Project #975

Support Child & Family Wellness shops in Kenya

by The HealthStore Foundation
Photo of CFW clinic in Kaanwa village
Photo of CFW clinic in Kaanwa village

During the launch of a new CFW clinic on June 30, 2011, our staff and new franchisee came face to face with the great need for health education and health care services in Kaanwa village, where the new CFW clinic is located.  A young mother came to the CFW clinic carrying her baby, followed by the baby’s father.  The baby (Sally) was eight days old and painfully thin, small, and looked so fragile she might break. The CFW nurse attended to the baby immediately but before she started to take the vital signs, the baby labored to draw air…her last breath.


From the history given by the mother, the baby was prematurely born and the delivery had happened at home. The local traditional birth attendant has helped the mother to give birth but the mother did not go for a review at the nearest health facility (a district hospital approximately 10km away). The young mother had not attended antenatal checkups, neither had she taken the baby to any health care provider.

Other villagers informed us that in Kaanwa, cases similar to this baby’s are not uncommon. Young mothers are not giving birth in the hospital and even when the child is very sick, they still do not go to hospital. Seeking of health care services is so delayed that in many cases nothing can be done to reverse the damage.  Apart from the new CFW clinic, there are no other reliable health care providers in the area.  A nearby church set up a clinic, but due to poor clinic management and frequent stock outs of essential drugs, the church clinic is frequently closed.


As part of this update, we've included a photo of the launch of the new CFW clinic in Kaanwa. Also, if you'd like to know where Kaanwa is located, please type the following GPS coordinates into Google Maps:  -00.32172, 037.72026.  Kaanwa is an example of a typical context in which CFW clinics are serving patients and saving lives by making basic healthcare accessible and affordable.  Please consider contributing to CFW's ongoing effort.

CFW patient buying mosquito net
CFW patient buying mosquito net

In this project report we present a profile of CFW franchisee Pharis Mureithi Ngaruri, as compiled by Caroline Nganga, a journalist who worked with CFW in 2010.

We've uploaded a photo of Pharis selling a long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito net to a CFW patient.  In 2010, the CFW network in Kenya distributed over 11,000 mosquito nets.  Long-lasting insecticide-treated nets can effectively prevent malaria for several years without being retreated with insecticide.

Pharis has been a CFW franchisee for 10 years!  We are proud of his efforts to prevent disease and have uploaded the GPS coordinates of his CFW outlet (-00.42158, 037.25883) in case you are interested in using Google Maps to see where he is operating.

Pharis keeps his CFW outlet open 7 days per week, from 9 am to 6 pm.  He also holds monthly outreach programs where he gives health talks on sanitation, malaria, water treatment and other common diseases in the area. When we asked about the impact of the outreach, Pharis said, “Information is vital and people know that and they really appreciate it. I go everywhere, like schools, welfare groups and even door to door because there could be a patient who doesn’t want to go for the outreach so I go to them. And most people will buy the products that I am selling, like mosquito nets or water guard or PUR. So it is helping because diseases like malaria and worm infections have really reduced.”

Pharis is a well known personality in the village of Kwaeliud in Kirinyaga district for two main reasons: his evangelism ministry and his work as an active community health worker in Kwaeliud where he is a CFW franchisee.  Pharis told us how he got started in healthcare:

“I used to be a casual laborer before I started evangelism which I have been doing for over 30 years. I came to be a community health worker after attending various trainings with the Christian Community Services while still in church Ministry. I then took up healthcare as a career,” he said.

At 70 years of age, Pharis has had 10 children and several grandchildren. With 20 years offering healthcare services, and 10 with CFW, Pharis shifted from evangelism to health because, “In my evangelism, I was very involved with people who had many health problems so when Christian Community Services was giving trainings, I always attended. I then worked with government as a community health worker. A few years later, I attended a number of CFW trainings and then in 2001 I decided to open a CFW outlet that so I can be closer to people in my own community.”

Many thanks to Pharis for his continuing outstanding work on behalf of CFW!

