Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rotary Medial Mission To Kenya. Report Of Activities On 24sep08

Here is one of the reports from Merrimack Valley Rotarian Carl Good who is on a Rotary mission in Keny to help people who are impacted by AIDS. The picture is of children waiting to be treated in the medical building. There are separate buildings for dental (primarily tooth extraction) and optical. They expect to help over 2,000 children before the program is completed. For more posts by Carl visit his blog at

Today we were to leave at 7:00 which meant that I had to get up at 5:30 to meet Darsi’’s driver George at 6:00 to make it to the hotel in time to make the bus to the Mukuru slum and the Catholic compound which is our base. The all went well.
Bumpy Roads
All the roads in the slum are incredibly bumpy I found by trial and error that one wants to sit in the front of the bus to avoid the increased bumpiness in the rear due to some form of leaver action.
Over 650 Children
More local Rotarians and Rotoracters seemed to be present today to ease the burden. Our group handled over 650 children today between the optical, dental and general medical groups. There is triage at the gate to give priority to the neediest cases. Our registration group handled mainly mothers with children and a few that came on their own.
Rotoractors Help
A number of school children came in groups and they were handled by local doctors and where necessary funneled into our functions. All the children who had not been recently de-wormed were given a worming pill. In the registration process we are aided by local Swahili speakers many of whom are college Rotarians called Rotoractors.
Learning Swahilli
As time goes by I am getting to be able to utter a few Swahili phrases but the children are shy and difficult to understand.Once the children have been triaged and registered with numbered armband they go and stand in front of one of three buildings that house the respective optical, dental and medical groups. Because of the large number of general medical patients a tent was erected to shade them during their wait.
Dental Work
The dental group has no chairs and other dental office stuff so each dentist wears a headlight and pulls teeth with their patients on a table. There is no filling as there is no equipment.Our registration process is the first to stop as it takes time for the patients to work through the other groups. Next to the Catholic compound is a Catholic sponsored trade school. One of our interpreters, David who is a clinical laboratorian, took us over for a tour. The students are mainly high school age and get training in sewing and clothes making, hairdressing, wood working, metal crafts, electrical, knitting and math.
Learning Skills
The facilities as one might expect are minimal but functional. In the slum there are many small shops of people earning a living plying these trades. Also, there is a large industrial area near the slum which can employ the graduated students. The hairdressing course is six months with the others being one year. In the courses they make clothes for school children as well as things to sell. All the school children are in uniforms of some type.After helping close up shop we took the bus ride back through the slum to the hotel. My host’s driver picked me up after delivering some medical supplies for the group.
Stopped At Mall
We stopped at a mall to get a few things like more had sanitizer. This mall would rival any I have seen in the U.S.. It was such a contrast going from the slum to this fancy mall. I have been comparing Dhaka in Bangladesh to Nairobi in Kenya. Nairobi is definitely a more advanced city but the slums are very similar.

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