Beyond Zero with Village HopeCore International
This August, MedTreks is returning to Kenya for their second time this year, to help support HopeCore implement community health services. HopeCore has recently acquired the mobile clinic van from the Beyond Zero Campaign. Below is a description of how the clinic is being utilized for HopeCore’s program in Kenya. If you would like to support or donate for supplies, please visit our Global Giving MedTreks Campaign
~Asante Sana! Ari & the MedTreks team.
February 2010, Blog Report from Village HopeCore International
A few months ago, HopeCore reached out to the Ministry of Health (MOH) inquiring about the possibility to borrow one of the government’s Beyond Zero Campaign vans. The MOH was grateful for HopeCore’s interest in using the van to provide care to the rural communities of Kenya. For the past several years the van had been sitting unused in the back lot of a local hospital. HopeCore offered to clean up the van, organize it and stock it with supplies so it could be used and ready to provide care during HopeCore’s clinics this month…and it was a success!
Image 1. The Mobile Clinic from Beyond Zero
“Launched in January 2014 by Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, Beyond Zero was inspired by the realization and knowledge that maternal and childhood deaths are preventable. Beyond Zero is a call to action for policy prioritization and formulation, increased resource allocation, improved service delivery and better individual health-seeking behaviors and practices. Through this high-level advocacy platform, the First Lady leverages on the convening power to bring to focus key challenges facing Kenyans and build strategic partnerships that will address these challenges. Beyond Zero is a charitable organization” ~ Read more about Beyond Zero HERE
Image 2. Children excitingly gather around waiting to receive services from the clinic
The bulk of HopeCore’s clinical services are mobile. Now serving over 500 villages on the slopes of Mt. Kenya and the surrounding areas, the narrow dirt roads make it difficult for patients to travel on foot to receive care. Often time pregnant mothers wait until the last minute to receive prenatal services due to transportation challenges. This year, HopeCore is launching a new perinatal program, following a mother during her entire pregnancy and then continuing to follow the newborn through the first 1000 days or first 2 years of life. These first 1000 days in a child’s life are a critical opportunity when the foundations of health and neurodevelopment are established. Unfortunately, due to lack of education, poverty and appropriate health services, children in places like rural Kenya are more at risk for malnutrition which contributes to earlier mortality and an increased risk for major comorbidities later in life.
Image 3. Mother steps up with her child into the clinic to receive free prenatal services
At HopeCore, we seek to start mothers and children on the right path, setting them up for the best future possible. One of the core impediments to providing prenatal care was the lack of privacy during HopeCore’s mobile “pop-up” clinics. The Beyond Zero Van eliminates this barrier as it is fully equipped with 2 patient rooms and a full obstetric exam table.
On February 15th, 2019 HopeCore used the Beyond Zero van for the first time, providing essential services to over 100 mothers and 82 babies in one afternoon. Services included neonatal care, child immunization, counseling, family planning, and antenatal profile testing. HopeCore provides all of these services free of charge to the community.
Why is the Mobile Clinic Van an important addition to our clinic operations?
The mobile clinic not only allows HopeCore to travel to rural areas, fully equipped with everything inside which cuts down on time setting up the entire clinic in a tent and allows time for more patient care; the clinic also provides an opportunity for HopeCore clinicians to see and treat patients in the private areas of the patient rooms.
The communities that HopeCore serves are located around 5,000 feet on the slopes of Mt. Kenya. The roads are steep and often impassible due to rains. Many pregnant mothers who want to seek care simply do not have the means of transportation and often wait until it is too late in their pregnancy to receive the appropriate medical attention and follow-up.
HopeCore is incredibly thankful for the ongoing partnership that we have with the Ministry of Health. We look forward to continuing to use this van weekly, providing critical services to our patients and our community.
To join our teams in Kenya, visit HERE