In light of the recent outbreak of cholera in Gem sub-county as well as other parts of the country, we wish to urge you all to observe personal hygiene, hand washing after using toilet facilities and before eating and cooking plus ensuring you are ingesting clean and safe water and eating food from trusted sources.
Remember, cholera is a preventable disease and we urge all members of our community and beyond to work together to fight it.
Thank you and we wish you all to remain in good health.
Here is a brief recap of our outreaches over the last two weeks to Nyawita in Kisumu County (Wednesday, July 26, 2017) and Kodiaga in Siaya County (Wednesday, August 2, 2017).
The Nyawita visit was a successful one. We were invited by Eunice Oreri, the Gem Sub-County surveillance officer that invited us to her home. We received the invitation and were excited to go there.
While in Nyawita, , the outreach team received 102 patients (87 were screened for their blood pressure with 13 referred for further consultation; 4 received family planning counseling with 18 receiving family planning methods; 9 signed up for M-TIBA; 13 clients received glasses, 11 received HIV testing and counseling, 20 received cervical cancer screening with 3 referred for further care, our clinician saw 83 patients and referred 9 for further care and 43 children received vitamins and immunization.
For our visit to Kodiaga, the outreach team was accompanied by the mobile health van provided by Jhpeigo.
The outreach team received 100 clients (22 were screened for cervical cancer, 20 received family planning counseling, 15 received family planning methods, 22 were immunized, 52 received HIV testing and counseling, 20 were seen by our clinicians, 10 signed up for M-TIBA services and 2 bought glasses offered by our partner Essilor).
Our outreach team will be on break next week due to the upcoming General Elections in Kenya but will resume the week after. If there is any change, we shall be sure to keep you updated.
On Sunday, July 16, 2017, SCH was honoured to welcome the team from Medtronic Labs (represented by Chemuttaai Lang’at and Molly Guy) to discuss innovations in management for hypertension. Karibu tena!!!
ABOUT THE APPLIED INNOVATION LAB
Every corner of Medtronic is working to transform healthcare — including its IT department. The Healthcare Innovation Team, part of information technology, recently opened the doors to the Applied Innovation Lab.
This is a collaboration space like no other at Medtronic. Teams — made up of Medtronic employees, customers, healthcare providers and other partners — can leverage the space as a whole, or take up residence in one of four quadrants of the lab to solve a particular healthcare challenge, like improving on an existing therapy to help patients, or developing new solutions, such as a model of care for a geography that lacks access to healthcare.
On Saturday, July 15, 2017, SCH welcomed Dr. Harun Otieno, a Nairobi-based cardiologist, who visited to assist in teaching rounds and review of SCH’s cardiac patients.
We are grateful for his visit and look forward to strengthening our partnership in regard to cardiac care at SCH.
Karibu tena, daktari.
Tomorrow, the SCH Outreach Team is headed to Sirembe!!! Stay tuned for photos and reports as we head out tomorrow for another exciting outreach.
Many thanks to our dedicated staff and partners (KMET, Jhpeigo, MobileODT, CHAK, AstraZeneca and MEDS).
On June 2nd our star Clinical Officer, Ann Sammy, took to Nairobi for the E-fast Obstetric and Gynecological Ultrasound Training.
This was a multi faceted training where Mrs. Sammy learned how to use an ultrasound to conduct an E-fast. An E-fast is a focused assessment sonography for trauma to examine if there has been any trauma in an emergency, such as blood or plural fusion in the body cavities. In this exciting training, Mrs. Sammy practiced her new skills on live models.
In the second part of her training, Mrs. Sammy learned to conduct ultrasounds in the first, second, and third trimester of a pregnant woman. Our brilliant Clinical Officer 1 of only 2 trainees who passed the exam! At Sagam, we cannot wait for Mrs. Sammy to teach us what she learned!
This week, Sagam Community Hospital (SCH) took their outreach team to Kambare, roughly 40 minutes from Sagam. There was a great turn out where 185 community members sought preventative care. After over 6 hours of seeing patients, our team was ready to head home.
There were 165 blood pressure screens with 47 referrals to SCH, 88 HIV tests, 42 cervical cancer screens with 3 SCH referral, and 15 Vitamin A tablets distributed. This week, we would like to highlight Dr. Mindy Sherman, an Emergency Pediatrics specialist, and Hanna Haiver, a 4th year American medical student for seeing 100 patients during outreach!
One of our newest developments with outreach is providing eyeglasses at a low cost for the community, thanks to Vision 2.5. We are increasing our efforts in helping those with limited or poor eyesight!As always, we would like to thank our partners, KMET, CHAK, Jhpiego, M-Tiba and Visions 2.5 for their efforts in making these outreaches possible. Let’s see if next week we can see over 200 community members on outreach!
This week Sagam Community Hospital (SCH) traveled to Asembo for community outreach, approximately one hour from SCH. Asembo is a rural town that consists of primarily farmers and fishermen from lake Victoria. The village was very welcoming to Sagam as the day started with prayer and hymns inside their local church.
