Baringo County

BACKGROUND: PROJECT ROTU PHASE II 2018

In the month of November, 2017, RockHealth Integrated Care Organization (RICO) heeded to the cry of the people of Baringo who had been adversely hit by an outbreak of Malaria, one of the biggest causes of morbidity and mortality in the tropics. The initial idea was to provide medical aid to one of the areas that had been severely affected, Rotu. Rotu is one of the most disadvantaged areas in the county, as it is literally almost inaccessible. Food and medical access are not a luxury with other essential services being unheard of. These are some of the factors that contributed to the choice of Rotu as the place to run the project in line with the overall mission of RICO to promote access to primary healthcare for universal healthcare coverage in a fashion that is responsive to the needs of the people.

The first phase of the project was implemented between 9th and 11th of November, 2017 and was a huge success (see Baringo Medical & Feeding Camp Report, 2017). Sadly, the first camp was an eye-opener helping root out some of the deep-seated needs of the people of Rotu that necessitated a follow-up camp. Most of the population was observed to be grappling with moderate acute malnutrition with children under the age of 5 being worst hit. Moreover, the only dispensary in that area that was being run by the Catholic Mission was at the verge of being closed because of staffing issues among other logistical reasons posed by the geographical inaccessibility of the area. Thanks to our sponsors, RICO was able to organize a return to Rotu that was initially scheduled for March 2018.

Recommendation made from the Phase I Report

The Rotu Community Health Unit serves a population of 32,000 people. It has been functional until August, 2017 but stopped functioning following lack of medical personnel. Even while it was functional, there was only one medical personnel, a nurse. The dispensary will come in handy in the control of diseases and containment of endemic diseases so that outbreaks are prevented or fast responded to.

RICO proposed revamping and facilitating the dispensary by holding collaborative discussions with the county government of Baringo in ways they could partner with RICC in order to ensure medical personnel are allocated to the area. 2. Seeking for further facilitation to keep the dispensary in operation sustainably. 3. Procure more medical equipment. 4. Working with community health volunteers on disseminating public health education.

Planning & the journey

The planning for the return to Rotu began almost immediately after the completion of the first phase in November of 2017. Proposals were drawn to have a bigger and more targeted camp that would also support the primary healthcare structure of the area to help avert the problems witnessed during the malaria outbreak of late 2017. The 2018 camp stood to benefit from the data that was collected during the first camp that was duly organized in the form of a succinct report.

A tentative date of March 2nd was set for the food aid and field hospital. All plans were geared toward ensuring it would be a success. Unlike the previous time when RICO had to organize for the purchase and transport of food to the ground, Fr. Sean McGovern, our host at Rotu dealt with the purchases and transport in advance so that the medical team would travel from Nairobi on 28.2.2018 for a 2- day camp on 1st and 2nd of March. Massive mobilization had been done on the ground thanks to the Mission and local government officials.

In an unfortunate turn of events, some security and logistical upheavals came about at the last minutes of planning in late February prompting the RICO executive committee to postpone the project to a later date. However, due to the level of mobilization that had been done, it was agreed that it would only be prudent to at least do some food distribution as earlier planned with the medical camp being postponed until a time when the Nairobi team would be able to touch base. Several attempts to set the date in late March and April failed, prompting the date to be set at early May. The medical team was cut to a minimum of 11 following advice from Fr. Sean, our host. Major changes were proposed that needed a huge logistical backing. It was evident that the success of the initiative would then be highly dependent on real-time re-organization of which the RICO team was up to task.

On May Day 2018, a team of 11 medics left Nairobi for Rotu. The plan was to sleep at Koloa on the 1st, be picked by a land cruiser on 2nd, hold a camp/food aid on 3rd and travel back on 4th May 2018.

Conveniently, an 11-seater Nissan shuttle was hired for the purpose. The journey from Nairobi’s Ruiru area began at exactly 0801hrs. Stopovers were made at Nakuru and Marigat for food and item purchases. At around 1700hrs, the vehicle was at Chemolingot where it left the C2 road for a rocky road that was not easy to penetrate. The Nissan shuttle had to be pushed in a number of occasion to pass through the unfavourable terrain. Furthermore, the situation was complicated by the heavy rains that were being witnessed in the whole of the country at that time. At one instance during the to-journey, the vehicle got stuck in the middle of the River Maron and it was clear that it would not reach Koloa, as earlier envisaged. Instead, the team had to spend the night at Barpello High School thanks to the intervention of the Catholic Mission at the area. It was not until the next morning, 2nd of May that the journey to Rotu aboard a Land Cruiser provided by Fr. Sean McGovern started. Graciously, the team landed in Rotu sometime later in the evening, in a rather seamless journey. To cap it all, the welcome was in song and dance organized by the locals.

Food donation & field hospital

The camp was run on 3rd of May, details of which are summarized herein. The numbers were almost overwhelming, but thanks to the dedication of the medical team, over 350 patients were attended to on that day. The better part of the evening was spent on food donation. The tables below report how food had been distributed previously until the final day of donation on 3rd of May.

Food Donation

ITEM QTY DISTRIBUTED REMAINDER
Maize 14 33
Beans 14 33
Sugar 7 12
Rice 14 14
Cooking Oil 21 64
Salt 21 149
VILLAGES SERVED Rotu, Tirioko, Kewan, Kakokon, Chepunto, Kulal, Lonoo

Table 1.0 1st Food Distribution 2nd March, 2018

Table 2.0 2nd Food Distribution 17th March, 2018

Item Qty distributed Remainder
Maize 14 19
Beans 14 19
Sugar 7 5
Rice 14
Cooking Oil 21 43
Salt 21 128
VILLAGES SERVED Rotu, Tirioko, Kewan, Kakokon, Chepunto, Kulal, Lonoo

 

Item Qty distributed Remainder
Maize 10 9
Beans 10 19
Cooking Oil 10 33
Salt 10 118
VILLAGES SERVED Rotu, Tirioko, Kewan, Kakokon, Chepunto

Table 4.0 4th Food Distribution 3rd May, 2018

Item Qty distributed Remainder
Maize 9
Beans 19
Cooking Oil 33
Salt ?/118 ?
VILLAGES SERVED Rotu, Tirioko, Kewan, Kakokon, Chepunto

Field Hospital

A total of 345 patients were seen during the medical camp in Rotu held on 3/5/2018. The total number of patients who were registered at the triage was about 150 more predominantly interested in the screening only. Of these, 215 were female and 130 were male. Under 5s made up the majority of patients making up 39% of the total.

BUDGET: 820, 520

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