Kenya: Health Initiatives

Building a surgical center

SVQF partnered with the architectural design firm of Perkins + Will and the engineering design firm of Mazzetti to plan for the construction of a critical access hospital which will be built and operated by our longtime implementing partner, Free The Children. SVQF is proud to have initiated this project and to have taken an active part in the initial phases of the planning. To donate to this life-saving project, please contact Free The Children.

Background and Existing Services:
The Baraka Health Center is located in Narok County (pop. 850,000). Since opening its doors in October 2010, Baraka Health Center has served nearly 20,000 patients, including the immunization of 4,000 children and the provision of antenatal care to 2,000 mothers. Any patient needing surgical intervention or inpatient care must be referred to a different facility due to Baraka’s lack of surgical capacity. These facilities with surgical capacity are distant, unaffordable, and facing obstacles such as no running water or a shortage of doctors, which hinder quality care. Baraka offers affordable, accessible and quality healthcare.

New Surgical and Inpatient Facilities – Anticipated Impacts:
Based on the majority of patients who had to be referred elsewhere, Baraka’s surgical facility would expect to serve patients who require caesarian sections, emergency surgeries for burns and traffic accidents, compound fractures, club foot and cleft palate corrections, biopsies and tumor removal, appendectomies, and fibroid surgeries. In its first year, it is estimated that there will be 300 surgeries performed at Baraka, with that number increasing rapidly as Baraka becomes a referral hospital.

Impact on Mothers and Babies:
56% of women in Kenya give birth at home with little or no medical supervision. This number is much higher in Narok. Baraka has seen over 100% increase in attendance to pre-natal services since opening its maternity wing in 2013. 19% of women had to be referred to a surgical facility because they needed a caesarian section. Some choose to stay home as they cannot afford the hospital bill or cannot travel the long distance required to reach the nearest facility – and lives are lost. Baraka would not only help these women safely give birth but would also provide the necessary follow up care. Fewer than 50% of children with diarrhea are taken to a health facility and children under the age of 6 months are the least likely to receive treatment from a medical provider. 1 in 10 children die before reaching the age of 5. Baraka aims to reduce these numbers.

Sustainability of Baraka Health Center: A project is successful if it can stand on its own, without on-going donor support. To ensure that the medical facility will support itself within 2 years, several measures have been put into place to create revenue and to cover operational and salary costs. These measures include:

  • Small subsidized fees paid by community members for services
  • Canteen built at the site
  • MPESA mobile money business – airtime reseller
  • Registration with the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) health insurance, which covers 100% of maternity services.

Replicability of Baraka Health Center: Our goal is not only to build this particular facility for the region, but to make it replicable so that the construction of other facilities in other regions does not have to start from scratch when designing and planning the facility. Our blueprints and plan will be made available for such use, along with a palette of options relating to systems, such as power, water, and waste. These options can be customized by future facilities based on their existing resources and needs.

Doc2Dock shipment of medical equipment

Every day, over 7,000 tons of unused medical equipment are discarded by American hospitals due to overproduction, procedural excess, and regulatory requirements. Doc2Dock collects, sterilizes, and redistributes this equipment to underfunded medical facilities and health clinics around the world. As a result of learning about Doc2Dock’s admirable work, SVQF has pledged broad support for the organization and its goals through holding a fundraiser benefiting Doc2Dock, making direct contributions, and partnering with Doc2Dock to deliver over 30 tons of medical supplies and equipment, valued at over one million dollars, to under-resourced medical facilities in Kenya and Liberia.

Shipment of medical equipment to permanent clinic in Kenya’s Masai Mara 2010

Shipment of medical equipment to Liberia 2009

Shipment of medical equipment to Salabwek, Kenya, 2007

SVQF Sends Medical Mission

SVQF partnered with PCCHF to send a medical mission to Kenya’s Narok County, where there are no doctors, dentists, or medical consultants available to serve the district’s 53,000 inhabitants. The team saw 400 patients in 2 days. The team was tailored to meet the district’s most pressing needs, and consisted of a telemedicine specialist, two orthopedic surgeons, an ophthalmologist, a pediatrician, a dentist, a dental assistant, a nurse, and the PCCHF founder.

View photos from the field.