Today’s clinic was held in a Friend’s Church, which is actually a Morman church. It was a typical Kenyan church, with corrugated iron roofs and a very dusty concrete floor. Once we arrived and set up our stations, we began the day with prayer. A volunteer community worker was heard walking down the road blowing a whistle. She was alerting the community that we had arrived. At the end of the day, we treated 464 patients in the clinic, dewormed approximately 520 children, treated 7 wounds, conducted a sexual health clinic to 10 women, and handed out 71 pairs of eyeglasses and 106 pairs of sunglasses.
Gail went to a nearby elementary school to arrange for deworming of the student body (there were 460 children attending the school today for remedial work. As mentioned earlier, school starts on Monday). The latrines in this school are falling down and students miss up to an hour a day by walking to and from the community stream to fill the school’s water containers.
The stream is protected from animals and a concrete structure surrounds it but the walk to it is very steep and slippery. The community needs stairs to help keep the women and children safe as they carry their containers up and down the muddy path with only a few impressions in the soil to put your feet into.
The school children have to wait until the adults have drawn their water before they can fill their containers. Preschoolers walk to the stream with their 2 litre plus water containers to assist in providing enough water for the family. Each child is also required to bring water to school each day to provide sufficient water for the school. This school really needs a well. They used to have a concrete cistern but it can no longer be used as the roof has fallen in.
We treated more worm infested children today than normal. The parasites come from unclean water. The water source had a disinfectant attached to a post. Each bucket of water is required to have a drop in it. I didn’t see anyone use it. At first, I thought they were being careless but I believe it was empty and there were no funds to replace the chemical.
The school grounds contain a garden and banana trees. The garden grows corn but it is possible there were bean plants near the base of the corn stalk as that is how they grow two crops in the same place. The school provides a lunch for staff and students who pay 60 KES, about 65 cents a day. That is a lot of money here and most students go without lunch as they can’t afford to pay and they live too far from school to go home. Kenyans as a rule have tea in the morning and eat an evening meal. Meat is a luxury, with maize, a corn product, being their staple food.
Our car, one of two vehicles we use, wouldn’t start after the clinic. As no one had jumper cables, they obtained electrical wire, and used the ends to try and start the vehicle (unsuccessfully). We all piled into the matatu left our male friends behind to sort out the problem.