Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mkwiro Dispensary - A Step Forward

My grandfather used to tell me ‘start with what people know… and build with what people have got’. I’ve been working as the Community Officer in the South East Coast of Kenya for a number of months and right now I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else. My background is mainly health, in the UK I trained and worked as a Paediatric nurse and consequently I have been met with both enthusiasm and curiosity from the local dispensary committee and community based in Mkwiro village on Wasini Island.

The Mkwiro Village Medical Dispensary has been open since 1985, and is an integral part of the village’s health and wellbeing. When open the dispensary provides a service to almost 2000 individuals in the village. Local dispensaries are often run by a government provided nurse, however, there is a shortage of nurses and the government at present is only able to fund one for Mkwiro 2 days a week. When the nurse is not available the dispensary is either closed or an untrained local substitutes.
-- Mkwiro Dispensary; a new committe and new hope for development --

Where possible, the government provides medical equipment and drugs to the dispensary but currently the dispensary has run out of many supplies and is in need of donation of supplies or funds to replenish stocks and enable continuous treatment to the community.

The villagers have a range of medical needs, such as Malaria, Diarrhoea, pregnancies, children under five requiring immunisations and other medical care, and a population of elderly people who also often need assistance. There is also a lot of sharp coral rag substrate on the island, which means there are many accidents, especially with children playing, requiring stitches. It is much easier and safer to give stitches at the dispensary, than it is to try to get to the mainland for assistance.
-- Interior of dispensary; in need of donations --

The dispensary are very keen to work in partnership with GVI with the main aim of developing a stronger health service and effective implementation of health promotion and maternal and child health facilities.

After a very long formal meeting with the new dispensary committee and the new nurse Anna, GVI received a very encouraging response and the new committee is eager to start work. There have been many aims and objectives set and a focus mainly on capacity building, advocacy and vocational training. GVI in partnership with the dispensary hope to support the dispensaries in the assessment for the need of, followed by the planning, implementation and evaluation of, specialist health clinics such as: Support for new mums, breastfeeding, immunizations, women’s health, men’s health, child development, additional needs and mental health.

We will keep you all updated with the future developments and successes.