Maurice Nyongesa Nandokha
The original Chwele Dispensary was first built in 1948 by Quaker missionaries.
In 1995, Grace Kuto wrote Harambee! Stories and Recipes from the African Family Circle. The first edition of this book partially contributed to the cost ($50,000) to build the new Chwele Health Clinic. The clinic was built in 1999, and today serves nearly 60,000 people near the Mt. Elgon area in western Kenya.
Below you can meet Issac, a 4 year old boy who has been a patient at the Chwele Health Clinic.
The new clinic has been in operation under the administration of Lugulu Friends Mission Hospital since the year 2000. It is preparing to be independent from Lugulu Hospital by 2016. The clinic is staffed by a Physician Assistant, a Registered Nurse, two Patient Attendants and a Lab Technician. Approximately 10-50 patients are seen per day and all the services are provided at a low cost to the residents. It serves a catchment area of close to 60,000 people of Chwele community and the surrounding areas of the slopes of Mt. Elgon. Not everyone who needs healthcare services has ready access to the clinic, therefore, there is a great need for an ambulance. Since it provides healthcare services for a fee, it is fairly self-sustainable. It is open 24 hours a day responding to emergency, preventative, and primary health care needs which include:
- Public Health education
- Childhood immunizations
- Maternal health
- Respiratory and waterborne diseases including typhoid and cholera.
- Dental Health (2014)
The impact of this clinic has been huge. So many lives have been saved through the services listed above. Through UN mosquito net campaigns and support like ours, malaria incidences have been reduced by at least 40% since 1998. HIV/AIDS patients have had access to antiviral medications for more than 10 years which has tremendously improved the quality of their health.
However, pregnant women and very ill patients who live too far from the clinic have limited or no access to the clinic due to lack of transportation. This challenge still contributes to premature death to the unborn, mothers, children, and the elderly. There is a great need for an ambulance!