Health Fair in Kenya ~ Making healthcare more accessible to rural communities.

By Irene Indika

On January 12th, 2020, HopeCore held on of their Sunday afternoon health fairs at Kirumi Primary School.

A health fair is an educational and interactive event designed for outreach to provide basic preventive healthcare and medical screening to people in the community. Village HopeCore health fairs are typically offered in the community, churches or schools.

Patients line up to be triaged at HopeCore’s Sunday Health Fair


On 12th January this year at 10 am, a well-organized health fair event was held at Kirumi primary where a total of 212 clients attended. Among the services offered were blood pressure
screening, health education, growth monitoring, adult and children treatment, HIV testing and counselling, basic lab test to the under-five and WaSH services.

Below is a summary of what happened in each section.

Blood pressure screening
Blood pressure screening is important because hypertension usually has no symptoms. During the health fair event, all the adults were screened for hypertension. Those with relatively high blood pressure were directed to the clinical team for medical care before going on with health
education. 171 adults were screened for blood pressure where 23.5% were between 18-35 years, 31% were between 36-59 years and 45.5% were over 60 years.

HopeCore Nurse, Irene Mokua performing blood pressure screening on adults at HopeCore’s Sunday Health Faire

Health Education

Health education focusses on improving and maintaining health, prevention of diseases and reduction of risky behaviors. The sessions were carried out at 3 different stations. A total of 145 adults were educated on Diabetes, nutrition, and Hypertension. 38 MCH mothers were
educated on nutrition and breastfeeding, 50 school going children were educated on hygiene and dental conditions. 10 youths were educated on Sexually transmitted infections.

Growth Monitoring

Growth monitoring is the measurement of child’s weight, height, and head circumference to determine the child’s growth and detect early changes during the growing process. Our able field officers did growth monitoring to 27 clients. None of the clients had a z – score of below negative 3 which was a good sign.

HopeCore’s health team measuring height, weight and head circumference of young children

Treatment

We had two stations, one for adults and the other one for maternal child health. In both stations, triaging was done by one of the field officers to determine the clients to be treated first and to control the queue. In the adult’s station, we had 5 HopeCore nurses and 3 MedTreks nurses who attended to the adult clients. We were privileged to have our part-time doctor, clinical officer, and one nurse in the MCH section. A total of 212 clients were treated. Out of the clients treated we had 42 children 130 mothers and 40 fathers. We also had 7 children receiving vitamin A and deworming. Our lab technologist did 26 free lab tests to the under-five children and 4 HIV tests. The common conditions seen in under-five children were respiratory tract infections, fevers of unknown origin, diarrhea and other skin conditions. In adults, we had Hypertension, Joint pains/arthritis, respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, skin
conditions, and eye conditions.

Walter Echesa, HopeCore nurse writing out detailed instructions for a patient, describing how to take his medicine appropriately

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene

We had a station for WASH program where All adults were educated on the importance of drinking treated and boiled water, having handwashing stations at home and the importance of washing their hands with soap and clean water. We also had 15 water guards sold out to some of the clients.

Boscow Mugo, HopeCore’s health educator sits at the WASH station, educating community members on the importance of clean drinking water and household hygiene.

Post-Partem Depression Research

The birth of a baby can trigger a jumble of powerful emotions from excitement and joy to fear and anxiety which might result in depression. Most of the mothers experience post-partum blues after childbirth, which commonly include mood swings, crying spells, anxiety and difficulty in sleeping. Dr. Deepika Goyal, one of the MedTreks from San Jose State University was conducting research on postnatal experiences and mental health help-seeking among Kenyan women. The purpose of the study was to explore Kenyan women’s experience of pregnancy during the first
year after childbirth, explore cultural practices and mental health help-seeking behaviors. The research was conducted through focused group discussions with the community health volunteers. We had a successful discussion from the two groups each comprising of 4 members.

Esther Gaki, public health field officer educating mothers on various maternal health topics.

This was an incredibly successful health fair and we are looking forward to conducting several more health fairs in different communities throughout 2020.

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