The Segera Clinic is the only medical care for 600 square miles. It serves a community of more than 10,000 people. Each month between 600 and 900 people visit our clinic, about 10% of whom would have life-threatening illnesses if care were not immediately available.
We have two full time nurses. Our nurses work 8 hour shifts and are then on call 24 hours a day. On average two patients per day have potentially life-threatening problems that require serious intervention.
A key element of our clinic program is emergency transport to the nearest hospital for the URGENTLY ill. Every few days, an emergency trip is made to save the life of a woman in childbirth or a patient with cerebral malaria. On some of the worst roads on the planet, our vehicle travels 1 and ½ hours each way (up to 3 hours if it’s raining) to provide this life-saving trip!
We are able to purchase medicines from a medical non-profit at excellent prices. These medicines range from pain relievers to crucial antibiotics to all important malaria medicines. This past year, we had several cases of typhoid due to the severe drought. Now it’s raining, so the need for malaria medicines has risen dramatically.
Our future plans for the Segera Clinic include:
Disease prevention and hygiene classes
We would like to get a public health nurse who can train community representatives to teach the women of their community. This program will add huge dividends in better help for children and their families.
A lab that can do basic blood work, malaria testing, and parasite testing would be very helpful for the health of the community.
Continuing Education for our nurses
Over time it is crucial that our nurses continue their education. The Kenyan laws and employment practices are very serious about upgrading the nurses in the country.
The upgrading of our clinic to a full Maternity Hospital
Since mother and infant mortality is among the worst in the world in rural Africa, this would be an important addition to Segera Mission. This would, however, require an additional building, and a separate surgery. We currently deliver babies on an emergency basis only and would need additional equipment and facilities before we could be certified by the Kenyan Department of Health for this level of service.
Formalized Prenatal, Baby Care, and Health and Hygiene Classes
Currently, we offer counseling on regular office appointments, but these can’t address the full educational needs of soon to be mothers. In addition, better health and hygiene education is crucial for the entire community. Classes on simple topics such as the theory of germs, and how people get infections, and parasites, is largely unknown, and understanding these issues could make huge differences. Enlisting the community’s participation in this training empowers both the teacher and the student, and provides sustainability to the efforts. Several potential partnerships that can be formed with local non-profit organizations could make a serious contribution to preventative health care programs.
Clean Water Initiatives
We currently provide clean water through purification of water by several methods. But this really reaches only the people closest around us. Solving the clean water issues is complex and ongoing. Part of our public education needs to be helping people understand the effect water-borne illnesses have on them, and what they can do to help it. Just walking the mile or two each way to the river in order to carry a 20 liter jerrycan of water home on their back is all the effort most of them can make. Without firewood to boil the water – and the area has been desertified due to the cutting of almost all the trees – new methods must be found and taught to people to help them stop the threat of water-borne diseases that ravish their health. We also plan to partner with other non-profits with expertise in providing clean water access to the poor.