Health Care Volunteers International
Kenya The project in Loita (Kenya), located in the Masai Mara region of the country, was initiated by Frank Duggan, MD in late 2012, in the lead-up period to the incorporation of HCVI. Dr. Duggan was invited by the community to explore equipping and helping to run a moderate sized medical center located in the remote area of the Masai Mara. The facility was built 3 years prior but had never been occupied. The entire space was empty. The building consisted of a smaller building sloping down to a larger building with a central courtyard. Plumbing had been placed but there was no water source. The same was true of electrical wiring being in place but no source of electricity. There were some other concerns, including flooding of the lower 1/3 of the building during heavy rains, but the building was built and fairly habitable.
Over approximately 2 weeks, working with local health care providers and members of the community, Dr Duggan opened the facility. Medications, equipment, supplies, and furniture with a value estimated at over $150,000 were donated to set up the facility. Interspersed with patient care, the facility was set up with consultation rooms, 10 inpatient beds, a birthing area with 3 beds, a small surgical suite with 2 bays, a dental treatment area, a cold sterilization area, a small lab, a kitchen and laundry area, and a fairly well-stocked pharmacy. The lower 1/3 space prone to flooding was not occupied.
2 subsequent visits raised some serious concerns in regards to the accountability of the onsite local staff and the project stalled. The facility now is getting little use. Discussions were renewed in 2014/2015 with community leaders and local health care workers, and there is hope to get this project back on track. There is a desperate need for health care in the region. The nearest hospital is over 3 hours away, under the best of driving conditions, and from a practical and financial standpoint, this is beyond the means of most of the inhabitants of the region.
HCVI sees a great potential here. We are currently trying to broker an agreement that would protect the durable and consumable assets placed on site so that they will be maintained and can be used for the community that the hospital is intended to serve. Dr. Duggan was heartbroken by the sequence of events that led to the project stalling but has renewed optimism for 2016.