RICO’s Medical Program in Tana River County

Covering over 13,000 square miles in acreage, Tana River County is among Kenya’s largest counties. The county has a limited number of urban centers with the majority of the population residing in the countryside which speaks to the access to social amenities as in many rural areas in Kenya. Access to healthcare is a huge challenge with the Kenya Demographic Health Survey (2014) documenting only 2 sub-county hospitals serving the area. Most of the citizens get their health needs taken care of at the dispensary level and through the help of community health volunteers.

All the above reasons informed the PILOT project by RockHealth Integrated Care Organization (RICO) in line with its mission to support primary healthcare in rural communities in a manner that is responsive to the needs of the people. The team set out to begin a needs assessment process by organizing a field hospital in partnership with the Nkaduda Family. The camp was set in Wema Village, one of the disadvantaged centers in the county.

It took the team a little over eighteen (18) hours to arrive at Wema Village on Thursday, 8th August 2019. The Nkaduda Family played host for the integrated team of 30 including RICO ambassadors on an exchange program courtesy of AIESEC Kenya, from Barcelona, Spain. The field hospital ran over 2 days allowing most of the community in and around Wema to be reached adequately.

The field hospital was fully-fledged with services offered including specialized triage, general
consultation, maternal & child health wellness checks, nursing care, nutrition & psychology among others. The pharmacy department was well stocked to provide free medication to the patients who were seen and needed them.

RICO intends to use the data to find ways to support the rural community in Tana River with Wema as the pilot area for sustainability reasons. Overall, project #TanaRiver2019 was a huge success and an eye-opener to the deep-seated needs surrounding health care needs that require continued support.

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