The situation

We work in two areas of Kenya, Isiolo County and Lamu County.

Isiolo County, north of Kenya's capital Nairobi, is in the grip of a vicious drought after rains failed in late 2016 and spring 2017. Young children suffering from malnutrition must be treated before they reach the age of five, in order to prevent lifelong effects on physical and cognitive development - but many villages in Isiolo are several days' walk from a hospital. There are 2.6 million people across Kenya in urgent need of food.

Lamu County is a remote area of east Kenya stretching across mainland and over 65 islands. Access to the islands is extremely limited and, since 2014, the county has also been under threat of attack from the militant group Al Shabaab. Kenyan medical professionals often prefer to work in cities such as Nairobi or Mombasa, where they can earn more and where their families have better access to schools and jobs.

Lamu County Hospital's dedicated staff are therefore unable to give their patients the level of care they wish to provide. Some staff haven’t even received basic life-support training. High-quality donated equipment sits unused or broken, as medics often haven’t been taught how to use or maintain it.

Our work

In Isiolo, we've launched an emergency project in response to the drought. Our medical team conducts outreach visits to several remote villages every week, in order to screen and treat pregnant women, new mothers, and children under five for malnutrition. We also offer basic primary care during these outreach sessions.

In Lamu, in order to help the county hospital find and retain the medical staff it needs, we're providing mentoring for junior doctors. We’ve recruited specialists in the UK who can deliver weekly online supervisions, via an app called MedShr, and this is supported by short coaching trips to Lamu where needed.

We’re also supporting the financial cost of a medical co-ordinator for Safari Doctors, a Kenyan organisation that delivers health outreach clinics via boat to Lamu's remote areas. Together, these measures are helping to provide sustainable primary and secondary care in Lamu.