On February 8, 2009, the Network for EcoFarming in Africa (NECOFA), the Friends of Kenya Schools and Wildlife (FKSW) and the Ministry of Health in Marigat jointly sponsored a free medical camp at Kokwa Island, one of the small islands in Lake Baringo, Kenya. Located in the Great Rift Valley, Lake Baringo is about 120 km from Nakuru and about 20 km from Marigat.
Kokwa Island has a population of about 1000 people. The residents are members of the Ilchamus community, one of the smaller ethnic groups in Kenya. The Ilchamus live mainly in the arid areas of Lake Baringo and Lake Bogoria, and on Kokwa, there are 200 households, with an average of five people per household.
The medical camp at Kokwa was organized and sponsored by (NECOFA), (FKSW) and the Ministry of Health Marigat. Volunteer medical personnel came from Nakuru private and government health facilities, Molo District Hospital and Marigat District Hospital. The support personnel were from NECOFA and FKSW. MEAP offered video and photo documentation.
Drugs and materials used in the exercise were sourced from Ministry of Health, private health facilities and others were purchased by NECOFA and FKSW.
Several activities took place in the camp among them:-
- Curative services
- Pharmacy services
- Optician or eye specialist services
- Laboratory testing
- Voluntary counseling and testing for HIV
- Shaving for adults and children to control mites and fungal infections in the heads (Tinea carpilis)
- Health education to students of Kokwa Primary School
- Health education on nutrition
Between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., 281 patients attended the camp. Volunteers set up stations for the various services under the trees near the dispensary, and after registering and having their blood pressure taken, patients saw a doctor if they had a pressing health problem or visited one of the other stations. During the day, 121 people were shaved by the barbers.
The most common diseases identified in children below 5 years were respiratory infection followed by diarrhea diseases. In school going children aged 5-18 years, respiratory infections were the most frequent, followed by eye infections, arthritis and skin diseases. For patients aged 18-55years old, orthopedic related complaints, (lumbago and arthritis) were the highest by a very big margin. The second most common illness was respiratory infections.
The day camp was very successful and the Kokwa residents were most appreciative of the services provided to them.
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