Soila (not her real name) is a mother of five and has another baby on the way. To support her expanding family Soila sells beaded items to tourists. She lives in a manyatta within the Mara North Conservancy and like many women in her village, she married quite young.
Because Maasai girls are traditionally considered children until they are circumcised, it was imperative for her to undergo this rite before marriage. Soila still bears the scars of female genital mutilation and suffers from a myriad of health complications. A simple surgery would have been done as soon as the problem was detected however she cannot afford it. She attended our free medical camp held last November and shared her story with us.
Universal healthcare continues to elude many communities in Kenya especially those living in marginalized areas. In its quest to make healthcare accessible, the Kenyan government through the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) has in recent past stepped up efforts to reach women like Soila by offering enhanced financial services including treatment both locally and abroad. Wide reforms at NHIF have brought a ray of hope to the country’s poor patients but millions like Soila will still struggle to pay medical bills or fail to seek medical attention altogether because they have not yet signed up.
6th Aitong Medical Camp
We have teamed up with Kicheche Community Trust to hold our annual free medical camp in October this year. In preparation for this we are in the final stages of organizing large scale grass root and media campaigns within our supported communities targeting 10,000 people, to help them sign up with NHIF.
To create awareness and communicate benefits of this scheme, we are running a week long high profile radio campaign in a popular local Maa vernacular station from 26th June to 2nd July.
We are also happy to be partnering with Oasis Healthcare, which is an association of doctors running health facilities in 9 counties in Kenya. They are a dedicated team of experts, including paediatricians, cardiologists, surgeons, oncologists, orthopaedics, obstetricians and gynaecologists. They offer primary and specialist medical services to patients in a three tier referral system.
This means that patients seen during our October medical camp who are in need of further medical care can be referred to Oasis health facilities. Referrals are critical especially if the initial diagnosis concludes that a patient needs specialist care. Additionally, partnership with Oasis will ensure that we have in place a monitoring system of a patient’s progress. It will also help us reach more people by making healthcare accessible and affordable hence achieve greater impacts.
US$ 4,000 – Our fundraising goal
We need to raise a minimum of $4,000 to get the message out about the NHIF and to run the medical camp itself.
Please help us today and give individuals like Soila a fresh start. If you and your friends would like to do an event to fundraise, here’s a link with some ideas. We look forward to hearing from you and we are grateful for your support