Medical Outreach by Hope Citadel and Operation Blessing at Bamba, Kilifi County

Preamble:

HOPE CITADEL FOUNDATION – Missioners of Hope is an organization composed of volunteers who are medical health care providers of different cadres. These includes: medical officers, pharmacists, clinical officers, nurses, specialists (surgeons, gynaecologists), medical psychologists, medical lab officers among others. The team also encompasses an evangelical team to spread the gospel to people where the medical outreach events are hosted.

Missioners of Hope is dedicated to continuously improving the spiritual, physical and socio-economic well-being of the less fortunate. The Kilifi (BAMBA) medical camp was done in partnership with OPERATION BLESSING (financiers and planner) and RIVER OF LIFE CHURCH – BAMBA (host church).

Community members who came for medical care during the camp wait in the fields to be served.

I participated in the medical camp as a member of the psychological counselling team with Hope Citadel Foundation and a Champion for Ryculture YouTH Voices where this happened to be my first assignment.

Services offered during the kilifi medical camp

  • Free medical consultation and referrals

  • Free dental services

  • Free minor surgeries such as voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC).

  • Free eye check-ups with free reading glasses issued

  • Free laboratory tests

  • Pharmacy – free medicines dispensed on prescription

  • Free psychological counselling services

  • Free cervical and breast cancer screening

Narration of activities

Hope Citadel Foundation, Operation Blessing and River of Life Church, Bamba hosted a two (2)-day camp in Kilifi, Bamba on 31st January 2020 and 1stFebruary 2020. The event was attended by a population of 2,525 community members seeking medical services.

Of the services rendered, 140 surgeries were conducted, 80 dental cases managed, 60 women were screened for breast & cervical cancers and 20 patients taken through psychological counselling (individual and group therapy). Some patients with chronic diseases which needed medical follow up were referred to Kilifi and Mariakani Hospitals for continued specialized care.

Family therapy session at the event (Capture: Harriet, team member, community mobilizer and a client).

Outcomes

Through our participation in the medical camp, Bamba residents were able to access health services within their vicinity at zero cost which is a step towards improving access to healthcare services especially to the most vulnerable of communities.

The organization of the camp enabled referral of cases that needed continuous long-term management which is critical in realizing positive health outcomes & healthy communities.

Residents of Bamba benefited from psychological counselling and psychoeducation where we focused on educating the public on mental health concerns when they were waiting on medical counsel. Pastors were also enlightened on the need to debrief after counselling sessions with congregants as these tend to be emotionally draining to them as well. Adherence to treatment counselling, stress management and substance use counselling were also conducted during the sessions.

Harriet assessing a child with foot ache during the medical camp

A case of interest that went through my desk was of a caregiver who was attending to an epileptic patient. The care of the patient was draining her all through which was a clear pointer to me of the need for advocacy for caregivers’ psychological support. This is needed for an improved quality of life for these patients as well as the people they care for. Unless this is done the quality of care of these patients will be compromised while at the same time we’ll be having sick caregivers which is not a desirable health outcome.

Next steps

  1. There is need for a more responsive and well-structured referral systems for patients from these medical outreach programs. This will support efforts to improve access to care and improve treatment outcomes for patients.

  2. There is need for advocacy for caregivers psychological support programs and integration of this as an essential component of care for patients with chronic illnesses.

  3. There is need for more advocacy for mental health and social systems to avert some of the mental illnesses.

Author: Harriet Musimbi; Champion, Ryculture YouTH Voices