throughout the day and it made work easier especially in the recording data and dispensing of medicine by the pharmacists from Actions in Focus and the Miathene District hospital.
TVT also provided the necessary logistical support to all supporting partners. The services that were provided at the medical camp were as follows:
- Dental clinic.
- Medical clinic for all age groups
- Taking requirements of the persons with disabilities
- Distribution of wheelchairs and fittings for the people with disabilities
- Eye Clinic
- VCT Services
- Skin diseases treatment
- Awareness creation on personal hygiene and nutrition
The organization's objective of setting up free medical camp in Tigania West was to bring affordable healthcare and free health information to the community and identify the common health problems of the community in order to devise ways of addressing them.
Specific Goals of the Medical Camp
- Provide VCT services to the community
- Provide both preventive and curative treatment for common conditions in the community
- Refer those who require specialized treatment as necessary
- Give health talks on HIV/AIDS/ Diabetes and other ailments
- Provide information on prevention and management of preventable diseases
- Emphasis on the impact of maintaining personal hygiene in prevention of serious disabling eye disease
- Encourage use of available nutritious food products in the area.
- Discourage drug/substance abuse among the community members
- Emphasis on the impact of maintaining personal hygiene in prevention of dental related problems
VI. Sponsors and Partners
With the increasing cost of living and especially healthcare, it is going to be even harder for the common people to afford effective medicine and food. Thus there is need for all stakeholders from the private, public and individuals to forge a strong alliance aimed at improving the social amenities in the country. Their intervention will complement the efforts of government and will indeed make a real difference in the lives of those from humble backgrounds.
The success of the Kianjai medical camp would not have been realized without the support of all partners, local authorities and the Tigania west community at large. Some of the sponsors, supporters and partners are as follows:
- Action in Focus and Family Care Mission has been involved in the last four medical camps organized by TVT. They provide medicines for no less than 2,000 patients and they normally bring their own team to dispense the medicines. Action in Focus is a committed partner who not only provides medicine but even food stuff. They played a key role in ensuring that the Kianjai medical camp was a success.
- Tigania West Constituency is the main partner given that the medical camps are organized for the benefits of the people of Tigania West. The officials of the constituency development office work closely with TVT on all development activities. The area MP, Hon. Dr. Kilemi Mwiria is one of the resource mobilizers for all the medical camps.
- Equity Bank, Meru (Meru-Makutano Branch) is the official banker of TVT and has partnered with TVT on most development activities including the tree planting and greenhouse farming. They have supported all previous medical camps and for the Kianjai medical camp, equity bank generously provided funds to cater for the movement of the volunteers and medical personnel from various medical and health centers to and from the venue.
- Family Bank also contributed generously towards the logistics of the medical camp. The funds were particularly used to cater for the accommodation and meals of volunteers and medical team from Nairobi.
- Chandaria Foundation has continued to support the annual medical camps consistently and much gratitude goes to the foundation.
- Association of People with Disabilities in Kenya (APDK) has been a partner of TVT in all the previous medical camps. They have continued to support with wheelchairs, shoes and other fittings for persons with disabilities. They provide advice on how to take care of the people with disabilities and continue to offer free consultations in even after the medical camp. APDK facilities further treatment of cases that are not addressed during the medical camp by referring to either Embu or Meru for more specialized treatment.
- AINA ONLUS Dental team for taking the time to provide free dental services to the patients at the medical camp. It was a very noble effort by the team to join in to provide the services. The team brought their own medical supplies and equipment which was greatly appreciated. They have promised to partner with TVT in future medical camp.
- Lions Eye hospital, Loresho who have been partners with TVT for providing the mobile eye clinic during the medical camps. This team is special because they provide free surgery of the patients with eye cataracts whom are normally referred to the Lions hospital following the medical camps. The average number of persons with cataracts and other eye illnesses requiring correction has been averaging at 40 per medical camp and the Lions Eey Hospital takes care of the surgery and full treatment until they are discharged. During the medical camp the Lions Eye Hospital also provide eye glasses at very affordable prices to those who are able to pay. Sometimes reading glasses are give to the aged free of cost.
- Medical personnel of Miathene District Hospital, which is also the referral hospital in the constituency, have continued to play a key role in the organization of the free medical camps. They coordinate the operations of the medical practitioners and also offer follow up services to cases that are identified at the medical camp.
- The other health centers of Tigania West have always been part of the medical camp. Apart from the transportation and minimal meal allowance, the medical staffs from these health institutions are very committed to offering free services. They have been the backbone of the success recorded in this medical initiative.
- Kianjai Primary School. The principal, students and all officials of Kianjai Primary school played a key role in the logistics. They supported in preparing consultations rooms, moving medical supplies, assisting the elderly to locate rooms for various services. The school also played a key role in the planning of the medical camp.
