MOBILE HIV/AIDS CLINIC IN KENYA
Over 1.5 million people are living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya today, 180,000 of which are below the age of 15. 80,000 people die from HIV/AIDS every year in Kenya, and 1.2 million children are living as orphans because of it. Understanding and awareness of HIV/AIDS is extremely limited.
Marafiki Community International wants to put together a mobile clinic to travel to rural parts of Kenya to provide HIV/AIDS testing, education and counseling services. Bringing awareness to the Kenyan population, testing for HIV/AIDS and providing counseling and resources can go a long way towards stemming the spread of this disease.
A mobile clinic is a truck that can tackle Kenya’s difficult and unfinished roads to reach populations in rural areas, including the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps and Maasai villages. It hold up to 9 volunteers, workers and medical personnel, as well as camping gear to set up outposts for a week at a time in any given town, medical supplies, educational materials and necessary gear. It can also be used as a testing center, classroom for HIV/AIDS education or private counseling.
Testing kits are obtained from the government and up to 500 can be administered per day. They show results in 15 minutes. In the case of positive results, Kenyans would be directed to treatment and counseling, and whether positive or negative, everyone would receive information, education and awareness about the disease, transmission, safety practices and what it means to live with it.
HIV/AIDS is rampant in “easy money towns,” small towns rife with drug abuse and prostitution. Marafiki would outreach to drug abusers and sex workers to help them choose other ways of life and would seek to empower women who are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS because of the sex trade.
Malaria is another leading cause of death in Kenya; the mobile clinic would carry testing kits for malaria as well.
HIV/AIDS is a pandemic that must be stopped. Over 1.5 million people are living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya today, 180,000 of which are below the age of 15. 80,000 people die from HIV/AIDS every year in Kenya, and 1.2 million children are living as orphans because of it. Education and awareness about the disease and available resources is extremely limited.
The first major need is that Kenyans need to know whether they have HIV/AIDS or not. The mobile clinic will address this through providing testing and if results are positive, directing them to available treatment.
Education about HIV/AIDS, transmission, safety practices and its impacts is desperately needed as well. The mobile clinic will bring this information to rural communities and seek to empower the population to live better lives through stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Because of its prevalence in “easy money towns” rife with drug abuse and prostitution, the mobile clinic outreaches to these Kenyans to help them understand they have other options and life choices they can make. It seeks to empower women to help them choose other ways of earning a living.
Malaria is also rampant throughout Kenya and the mobile clinic will test for that and direct Kenyans to treatment as well.
This idea has the potential to have tremendous impact.
The mobile clinic can carry 9 volunteers, workers, and medical and counseling personnel, who can administer up to 500 tests per day. The clinic will travel to rural communities and stay there for 1-2 weeks at a time.
The number of people targeted in the rural towns is 25,000. Additionally, the mobile clinic will go to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps (an additional 4,000 people) and the Maasai villages (approx. 3,000 people per village).
During high season when volunteers are plentiful, the clinic can run every week. During low season it can run every 2-3 weeks.
Given these restrictions, the clinic can reach the above number of communities and people in 6-10 months. The idea is that the clinic will continue to run long term, ever expanding in the areas covered and outreaching further.
This project has broader impacts as well. Through this mobile clinic, local Kenyan workers and international volunteers are able to outreach to these communities and form positive connections. The mobile clinic will outreach to drug abusers and sex trade workers to help them find other options and ways of life. It will empower those living with HIV/AIDS to understand this disease and enable them to live meaningful, fulfilling lives. This project is in the Freedom category because it frees Kenyans to make better, healthier choices towards inspiring, fulfilling lives.
It connects international volunteers to Kenyans and will truly save lives, thus spreading the impact throughout the world.
The mobile clinic is extremely feasible.
Because it is so crucial to the health and well-being of the Kenyan population, Marafiki Community International has already tried it successfully on a smaller scale. We are in desperate need of a truck and the appropriate gear to bring this clinic to the rural villages and areas and have the impact described in that section.
Marafiki runs many volunteer projects and has been operating since 2010. It is run by local Kenyans and takes hundreds of international volunteers annually for various projects. The groundwork for the mobile clinic has already been laid out, necessary contacts and connections made, and plans are already being drawn up. As soon as we obtain the funding to buy the truck and necessary gear, we will be ready to launch.
This idea has the power to change lives. No child should ever be orphaned because of HIV/AIDS. We must do our part to stop the insipid and violent spread of HIV/AIDS throughout Kenya, and hopefully, as the success of this project increases, the world. HIV/AIDS is a number one killer. We can- and must- stop it.
This project is not just about stemming the tide of HIV/AIDS. It’s also about bringing people together and helping empower Kenyans to live meaningful, fulfilled lives through understanding the disease and- especially in the case of drug abuse and the sex trade- to make positive, life-affirming choices that lead to a better and brighter future for all.
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1443.1 on May 7, 2013