The turnout was fantastic as 221 community members were registered in total. 128 people tested for blood pressure, 37 examined for HIV, 32 were consulted on family planning, and 35 women took part in cervical cancer screenings. Clinical officers saw 96 total patients throughout the outreach, ranging from small children to elderly parents.
SCH was thrilled with the warm reception in Asembo and is looking to come back in the near future to continue to provide quality care to the community members. SCH looks forward to expanding the Community Outreach program with our partners Jhpiego, M-Tiba, Vision 2.5, and the Kenyan CDC.
“Every person has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to health care services, including reproductive health care… A person shall not be denied emergency medical treatment… The State shall provide appropriate social security to persons who are unable to support themselves and their dependents.” – Article 43 of the Kenyan Constitution 
Do Kenyans have a right to healthcare? Yes, the people of Kenya maintain a statement of solidarity to their fellow citizen in providing high benchmarks in quality and access to care. A new constitution has put Kenya on a path to improving the equity of medical attention provided to its citizens. While the foundations of Kenya’s government recognize the inherent right of each citizen, many institutional and societal challenges face the growing nation on its mission to empower all Kenyans with healthcare.
In a historic 2010 vote, 67 percent of the Kenyan people ratified a new constitution that enhanced their individual rights and autonomy . The constitution states that both rural and urban inhabitants of Kenya have a right to the highest attainable standard of health, including the right to reproductive care . In articles 53-57, the constitution enumerates the rights of specific peoples including children, individuals with disabilities, and other marginalized citizens . Another key element of the Kenyan Constitution is devolution of power to 47 counties, each overseen by a governor. Under the belief that a more accountable and personal decision-making process will improve healthcare, the Kenyan government has empowered these county governments to service their communities with medical services, pharmacies, ambulances, and the promotion of primary health care .
The majority of Kenyan’s derive their right to healthcare by financing care via the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF). Formed in the 1960s, the NHIF is the oldest government medical scheme in Africa . The NHIF is a mandatory tax for those in formal employment, and is an optional fee of 500 Shilling per month for those in informal employment; in 2016, 25 million Kenyans are benefitting from the program ,. The government has also undertaken initiatives to specifically focus on child and maternal care by guaranteeing a child’s right to hospital admission and the new Linda Mama platform. For all children under the age of five, the government has ensured their right to free healthcare through all public hospitals; consequently, the mortality rate for children has drastically improved . Launched in 2016, Linda Mama will provide expecting mothers with postnatal and antenatal clinics, as well as yearlong child health services in public and private hospitals; the program aims to serve 400,000 women .
In Siaya County, Sagam Community Hospital (SCH) is evidence of success at the local level. By undergoing infrastructure and community investment SCH is able to provide its patients with their right to efficient and quality care. SCH upholds an expert staff of trained clinical officers, an efficient acute response service, and frequently host’s trainings and foreign doctors dedicated to providing care in a rural setting. Recently, from June 1-3, doctors from Nairobi traveled to SCH in an effort to conduct Laparoscopic surgery training. Furthermore, SCH is partnered with Massachusetts General Hospital in the United States to conduct research and exercise best practices to improve the public health of Siaya.
In concert with the excellent care provided at SCH, the hospital frequently ventures into neighboring communities as a part of an initiative known as Community Outreach. The program often sees over 200 patients in one outing, offering services that include cervical cancer screenings, HIV testing, blood pressure assessments, and eye examinations. The Community Outreach enriches the knowledge and overall health of surrounding villages; subsequently, saving many lives.
While Kenya has taken significant strides to improve the lives of its citizens, significant barriers prevent the country from realizing basic healthcare standards. A key barrier to a successful system that plagues all of sub-Saharan Africa is endemic corruption. Corruption strangles the growth of Kenya as it prevents the distribution of healthcare services from reaching the target population. Currently, Kenya is ranked 145 of 176 nations in terms of corruption . Without responsible politicians and institutions, Kenyans will continue to struggle to receive proper care afforded to them in their constitution.
Further barriers to healthcare success in Kenya include access to trained medical professionals and proper infrastructure. The stock of medical professionals in Kenya continues to limit the access citizens have to quality care. For example, Kenya has only two doctors for every 10,000 people, leaving their healthcare system compromised by significant delays; the World Health Organization recommends 23 per 10,000 . Compounding the problem is weak infrastructure throughout Kenya. Often times medical professionals in Kenya are unable to provide high standards of care to their patients due to weak infrastructure. Currently, 17 million people lack access to clean water, 33 million people lack access to improved sanitation, and 40 percent of the population lack access to electricity ,. Without proper infrastructure, Kenya’s healthcare system will not be able to achieve the high benchmarks set by the constitution.
