We managed to quickly post the blogs from the last few days, but there hasn’t been time to tell you what our clinics have been like. On Monday, we set up a clinic (as mentioned previously mentioned which is the site of a new clinic and hospital. Today, Dr. Ottichilo, the Member of Parliament from this area, stated there had been eight such clinics set up in this constituency, but he has no staff to run them. The medical care isn’t free and the cost of the drugs are unaffordable for the average Kenyan. There is no middle class in Kenya, only the very rich and the very poor. The unemployment rate is 80%, and the average worker makes $1.00 a day. The price of maize, a food staple, for a family of 4 to 5, is $2.00 a day, and the average mother has 6 to 8 children. It doesn’t take a math degree to realize that someone is going hungry tonight.
During our clinic yesterday, we saw 400 people. We drove for about an hour over the roughest roads I have ever experienced. Canadian potholes take a backseat to the continual pounding the passengers and our Toyota van took. We worked at a local church, the Church of God, moved pews, set stations, and chairs for the patients to sit on-a luxury for them. We assisted 400 people yesterday, and I have never seen such poverty. Their clothing was ragged to say the least, and all those children’s satin dresses that we donate to charity are worn by the little girls here. There are few threads left in many of them and one can see the attempts to close seams with whatever thread is available. Eye infections, malaria, and skin rashes were prevelant. We had to close the doors at 4p, and it was heartbreaking to turn the people away. I couldn’t help think about my own grandchildren and know how fortunate we all are.
We ran out of children’s Tylenol and antimalarials today and had to purchase more this morning. This delayed us in getting to the Wednesday clinic, and we received a call just before we arrived that 500 people were waiting and they had to close the gates. We saw 502 people today through a huge effort by everyone. As we were closing, a male adult ran in with a hand over his face. He had been attacked and had been slashed over and under his eye. Gail and Priscilla patched him up; and he was given painkillers and antibiotics. We finished packing up our van, then drove him to hospital and paid for his sutures. We also paid for his transportation home. Thanks to all of you this year, we have funds for this type of emergency.
We had dinner tonight with Dr Ottichilo, the local Member of Parliament. He spoke at length (the Kenyans love speeches), but it was very informative. He also took questions from us. We were impressed with his sincerity and concern. He attended two of our clinics but of course, he is using our clinic for his own political ends also.
During the past three days, we handed out toys, skipping ropes, coloring book pages with a crayon. and toothbrushes. The joy on the children’s faces is indescribable, and today, one little boy couldn’t even smile when he was given his toy tractor. It was as if no one had ever given him anything before, and you know what, no one probably had. Everyone here has photos and I will try to post what I can. Keep in touch; we miss all of you.