RICO’s Medical and Food Relief Program in Baringo County


The project has led to improved healthcare services through the community health unit RICO helped revive in the year 2017. So far, RICO has worked in Rotu, Kapunyany, Sugut, Embositit, Kongor, Chesawach and Kulal all in East Pokot and Tiaty. Both areas are troubled by limited accessibility to basic healthcare services. The main focus has been on creating epidemic preparedness towards malaria and provide medical relief. Throughout the year, RICO supports the facility with medical supplies.

On 13th August of 2021, RICO made its annual visit to Rotu, East Pokot and set up a field hospital at the Rotu Cattle Dip with a large catchment of not only Rotu, but also communities situated more than 15 km from the location. The field hospital is meant to provide medical relief as well as collect epidemiological data that would guide public health decisions.

352 patients were attended to during a one-day camp and most of them referred to seek medical attention from the Rotu Community Health Unit. Under 10 years of age made up majority of the population seeking medical attention with 38.4%. Previous data has always pointed out to a low health seeking behavior from the males with more than 60% of the patients being females. In 2021, there was a 48.3% turnout from males while 51% females. Services offered include general consultation, eye clinic, laboratory and pharmacy. A total of 168 respiratory tract cases were seen on the day of the camp.


Baringo County has suffered malaria outbreaks in the past few years. Apart from 2020, a team of medical personnel from RockHealth Integrated Care Org constituted the team that staged the timely response. RICO, Hope Citadel Foundation and Operation Blessing, constituted a formidable partnership which eventually led to attributable success of the Field Hospitals set up at several stations.

The activities of the engagement added to the concerted efforts targeted at improving primary health care in the county. Some of the areas that were hard-hit by the epidemic included East Pokot’s Kapunyany, Sugut, Embositit, Kongor, Chesawach and Kulal. The areas are engulfed in a tough terrain that is poorly accessible by road. Antimalarials amongst other assorted medication were left at the local dispensary at Tangulbei, Chemolingot Level IV Hospital, Kapunyany Dispensary and Rotu Community Health Unit. to facilitate it further.

Mosquito nets were distributed by Operation Blessing International. In 2019, 1500 doses of antimalarial were distributed to healthcare facilities, nearly 800 patients were attended to and more than 3000 mosquito nets distributed across 7 villages.

In 2020, during the COVID-19 epidemic, RICO did not organize a medical aid but rather made donations of pharmaceuticals to Rotu Community Health Unit and 3-month food relief. The team was there to distribute the food donation. The pastoralist community is still struggling to catch up with crop farming and while it does so, the aim is to provide perennial food relief. The impact is ultimately felt by the school-going children who do not go to school hungry and study better to change the future of the community.

In 2017, the first medical aid provided by the RICO field hospital provided medical services to 956 members of the community in a single day. Then, the Rotu Community Health Unit had remained dormant for some time. It had been functional until August, 2017 but stopped functioning following lack of medical personnel. The Rotu Community Health Unit now serves a population of nearly 12,000 people. During this time, a food relief was launched providing meals to 170 H. In 2018, RICO yet responded to another Malaria outbreak in the county.

RICO proposes revamping and facilitating the dispensaries around by holding collaborative discussions with the county government of Baringo in ways they could partner with the organization in order to ensure medical personnel are allocated to the area.  In addition, mobilizing for further facilitation to keep the dispensaries in operation sustainably in order to bridge the gap.

In its growing capacity to serve Kenyan citizens, RockHealth Integrated Care Org is determined to continue exploring ways of improving primary health care in the area so that epidemiological data is developed, analyzed and utilized in decision making as well as in instituting an appropriate public health response.


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