Mbita, Kenya is next to Lake Victoria and is part of the Suba District in Western Kenya. Suba is known for its bad road conditions, breath-taking views, and some of the worst health conditions in the country.
Akado Medical Centre was started by the Akado Women Group as a best-in-care alternative to local health centres. The Akado Women Group was originally a small group of women who are about to be removed from the “primary wife” role of the household (in this polygamous community, newer wives were about the enter their household).
The role for us three volunteers is to adminster a survey into Akado’s target population so that the clinic may better understand the needs of the community they serve. While administering the survey we are also given the opportunity to provide general health advice based on what we know of the region (i.e. boil water before drinking, use mosquito nets to avoid malaria, and get HIV tested). Our goal is to reach 10% of Akado’s population so that we may have enough sample data to provide meaningful statistics. We have also prepared a small health brochure that we leave behind at most homes (has also been translated into the native language).
The team on this project is 12 members and consists of volunteers, Akado employees as well as Community Health Workers. Akado has turned to us not only for logistical support but also for assuming the leadership role on the entire project. This is a rare opportunity that we have accepted with full passion!
We are extremely thankful for this opportunity and much of it feels like magic. We have seen some extra-ordinary things, had some intense conversations, and have already begun to see the difference we are making (HIV testing as already gone up at Akado since we began administering the surveys).
– Prevelance of Malaria in the district is about 100% annually (3 team members have gotten Malaria during our duration here)
– HIV prevelance is recorded at 41% (validity of statistic is questionable)
– Validity of statistics is a district wide problem
– Curruption is High
– Polygamy is a generally accepted practice
– Water borne diseases are high as many drink directly from a Lake that many people use as a public bathroom
– Crime is extremely Low
– The region has some of the most hospitable people on the planet
– Internet is available at only one place from 8am to 6pm :)
– Food is very good and very cheap (Indian lentils, chappthi and rice is about $1.30)
– The Lake is very beautiful and the hills remind us of East Bay by San Francisco
– Two famous words from the local language: Wassungo which means “white boy” and Osama which apparantly means Sukh :)