Two New Healthcare Centers in Operation

Healthcare is a success story. From almost nothing in 2007, the Nyankoba Ward now has two functioning healthcare centers. The center in Nyanchonori has been operating since mid-2010 and is now very well equipped and stocked with medicines. The center in Mong’oni opened in May 2012 and is only sparsely equipped, but will in time reach the same standard as the Nyanchonori Healthcare Center. We have provided targeted help, but most of the burden has been picked up by the community, with increasing levels of help from the Ministry of Health of the Government of Kenya.

The Nyankoba Ward consists of two communities, Nyanchonori and Mong’oni. When we visited in 2007, there was a small, two room healthcare dispensary in Nyanchonori. It was primitive and crowded, as seen in the picture to the left, taken in the open air waiting room. There was no healthcare facility in Mong’oni. However, both communities had plans for new healthcare centers. By our visit in July, 2009, a new building was under construction in Nyanchonori. In Mong’oni, a small building was being converted to a healthcare center, pictured right, but the project had stalled as they had run out of funds.

The Nyanchonori Healthcare Center was finished in early 2010, see left, and the community sought funds to furnish it with the basic equipment. At the time, we were committed to build the Tea Buying Center and were not able to offer support. However other sources of funds became available as the Kenyan Government was starting to fund local health care facilities.  The Mong’oni project had restarted but they needed funds for materials, so we sent them $2500. By the time we visited in July 2010, good progress had been made and the women of Mong’oni were in a festive mood, see right.

When the HVCHS/HKA group visited in July 2010, the Nyanchonori Healthcare Center was open for business. It was sparsely furnished but it was functional and there was a lot of equipment in boxes waiting to be unpacked. The pharmacy was well stocked and it was clear that the Keroka Division of the Ministry of Health was taking an interest in the facility. We sent them $250 to purchase two gas cylinders for their gas-fired refrigerator (they had no electricity) so they can stock vaccines and other heat sensitive medicines and have them available every day. Previously vaccines would be brought from Keroka every other week and had to be given on the day they were delivered, which was inconvenient. In 2012 we sent them $1200 to purchase a microscope with centrifuges and blood sample handling equipment for malaria diagnosis. When we visited in 2012, the Nyanchonori Healthcare Center was fully functional, well equipped and well stocked with medicines. There are seven rooms; an examination room, a treatment room, a delivery room, a drug and injection administration room, a staff office, a drug dispensary and a store room. The rooms are clean and freshly painted and six of the rooms have sinks fed by the 2300-liter roof rainwater collection tank paid for by HKA. Medicines available in adequate quantities include antibiotics, malaria drugs, analgesics, fever-reducing drugs, cough syrups, diarrhea drugs, TB drugs, HIV and Aids drugs.

 Patients visiting the Nyanchonori Healthcare Center are generally treated and sent on their way within 15 minutes, if it is a single, simple problem. The staff can treat sores, sickness and suture wounds, but fractures are immobilized and the patient is sent to hospital for casting. Other serious cases are sent to hospital in Keroka or Kisii, under their own steam if possible or using the emergency services when necessary. The upgraded road has greatly enhanced the community’s access to healthcare services outside the village. Maternity services are available by a phone call and the delivery room is also used for cervical cancer screening. There are currently seven TB patients in treatment. The dispensary keeps records of when injections and other treatments are due and reminds patients by cell phone the day before. HIV and Aids is a major problem in the community. The government supports treatment but there is considerable stigma attached to HIV. In an outreach program, a counselor who is HIV positive travels around the community to give support to HIV sufferers, to educate them on how to prevent transmission to others and to encourage them to come to the dispensary for treatment. Currently 63 patients are receiving HIV drugs. Mosquito bednets are available free for children under 5 years olds and for expectant mothers. In the long term, Nyanchonori would like to add on a wing to increase the number of treatment and patient rooms.


The Mong’oni Healthcare Center building has been completed and has been open for business since May 2012, with two nurses. Mong’oni still needs a lot of equipment and to build up their stock of medicines. The government is responsible for funding much of this, but there may be delays in delivery of the funds, so HKA may still play a role. It is expected that in time, the Mong’oni Center will function on the same level as Nyanchonori. HKA would like to buy a microscope for the Mong’oni Center for malaria diagnosis. Mong’oni has also requested additional funding for a pit latrine building, a storage center, an outside incinerator and fencing. A pressing need is to upgrade the 0.7 km dirt road from Mong’oni Secondary School up to the Healthcare Center to an all-weather stone road to give year-round access to the center for emergency vehicles.


© 2012 Hopewell-Keroka Alliance | Site Admin