Travelling while travelling

Blog, Mission 2024

Many of the villages we visit are so rural and remote, they are without running water or electricity. One important aspect of the clinics is reaching as many different people as we can, so our medical camps travel to different villages every day. Most villages are within 45 mins-1 hour away from our home base hotel in Kakamega. The Shaywey hotel is a lovely little place to stay, the staff are so kind and attentive to our whims and wishes at breakfast and dinner, offering laundry service and always greeting us with a cheery “morning, morning” often asking us how our day went. 

Each morning we load up our van with all of our supplies, medication and materials needed for the clinic and the teaching of the Maternal program and hit the road with our amazing drivers Jeff, Johnston and Evans…. Who I  believe are the most patient men in the country…. They gracefully put up with us all day 😊. Once we are set up and seeing people in that day’s village we are often faced with need exceeding what we can offer in the clinic setting. Sometimes more acute medical concerns come up and we take people to the local hospital for tests or more intense medical assessment, CNFA willingly pays for these hospital visits as needed. Many times the villagers would not be able to afford these tests/procedures on their own. The best past about that is CNFA doesn’t just pay for a test then leave the person stranded. We will provide transportation to and from the hospital, spend the day helping them navigate the hospital system and provide after care/follow up for ongoing treatment/surgical intervention. A very holistic model of care in an effort to support their ongoing health.

Another travelling part of our travelling clinic is the occasional home visit. While we are in the community we often get notice that a community member is too sick or physically unable come to us, so, in an effort to reach people, we will do home visits.  These small , simple homes made from mud/cow dung often house many generations of 1 family, people of all ages and physical abilities. Homes often have chickens and/or a cow, small gardens and all have lots of love, gratitude and smiles. Together we work with interpreters and families to determine the medical needs. This often leads to discussions around hospital visits or assistance with accessing a mobility device. Great care is taken to ensure we have communication lines with these families and the community health providers so that we can ensure proper follow up for them once we leave. Home visits are hard. Living conditions are so poor for so many, it’s hard to imagine. Every human is deserving of medical care, yet not every human is able to access it. 

Another part of our travelling from clinics is… school visits where we provide oral deworming tablets for all the kids. Imagine being unwell from gastrointestinal worms and unable to attend school or focus at school due to illness, when the answer is a simple chewable tablet.  The schools in Kenya were recently on a government mandated safety break given the floods and the doctors have been on strike. Now that school is back in we are able to reach so many kids K-gr 8, many of these schools have not received de-worming medication in a very very long time. The kids are so sweet and amazing,the school administrators are so welcoming. We also offer a sexual health/ puberty talk with the older kids where some of the girls will receive reusable menstrual products. Imagine a world where girls have access to a simple menstrual product that in turn will improve their day to day activities so greatly that they can stay in school and live with a bit more dignity when dealing with their menstrual cycle. We have the honour of being a small part of that.

Our days are never boring… packing and loading, setting up in a different location every day, heading out to hospitals and homes.Really coming to understand the needs of the rural and remote Kenyan people. We absolutely cannot fix or cure everyone but we really do try to identify issues, tend to them the best we can while we are here and ensure there is follow up for ongoing care planning when we leave. Being so immersed in the day to day of these villages also helps us identify areas for future improvements and projects.

I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to say Asante to everyone who has donated and supported CNFA, without your support much of this outreach work just wouldn’t be possible. From financial donations, swinging menstrual products, collection and offering of eye glasses and so much more…. Asante, Asante , Asante !!!

What a beautiful world we live in, filled with beautiful souls that sometimes just need a little support along the way…. That goes for all of us ♥️ 

(Ps. Asante means thank you in Swahili)

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