This past summer, a group from Chapel Hill Bible Church traveled to Kenya in an effort to provide access to care to the underserved.The team has been working with Beacon of Hope in Kenya for over 10 years, sending medical teams for the past three. This year’s medical mission was made possible by a team consisting of a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, physical therapist, two nurses and three additional volunteers and they joined local Kenyans to help those living in the rural communities. The team worked at a local school and medical clinic based in Ongata Rongai, a suburban settlement on the outskirts of Nairobi. The team also set up two medical camps located in rural communities several hours outside of Nairobi. Most people living in these communities have very limited access to care.
At Beacon of Hope Academy, about 250 children had dental varnish applied, which was a continuation of a dental program that began last year. Additionally, each student received their own toothbrush and toothpaste to use after each meal at school. There are less than 1,000 dentists in the entire country, thus, dental care is both expensive and difficult to receive. Since many of the children have severe caries, the program is designed to help prevent dental decay with the help of the donated toothbrushes provided by the Henry Schein Cares Foundation.
Over 1,300 children and adults were screened and treated for several different things related to medical healthcare. Some of the most common conditions the team found were hypertension, diabetes, asthma, allergies and ringworm. The team also screened for cervical cancer, HIV, AIDs, vision, anemia and urine analyses.
A wide variety of medications were available for both acute and chronic conditions including a de-worming treatment. The team also taught patients how to further assist in managing their chronic conditions such as asthma. Nutrition counselors were available to meet with the patients after being screened for hypertension, diabetes, and malnutrition to help prevent further damage to their bodies. Finally, referrals to local healthcare providers were given to those with chronic or more severe conditions.