Friends of Africa International is thrilled to announce that the first shipment of medical supplies and equipment have left for Kenya destined for Chemolingot Hospital, the first of five clinics that received Project C.U.R.E. assessments last year as part of The Kenya Medical Project.
Her Excellency, Margaret Kenyatta, First Lady of the Republic of Kenya was on hand to help load the life-saving cargo into the 40-foot container along with FOAI Board members and Project C.U.R.E. volunteers.
“I cried when I first saw the volunteers loading the container,” said Bonnie Bishop, Friends of Africa International’s Chairman who has lead the effort to refurbish and provision medical facilities most in need of help in a very remote area in northern Kenya. “This will make such an impact on the lives of thousands of Pokot and Turkana people who rely upon the doctors there.”
Bishop along with her daughter, Snowden, FOAI Vice-Chairman and fellow board member Kire Godal first visited Chemolingot Hospital two years ago on a tour of Baringo and Turkana Counties in preparation for launching the Kenya Medical Project.
“Doctor Joseph cried when I told him that we would submit his facility in our grant application with Project C.U.R.E.,” said Snowden Bishop recalling the meeting in Chemolingot at the hospital. “It was heartbreaking to see one single incubator and delivery bed in a place where childbirth is one of the leading causes of death in women and infants.”
The largest of its kind within a 100 mile radius, Chemolingot is a well-built facility that has been underutilized due to the lack of diagnostic and other life-saving equipment. It also had a severe shortage of sterile supplies, surgical instruments, syringes, gloves and other basic necessities for treating patients. The hospital is forced to refer patients out to Nairobi when they don’t have the tools they need to treat them there.
“During the Project C.U.R.E. assessment, a young man was brought to Chemolingot with a gun shot wound.The only thing they had to remove the bullet was a kitchen knife,” recalled Bishop. “That exemplified the urgency of what we are doing there.”
The Chemolingot container is currently en-route to Mombassa, where it will undergo in-country inspection and then make the three-day journey to the hospital by truck. FOAI is coordinating a celebration with the Office of the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya on the day the container arrives.
“We still have a long way to go with so many facilities that have severe shortages of equipment and staff. But we won’t rest until we have exhausted all resources and improved the quality of life for the beautiful people in Kenya,” said Bishop. “Thanks to Project C.U.R.E., we’re well on our way to fulfilling our promise.”
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