To mitigate suffering and poverty through integrated mobile health services providing education and provision of reproductive health, immunization, basic curative and education on the dangers of female genital mutilation
Jul 18, 2011

Case Stories from the field...


CASE STORY  By Patrick Kimanzi

 Longewan, Samburu County-KENYA.

 As she walked out of the enclosure that serves as the camel mobile clinic ‘theater’ room, Martha Nyaano 27, a mother of six felt the gaze of the crowd upon her. Just outside, a group of women had gathered from surrounding villages, all with one thing in common: The desire to limit the size of their families. Later they would be treated for various ailments but family planning first: they all seemed to agree.

Eagerly, they had waited while Martha became the first of the group to undergo her contraceptive method of choice. Now, striding toward the crowd without a hitch, she paused and addressed her folk, doing her best to erase their lingering fears and doubts--if any;

“Friends, this operation is nothing. I couldn’t feel anything. You people don’t lose heart.”

This was one of the many scenes witnessed during CHAT’s camel mobile clinic that spend a total of 30 days criss-crossing the vast Laikipia and Samburu regions of Northern Kenya.

That particular day a total of 31 received Implanon. And although this number represents a small fraction of the long-term family planning clients reached by CHAT, it is elating to realize that Samburu women show an exceptional level of independence and strength in a culture where women traditionally face extreme social and economic inequality.


CHAT integrated camel mobile clinic also offers immunizations, HIV counseling and testing and provision of basic curatives.


 (Patrick Kimanzi is CHAT’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer)



Community Health Africa Trust (CHAT) carried out yet another successful integrated camel mobile clinic in March 2010.

CHAT camel mobiles, which go out for a month at a time, are reaching the underserved remote communities providing them with crucial integrated health services including family planning and basic curatives.


This camel trek reached over 2862 people in 14 stations across Laikipia and Samburu counties.

Family Planning:

  • 1500 condoms distributed
  • 101 women received a 3 month Depovera injection
  • 217 women received long-term (5 year) contraceptive implant - Jardel.

Basic Curatives: (TB, STI, Malaria, Pneumonia, Gastroenteritis, Conjunctivitis, etc)

  • 1004 cases treated

 HIV/AIDS counseling and testing:

  • 1980 participants
  • 670 individuals tested and were given their results.


  • Flooded rivers in the areas of operation make movement and accessibility an enormous challenge in reaching the remote and mostly nomadic people of Laikipia and Samburu.
  • Widespread insecurity and tensions ahead of 2012 general elections can impact negatively on the mobile clinics since it passes through most of the tribal areas that were at it (tribal clashes) during the 2008 disputed polls.



  • The grueling camel mobile clinic demands dedication, stamina, will and zeal to walk in unfamiliar terrains, route changes and the ever present threat from wild animals, including elephants and lions.
  • It has been realized that integrated camel mobile clinics are the most practical way to provide   healthcare services to the remote areas of Laikipi and Samburu.
  • Close collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH), in which the MOH helps to monitor and supervise CHAT program activities, has been hugely beneficial. It has strengthened program implementation and performance, and has kept CHAT current on government policies and on effective data collecting tools.
  • Strong collaboration with district government stake-holders, including the DDO and DSDO, has supplied CHAT with material support as well as substantial assistance in networking and capacity building.
  • The increased community contribution in support group participation and mobilization over the years has improved the security of the clinic in outreach areas. For example, communities have begun to offer secure accommodation sites during times of tribal insecurity for the mobile clinic staff.
  • Networking with government departments as well as other NGOs and healthcare providers has assisted CHAT in the fulfillment of their sustainability plans. It has been of particular help with capacity building in the remote PLWHA support groups. 


The integrated camel mobile clinic team negotiates a swelling luger in Samburu County during the March camel mobile clinic. PHOTO: Andy and Sam (Filming Volunteer.


 An exhausted integrated camel mobile clinic slows down to a trot (never mind the fast approaching sunset) during the camel clinic trek across Laikipia and Samburu. ALL PHOTOS: Andy and Sam (Film Volunteers)

    May 5, 2011

    Spring Report

    village visit
    village visit

    Hello to all of our donors-

    We wanted to give you a quick update on news of the Kenyan government’s recent public commitment to family planning on account of the country’s unsustainable population growth. The below remarks come from a Kenyan publication called, The Standard Group:

    Planning Minister Wycliffe Oparanya has promised to revive family planning programmes to counter the country’s high rate of population growth…..

