The move to have a medical camp in Kuria came after hopes of having a fully-fledged medical camp and food aid in East Pokot as envisaged in the RICO calender were blunted to some extent (see East Pokot 2018 projects report). While Project Rotu was gracefully conducted from May Day through to the 4th of May, 2018, there were plans underway to ensure that part of the resources would be well spread to cover the Kuria Camp for maximum impact.
Kuria East Sub County would be the place where the RICO medical team would be dispatched to. One of the remote wards in the sub-county had been adversely hit by floods in the period March-May and there was a proposal to have a medical camp at Gokeharaka Shopping Centre with a mobile team reaching out to the flood-hit area.
Geographically, Kuria East is one of the 8 sub-counties in Migori County with the others being Suna East, Suna West, Nyatike, Uriri, Rongo, Kuria West and Awendo.
The poverty index stands at 0.496 in the rural areas. Most people depend on small-scale agricultural cultivation and livestock-rearing to take care of their daily needs. Tobacco cultivation and use are also rampant in the area.
The set date for the camp was May 31st – June 3rd, 2018. Thanks to our host, Dr. Mahiri, the planning was near seamless and less of a burden on the team. Massive mobilization was done on the ground with the help of local officials including the chief, area Member of County Assembly, Member of Parliament and the County Government of Migori. There was good coordination with the organizing committee at Rockhealth ensuring everything went as planned.
The camp ran over two days. The main station was at Gokeharaka Shopping Centre and a mobile team would be dispatched each day to Siabai Makonge Area where floods had been reported early on in the year. Over the two days, a total of 683 patients were seen. Females made up the majority at 437 (63.98%) while males were 246 representing 36.02%. Worth noting also, the majority of the patients were youth aged 13-39 years while under-5’s represented only 7.76% of patients seen. The contraceptive uptake rate in the area can subjectively be classified as good.
Most of the patients whose blood pressure was taken were normotensive with about 27 others recording moderate to severe hypertension. In a similar fashion, random blood sugar checks had 3 patients newly diagnosed with diabetes.
Overall, the disease prevalence followed a predictable pattern as there were no major departures from existing data on disease profile on the county save for a few remarkable facts. Gastrointestinal conditions ranked first as the biggest cause of morbidity among patients seen. Respiratory conditions ranked second and a new entrant, dermatological conditions ran a close third position to close the top three list. Urinary tract infections are, however, still a cause of concern among women of reproductive age.
CHALLENGES & LEARNING POINTS
Project Kuria 2018 marked the beginning of Rockhealth’s penetration of West and Southern Kenya with concerted efforts to continue addressing the felt needs of the people who really need help in the primary healthcare setting. There were a few challenges experienced including difficulties in accessing the site due to the poor state of the so-called ‘access roads’ complicated by heavy rains. The team was however up to the task after all.
In disease profile, a number of ophthalmological conditions were treated with prospects to have eye services in any future endeavors being highly welcome. A few cases of severe malnutrition were also noted despite the area being supposedly well endowed with food. There should be even more robust mechanisms to establish effective referrals for patients who may require such kind of care in the field. It was a great experience and a successful project. More details have been provided in the annex to this report.
Sincere appreciation to all who facilitated this camp in one way or another. A special thank you to the financiers, ground team led by Dr. Mr. & Mrs. Mahiri and the RICO executive implementation committee. Asante sana!