Women’s Health in Western Kenya

There are five Rotary Clubs in District 9500 who have taken this project on together which sponsored 62 Odede community families, for seven months of free health cover provided by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) in Kenya.The Rarieda district in the Nyanza Province where the Health Centre is located is a rural area where the majority of the local population are subsistence farmers living in extreme poverty (less than $2.50 per day). The communities have limited access to basic infrastructure and services such as education and health and the maternal and infant mortality rates are unacceptably high.

The provision of maternal health services has been in demand and is a key focus of the Health Centre. The health cover encourages use of the centre, builds an understanding of the need for the services and improves the well-being of each family. In addition, it provides a much needed income source for the centre itself as the NHIF reimburses the health centre for services and treatments provided, that are often not paid for.

NIA (Nurses In Action) Volunteers work in local medical clinics and hospitals as well as on Community Outreach Programs and Medical Camps, alongside local staff and community members.

Susan Paltridge of the Rotary Club of Walkerville travelled with a group of six nurses to Kenya in January 2016 as part of a World Youth International’s Nurses in Action’ program. Susan shared her wonderful and challenging experience in this remote community, where she spent almost six weeks providing health services including home visits and medical camps where the locals walked out of bush and queued for hours, to get their chance to see a nurse and receive medications.The five key issues are: Malaria, HIV, Maternal an Child Health, Violent Injuries (Burns and Machete), and conditions second to malnutrition and AIDS.