In the last week of January the doctor’s union in Kenya raised the alarm that doctors had received unexpected pay cuts as the country’s public health system goes through a massive upheaval.
Kenya has only 4,500 doctors in practice struggling to care for more than 40 million people. Access to healthcare was cut off completely in December, 2013, when doctors and nurses went on strike to protest the central government’s poorly executed shifting of healthcare authority from national to county governments.
Zakat Foundation of America mobile clinics are stepping in to fill that void.
At no cost to patients, the three Zakat Foundation of America mobile clinics in Kenya serve a variety of needs for the communities they serve:
- Prescription drugs and medical equipment to patients
- HIV testing and counseling
- Maternal child health services
- Nutritional therapy to mothers
- Health education to the community and to breastfeeding mothers in particular
- Mobilizing community health volunteers
- Referring patients who require more involved treatment to public health facilities
Starting in 2011, this program served 2,700 patients in its first year and has increased its capacity each year since. In improving the basic health of rural and impoverished communities, the mobile clinics make other development efforts possible.
Children who are vaccinated are able to attend school and build a better future for themselves and their families. Parents whose healthcare needs are met can earn their livelihood, and feed, clothe and educate their children. Healthcare is truly a keystone of sustainable development.