More systemic obstacles to a healthy Kenyan population are severe poverty and deeply rooted cultural norms. Extreme poverty is prevalent in all of sub-Saharan Africa as it debilitates the native population’s ability to access basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation, shelter, and education. Poverty will impede a patient’s ability to pay the services associated with healthcare visits, and can even stop patients from traveling to hospitals due to high transportation costs. In addition, cultural challenges persist into the 21st century, as some traditional groups do not believe that new medical technology can be applied in a rural setting. Societal forces can also prevent individuals from seeking medical testing, mitigating the advancements made in HIV and other communicable diseases .
For Kenya to fulfill its promise of a right to healthcare, the national and county governments must end corruption, further invest in the density of medical professionals, and partake in cultural education of health literacy. The 2010 constitution is very clear in its healthcare objectives and outlining the rights of citizens, the next step is for the government to dispense its healthcare resources effectively. Kenya must continue to lead sub-Saharan Africa by overcoming the barriers to quality healthcare; doing so would mean capitalizing on its robust economy and wealth of natural resources to benefit the least well off. It is time for Kenya to follow-through on its constitutional commitments in providing high quality care to all its citizens, regardless of age, ethnicity, disability, or geography.
 Diallo, Mariama. “New Kenyan Constitution Ratified.” VOA. VOA, 05 Aug. 2010. Web. 02 June 2017. https://www.voanews.com/a/kenyas-new-constitution-ratified-100158209/123395.html
 International Journal Of Scientific Research And Innovative Technology, and Vol. 2 No. 1; January 2015. “HEALTH POLICIES IN KENYA AND THE NEW CONSTITUTION FOR VISION 2030.” 2.1 (2015): n. pag. International Journal of Scientific Research and Innovative Technology, Jan. 2015. Web. 2 June 2017. http://www.ijsrit.com/uploaded_all_files/2737275308_g12.pdf
 “Case Study: Kenya National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).” USAID Health Finance & Governance, 9 June 2014. Web. 03 June 2017. http://healthmarketinnovations.org/sites/default/files/
Muema, Morris. “New NHIF Rates in Kenya Finally Take Effect.” Kenyan Business Review. N.p., 04 Nov. 2016. Web. 03 June 2017. http://www.kenyanbusinessreview.com/892/new-nhif-rates-kenya/
 “NHIF Operations.” National Hospital Insurance Fund, n.d. Web.
“Health Challenges Facing the Realization of Children’s Right to Health in Kenya.” United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commisioner, n.d. Web. 6 June 2017. http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Children/Study/RightHealth/
 Odhiambo, Rhoda. “State Launches ‘Linda Mama’ to Target 400,000 Women Delivering at Home.” The Star, 18 Oct. 2016. Web. 6 June 2017. http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2016/10/18/state-launches-linda-mama-to-target-400000-women-delivering-at-home_c1440376
 “Corruption Percentage Index 2016.” Transparency International, 25 Jan. 2017. Web. 2 June 2017. https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_perceptions_index_2016#table
 Kushner, Jacob. “Kenya’s Doctors to End 100-day Strike.” USA Today, 14 Mar. 2017. Web. 6 June 2017. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/03/14/kenya-doctors-strike-over/99171746/
 Chumo, Ben. “Kenya’s Electricity Access Rate Now at a Historic 60 per Cent.” Daily Nation, 23 July 2016. Web. 6 June 2017. http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/Opinion/kenya-electricity-access-rate-now-at-a-historic-sixty-per-cent-/440808-3307998-p0whfa/index.html
On Tuesday, June 6th, 2017, SCH had the pleasure of hosting Mr. Frederic Corbasson, the President of the 2.5 New Vision Generation, an Essilor Group Initiative. He visited SCH as part of his tour of Kenya. He was joined by Mr. Raphael Okumu, the Business Developer-Eastern Africa for Essilor.
The purpose of their visit was to meet our community outreach team, who they had trained as Vision Ambassadors on May 23, 2017. Vision Ambassadors have been trained to assess vision and sell eye glasses to members of our community.
Essilor is expanding its services and support for eye care to Kenya and SCH is proud to host one of the first Vision Ambassadors in the country, joining other colleagues in China, Brazil and India.
During the meeting, the Vision Ambassadors were able to share their experience, both successes and challenges, in assessing eye care for the community and selling glasses. SCH’s In-Charge of its Ophthalmology Department, Mr. Martin Audi, also shared how the number of referrals by the community outreach team have increased and also encouraged the team on how their work is helping their community. In addition, we shared our needs for strengthening of our eye department, especially in increasing capacity for our opthalmology department to participate fully in SCH’s weekly outreaches in terms of equipment and staffing.
The Essilor team were also able to learn more about SCH and the African Institute for Health Transformation; their visit was concluded with a song and dance from the community outreach team and a tour of the hospital.
We are thankful for the visit and privileged to have hosted the Essilor team! Karibu tena!
Who is Essilor? Essilor is a french company focusing on eye care and has a corporate responsibility mission to improve eye care and eye sight for the 2.5 billion people across the globe that lack access.