In Kenya, the unequal access to the right to health is due to many motivations, especially for women and children. Between the causes, we can mention the inadequacy of the structures, the lack of personnel and its inequitable distribution on the national territory, the significant gaps in the training and updating system for medical personnel and the limited skills of operators. For these reasons, in Kenya life expectancy at birth – the main indicator of the health status of the population – has not increased compared to the value recorded in 1980 (57.7 years) [UNDP].
In this context, those who suffer the most are the most vulnerable social categories, i.e. women and children living in slums, who do not receive the necessary health care, or turn to unqualified healers. Hence the need for interventions that promote the health conditions of the population.
In order to promote a better state of health for women and children in the country and, at the same time, create optimal conditions where local professionals can offer services to the best of their ability, World Friends intervenes with high quality training activities, thanks to the collaboration with experts and trainers from the Kenyan Ministry of Health and local associations.
In fact, many difficulties are linked to the lack of such training opportunities offered by the government, which often creates frustration among local health staff and pushes some of them to emigrate, looking for better working environments, where they can express their own potential at their best and to really help their patients.
In this context, the project “In Buone Mani” is concerned with providing training opportunities to the medical and health staff of the region, so that the knowledge learned can benefit the vulnerable sections of the population. The construction and improvement of the Professional Training Center at Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital was fundamental in this process and it has become the main hub for research and development of training modules.
Specifically, the project carries out the following activities:
• Conducting training modules over the three years of the project, as well as more than 50 Continuing Medical Education (CME) sessions on maternal and child health, held at the Professional Training Center of Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital; these sessions are run with the support of the Kenyan Ministry of Health and the Kenya Pediatric Association (KPA).
• On-the-job training of the staff of Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital;
• Training of school staff on health prevention and education issues for the benefit of the students of the surrounding schools;
• Construction of the Department of Pediatrics, the Department of Primary Health Care and the Professional Training Office at Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital, complete with Reception and Refection Area, as well as the provision of the necessary equipment.