    If Kenya did not control its high rates of population growth, quality of education, health and housing would suffer while food security will decline.’

    ‘NCAPD statistics show that Kenya’s population increased by 12 million since 1999 to stand at 40 million today, a 35 per cent rise in only a decade.’

    "The risks caused by overpopulation include lack of living space, shortage of jobs, sky-high housing prices, environmental deterioration and scarcity of energy and resources…."


    The clinic has just returned from an eight-day monitoring and evaluation trek in northern Samburu. Camping alongside dried up riverbeds, and conversing with the local Samburu at the watering holes, we observed the impact and reality of over-population. This region has not seen rain in more than 8 months. Luckily various organizations such as USAID, have installed pumps, so there is clean water for the people and their livestock, but, as I am sure you know, the question remains- for how long?

    One of our most dynamic family planning mobilizers named Susan Lenatari accompanied us on this trip and during the day she would walk through the various villages simply speaking to the local men and women about health services in the area, the availability and or knowledge of family planning and whether or not there was a demand for it. Often times we can find ourselves developing all sorts of complex charts and questionnaires in order to gather information, yet, what continuously proves to be most informative, is good old fashioned face to face casual conversation.

    We are making another trip up to these areas at the beginning of June and will be anxious to inform you of the demand we were met with.

    Thank you again for your continuous generosity. What you give, whatever amount, goes a long, long, way……

    Below are the numbers reached over the past three months:





    Insertions / Implants ( 5 years): 1379

    Depo – Injectibles ( 3 months):  768

    Oral - Pills: 635

    Tube Ligations (TLs): 21

    Condoms: 16,000

    No of people reached with reproductive health information: 6,159

    *Stats include the static clinic ,motor and  camel mobiles 




    Evaluation Meeting- Archer
    Evaluation Meeting- Archer's Post
    Day at the Clinic
    Day at the Clinic
    Apr 22, 2011

    ABC News Team out with CHAT’s Camel Mobile Clinic

    About to arrive at the village
    About to arrive at the village

    He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything

    -Arabian Proverb



    ABC News Team Ventures out with CHAT’s Camel Mobile Clinic:

    Hello to all of our donors,

    First off, a bucket full of thank yous for the contributions made to CHAT to date. It is because of your generosity and care that the camels will be packed up again, heading up north on the 1st of March for a month long trip. From the figures below, you can see just how many individuals will benefit from your giving. Thank you. Thank you….

    And that is not all. We have some more exciting news to share: CHAT will be a part of ABC News “Be the Chance to Save A Life” series, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation! In December, ABC reporters joined our camel mobile clinic for A portion of the trek in the Samburu and Laikipia regions of northern Kenya. Normally, the clinic team consists of 6-8 camels, three camel handlers, one nurse, and two community-based health counselors (CBHC), trained in Family Planning mobilisation & HIV/AIDS testing/ counseling. And this time, for a week, there were lots of cameras, lights, and microphones.

    But our clinic set-up was still very simple, just as we like it. Sticking to the basics is something we are always mindful of because it enables FLEXIBILITY. This important aspect allows us to deliver door-to-door integrated health services to the so called un-reachable and often culturally, very traditional communities, living in regions where environment can be unpredictable. Below are the figures from this past December’s camel mobile intervention:

    Family Planning:

    • 3500 condoms distributed
    • 19 women received a 3 month Depovera injection
    • 231 women received long-term (5 year) contraceptive implant - Jardel.

    Basic Curatives: (TB, STI, Malaria, Pneumonia, Gastroenteritis, Conjunctivitis, etc)

    • 913 cases treated

    HIV/AIDS counseling and testing:

    • 1,779 participants
    • 528 individuals tested

     The figures are really quite remarkable. The only challenge we face with our camel mobile clinic, as opposed to our other clinics, is our inability to refrigerate immunizations. Because the team is out for a month at a time, cool storage is needed to keep and easily transport the inoculations. One such invention we are experimenting with is a solar powered refrigerator-in-a-box. Presently, there are still a few kinks that need to be worked out, but it is many steps in the right direction!

     Be sure to check back to see when the ABC segment will be airing- you will get a glimpse of our trusty caravan of camels at work, and a closer look at the innovative solar refrigerator. You may even have some suggestions…..

     Endless thank yous to all of our donors for helping us deliver this important basic need of health services to these many otherwise forgotten communities.

    Check back next soon for another mobile report.

    Click on the attached link to get a sneak peek at the ABC segment.


    Asante Sana.

    Samburu boys
    Samburu boys


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