Turkana, West Kenya, is not an easy place to live or work. Many of the communities that Merlin serves across Turkana are very, very remote. In order to make sure these people get the health care they so desperately need, Merlin regularly operates a mobile clinic in the village of Lokicheles (a five hour drive away from the nearest hospital).
Merlin’s mobile clinics are designed to confront the particular health challenges faced by the community it is operating in. In the wake of the 2011 drought and the extreme food shortages that hit the people of Turkana, that means nutrition, as well as vaccinations to protect people against diseases like measles, polio and diphtheria.
The clinic targets children under five, as their vulnerability to malnutrition and disease is particularly acute. In addition to the vaccinations, the children’s mothers are given nutrition substitutes like Plumpy Nut ® (a peanut-based paste) and a corn soya blend, which they will feed to the children until the clinic is next in the area. The children are also weighed and measured to check for immediate signs of malnutrition.
In Turkana there are countless stories of how people have been affected by the drought. One mother told Merlin staff that her eight month old baby was cured of severe acute malnutrition as a result of Merlin’s feeding and prays the program will continue. Another - who walked for six hours to attend the distribution today – said that of their original flock of 50 goats and camels, only 20 are still alive.
Clearly, the health challenges faced by the people of Turkana are immense. Mobile clinics are an absolutely crucial weapon in the fight to overcome these challenges. That is why I’m asking you to support Merlin’s “Outreach for vital health services in rural Kenya”.
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