My name is Mary and I am a consultant at Access Afya Kenya. Access Afya is based at Kisii Village, an area within one of the Nairobi slums. We provide reliable health care services to low-income communities within the slums through a micro-clinic model that is using health technologies. Having a high population in the slums, there is a lot of demand from the communities for quality health care. Access Afya is looking forward to opening a second mini-clinic within Mukuru. Therefore, we have been involved in a lot of field surveys to try and select the best location for it, in terms of highest demand for health care services from the communities.
Having an experience at Mukuru should be on everyone’s to do list!! Almost everything you come across is interesting; you end up turning your head to almost everything. From the kids playing all sorts of games, construction going on, women selling all sorts of different Kenyan foods to the friendly community members you pass across. Funny enough everyone says “hey” and they are concerned of how your day is going alone, even though this is rare in most other estates within Nairobi.
Some of the Access Afya team at Kisii Village
Dommy, the Community Health Coordinator, and I head out to different areas within the Mukuru slums to do needs assessments with potential clients. The Mukuru slums are large- there is an estimated quarter to half a million people living there, but no one knows the exact figure. We grab the organization’s new iPad to ask questions and record feedback in the field using an offline app to enter answers and type notes.
As we make our way into Kayaba, it is very easy to point out groups of youth seated together. Dommy and I walk to them. They are very happy to see us. We begin by explaining why we are interested in talking to them, and all their faces light up. They all love the idea of a clinic within their locality. To explain further we remove the tablet from the bag so as to demonstrate exactly what kind of clinic we intend to bring. We flip around the photos that we had pre-loaded on the iPad showing our current clinic. It was amazing how they all come closer, and they all want to have a hold of it as they view the photos.
Respondents giving feedback
Moving door-to-door, kiosk-to-kiosk as we interview women in both Mukuru Kayaba and Hazina, we are getting to learn so much from them. Once we have finished asking the questions, they all seem to have questions for us too. For instance how soon we intend to have a micro-clinic in the area, in case we have patients registering, will they get a registration card for it.
Two women from Hazina responding to the survey
At the end of the day the survey to us was very educative, we learnt a lot from the communities concerning health related issues. Some responses were not surprising- the respondents echoed the need for more lab facilities, especially for stool testing given the poor sanitation services. Others demanded more comprehensive health, asking for health talks on nutrition and dentist services. Access Afya is working on putting together membership packages to include these things.
A lady sharing her story with Dommy
We look forward to having a second micro-clinic in either of the sites. With time we hope to have several micro-clinics in the slums to ensure that quality health care is given to all people.