- Local Authorities are normally involved in all medical camps organized by TVT. The councilor of Kianjai and the District Commissioner of Tigania West were in charge of the peace and security during the medical camp. The camp was orderly and the local authorities provided a peaceful environment for both the old and the young.
- KEMSA, Malaria Control unit and Nila Pharmaceuticals, Madawa Phamaceuticals, Joy Evangelism Ministry have been supporting TVT organized medical camps and for this camp they provided medical supplies and appliances for people with disabilities.
- Individual health professionals such as dental surgeons, General practitioners, Clinical officers, Lab technicians, Pharmacists, Eye surgeons, Pediatric surgeons and Specialist doctors all turned up to provide free services to the community and they contributed to the success of the medical camp.
V. Challenges encountered
TVT and Tigania West Development office have been organizing annual free medical camps in various locations within the constituency for the last 5 years and as such lessons are constantly being drawn from each one of them. For this particular medical camp, there following lessons have been noted for record and future enhancement of the logistics and general planning and management of the medical camps.
- Donor support: In this particular medical camp, there was a great challenge in acquiring sufficient medical supplies as well as financial aid. TVT normally relies on the support of individuals and corporate companies for support to cover food allowance for medical practitioners and support staff, to provide accommodations & Food, transportation for volunteers from Meru, Embu and Nairobi, purchase of Stationary and drugs and facilitate travel of the patients who are referred for further treatment in Nairobi and Meru general hospital. Based on past experience a medical camp with more than 5,000 patients would require at least Kshs. 350,000 ( US$ 4,000) to cover logistics and buy specialized medical supplies missing from donations. This particular medical camp had only Kshs. 237,000 (US$ 2,890), which was a main constraint in the planning of the medical camp.
- Publicity: Inability to raise enough money and medical supplies also impacted in the number of patients to be to be covered. The strategy adopted to inform people of the medical camp was therefore effective. In the past TVT medical camps have attracted many patients mainly due to the availability of many other none medical supplies such as used clothes, mosquito nets, baby clothes/supplies, and food stuff. Thus when fund and supplies are in plenty TVT will have to make arrangements to advertise the medical camp through Banners, community radio station, Posters, chief Barazas, Schools, Churches, Women groups.
- Duration of medical camp. TVT had planned to have this year’s medical camp on two days. However it became evident that this was not possible especially due to the low funds. Lesson learnt here is that there is need for more funding for logistics which has been a major constraint.
- Referral Cases. Cases of referral emerge from all the medical camps and Tigania West constituency office and TVT facilitates travel and accommodation of patients. Patients referred to Lions Eye Hospital will receive free operations to remove cataracts at their hospital in Loresho. It is important that some funds are raised to see to it that these patients are referred to the hospital as soon as possible. There are other complicated cases requiring surgery and specialized treatment and TVT intends to work with the media houses to appeal for support from well wishers on behalf of the families that are not able to afford the recommended form of treatment.
VI. Special Note of Appreciation
The success of the medical camp is highly attributed to the active involvement and participation of TVT founder and board member Dr. Sarah M. Kilemi, who believes that everything is possible with a bit persistence and strong will. He constant follow up and advice to the committee ensured that the medical camps objectives were achieved.
Equity Bank, Family Bank and Chandaria Foundation actively mobilized the financial resources and donation in kind. Your contribution was very significant and helped in achieving our goal with unquestionable success.
Management of KEMSA, Madawa and Nila pharceuticals have been part of the TVT medical camps from inception and thank you for partnering with TVT to enhance health of the rural people.
The director of Action in Focus Mr. Martin McNally played a key role in the organisation and planning of the medical camps. He has consistently provided medical supplies for patients and is always accompanied by a team of dedicated volunteers. The role which the team of action in focus and Family Care Mission has continued to play has been crucial for the success of the medical camps.
Special thanks go to the Member of Parliament for Tigania West Hon Kilemi Mwiria. It is through his personal appeals to donors to support with the supply of medicines, wheelchairs, fittings for the people with disabilities and transportation for the supplies from Nairobi to Meru. He also personally attended the medical camp and got to interact with the patients and volunteers. This goes a long way to show the care he has for the wellbeing of the community. He is a true inspiration to many and we look forward to his continued support in the future medical camps.
The medical camp was truly a testament to the power of unity and commitment to a cause. Everything, from planning for sufficient medical personnel to acquiring the appropriate drugs to making sure the doctors were comfortable, happened only because of the dedication and sincerity of the employees of the Hon. Dr. Kilemi Mwiria’s offices in Tigania West and Nairobi, as well as the dedication and hard work of the staff of TVT. Their unrelenting follow-up efforts and involvement in logistics was commendable.
Last and not least any medical camp could not have been successful without the medical personnel as well as the patients who attended the medical camp. A big thank you to all you all and we look forward to future partnerships to better our communities.