James Kitengu is our medical missionary. He is licensed by the government to operate a medical clinic and trained to preach the Gospel. He travels on his motorcycle or by bus to the three congregations to treat patients and preach the Gospel. During the famine in 2006 and 2008 many patients were treated for no charge. Many health problems treated by James are associated with poor nutrition and contaminated water. James treats a wide range of problems from malnutrition to malaria, typhoid, AIDS, and parasitic worms as well as bandaging wounds, treating infections, pulling teeth, and dispensing eye glasses. He also does AIDS prevention programs from time to time at local schools. For some people the mobile medical clinic is their only access to health care. As an example of the help being provided, we observed while in Kenya in July, 2008 James diagnosis and provide medicine for a one year old baby with malaria and pneumonia. The young mother paid $1.50 for the examination and the medicine.
Since the beginning of the clinic 7 years ago James has treated approximately 5500 patients..
Community Health Care Workers
Recently James has trained community health care workers in three communities to deal with simple illnesses. They have been taught medical terminology, medicine abbreviations, and examination procedures. They have been taught about symptoms and treatment for malaria, amombiasis, typhoid, respiratory diseases, diarrhea and vomiting, intestinal worms, burns, poisoning, AIDS, and dehydration. These community-based workers are under James’ oversight and dispense medicine from a locking cabinet. These cabinets are located in a room provided by local churches. These cabinets are similar in contents to a medicine cabinet that we have in homes in the U.S. (Band-Aids, bandages, pain killers, antiseptic ointment, antibiotic cream, eye drops, hydrogen peroxide, etc.). The local helpers call James when emergencies occur and when the problem is beyond the scope of their training. James spends one day/week at each community.
Diagnostic Lab Request
James has requested a diagnostic lab and we are seeking funding to make it happen. The ability to do lab tests of various types would help with diagnosis of diseases and would expand the good that could be accomplished through the mobile medical clinic. There is no diagnostic lab in the area. The start up equipment and supplies would cost $2500 (see list below) and a part-time lab technician would cost $135/month. The two rooms (a waiting room and laboratory room) would cost $170/month. Once the lab is set up James predicts that the test fees would provide the money needed to replenish needed supplies and possibly the room rent. The salary of the lab tech ($135/month) would be the main on going expense.