Marietta outside her CFW clinic
Marietta outside her CFW clinic

Here is a story written by Caroline Nganga about a CFW nurse in Kenya:

What comes after retirement? This is a question many people nearing their retirement years grapple with as the years draw nearer. However, for one retired Karurumo Rural Health Centre nurse, Marietta Wanja, starting a clinic of her own was a dream she had wanted to accomplish even after retirement. Marietta, a mother of 5 and with a last born who is currently sitting for his national Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams, has had over 30 years in the profession and is now living her dream by managing Karurumo CFW clinic in Karurumo Town, Embu East District. 

Marietta had this to say on how she started the clinic: “I have always loved nursing because I love serving people and just giving them assistance when they need it. So after retirement, I wanted to continue with the same but now under my own clinic. I then sent an application to be a partner for a franchised clinic after I was advised by a friend and when it went through, I looked for a location, got it and did some renovations then opened the clinic.”

Marietta’s CFW clinic is normally opened everyday from 9 am – 6 pm and is located in a town where the main source of income is food crop and horticultural farming. Her clinic, which mostly provides curative and preventative Care, health promotion, outreach programs and rapid diagnostic services, is among 6 healthcare providers in the town.  As for staying ahead of competition, Marietta says, “My plan is to always assure that I give quality services to my patients all the time. That is my best weapon to dealing with the competition. And also my outreach programs have helped because they have given me and my clinic recognition in the community.”

Marietta normally goes for monthly outreach programs to schools within the area to give health talks on issues like prevention of malaria and waterborne diseases. During these outreaches, Marietta addresses mothers and children alike and usually sells an average of 30 mosquito nets on these occasions.

Sarah Njeri (left), w/ CFW community health worker
Sarah Njeri (left), w/ CFW community health worker

Here is a report compiled by our new communications intern in Kenya:

"Sarah Njeri Mburu has been a regular client of Mithini CFW shop in Makuyu, Muranga South District of Kenya for a few years now. Recently, her last born daughter of 12 months was diagnosed with the malaria but is at the moment recovering at home. During an interview conducted on 7th October, 2010, with the 38 year old mother of three, Sarah says, “I came today to finish payment of my daughter’s treatment that was issued two days ago.”

When asked about her daughter’s recovery, Sarah says “She is doing much better, I am glad for the drugs that I bought here because they are very good. I have never been disappointed with them.” “I also like the services because they are good and affordable.  I took the medication on credit and because of my good relationship with the community health worker in the shop; I am able to pay when I have the money.”

Sarah says that this is the first time that anyone in her family has been diagnosed with malaria because she always ensures that everyone in the house sleeps under a treated net .She is therefore not sure how her daughter caught the disease.

However, Sarah adds , “ I am very grateful to Mithini CFW shop because it is very accessible to me since I live 20 meters away.  I also appreciate the outreach programs because they are very educative, through which I have learnt about clearing bushes and draining stagnant water which are some of the  other ways of attracting mosquitoes. I have also learnt about treating water with PUR, which I buy at the shop.”

Sarah, who has in the past brought her children to Mithini CFW shop for other ailments  like amoeba and respiratory tract infections, says that it has been a while since anyone in her family has been sick. This she attributes to applying the knowledge she acquires in the outreach programs held fortnightly in the women group meetings in her local church."

CFW--HIV Prevention
CFW--HIV Prevention

This summer, I and our new VP of Development (Jefferson Lee) attended a CFW outreach event in Central Kenya. At the event, a CFW franchisee stood before a women’s tree-growing group and presented information on preventing HIV and waterborne disease. The women received this information gratefully and were very hospitable to us. At the end of the event, they gave us (the visitors) two dozen ears of corn and a large stem of bananas, as tokens of their hospitality. It was a privilege to meet these Kenyan women and to be present while CFW’s preventive messages were being so warmly received. This sort of education is inexpensive and yet is part of the way CFW saves lives in Africa; last year CFW franchisees reached over 190,000 people through outreach activities like this. I’ve uploaded two photos of this event.

CFW--preventing waterborne disease
CFW--preventing waterborne disease

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Organization Information

The HealthStore Foundation

Location: Minneapolis, MN - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Greg Starbird Starbird
Vice President, The HealthStore Foundation®
Nairobi, Kenya

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