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 Health  Kenya Project #26695

Mental health care for 5,000+ patients in Kenya

by Bread and Water for Africa UK
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Mental health care for 5,000+ patients in Kenya
Mental health care for 5,000+ patients in Kenya
Mental health care for 5,000+ patients in Kenya
Mental health care for 5,000+ patients in Kenya
Mental health care for 5,000+ patients in Kenya
Mental health care for 5,000+ patients in Kenya
Mental health care for 5,000+ patients in Kenya
Mental health care for 5,000+ patients in Kenya
Mental health care for 5,000+ patients in Kenya
Mental health care for 5,000+ patients in Kenya
Mental health care for 5,000+ patients in Kenya
Mental health care for 5,000+ patients in Kenya
Mental health care for 5,000+ patients in Kenya
Melanie Blake MBE with a patient
Melanie Blake MBE with a patient

Esther* first came to Kamili 5 years ago. She was brought by her husband after repeated bursts of violence and anger. This behaviour developed after the birth of their first child. A friend at the local market recommended the couple visit Kamili. "Her husband was the most loving, caring man. I could see in his eyes how desperately he was searching for help." recalls counsellor Salome. With a combination of medication and counselling, Esther was able to recover from her postpartum psychosis. Esther consistently visits Kamili for her routine medication and has developed a close relationship with the staff, a bond which was essential when recovering from two sequential tragedies: the loss of Esther's second child and her husband. Kamili's counseling staff was able to help Esther navigate such complex issues in light of her ongoing illness. "Here I am treated like a friend, like family."

2019: more milestones reached 

Thanks to your generous support, Kamili’s work with those suffering from mental ill-health in Kenya is going from strength to strength. In addition to the three mental health clinics in Nairobi, we now run mental health outreach programmes in 10 counties around the country. Our capacity has increased to reach 2,132 new patients in 2019, and to hold 18,359 consultations, giving help to 11,106 patients and their carers. This is a huge boon for those mental health sufferers, as mental health provision is very low in Kenya.

We have also continued our nurse training programme, group therapy workshops, awareness raising and strengthened our relationship wtih the Ministry of Health.

All this thanks to the support of generous friends like you.

Little By Little Campaign: your donation goes the extra mile

This week, and this week only, GlobalGiving is running the Little By Little campaign. Every donation you make until March 27th to the Kamili Organisation, will be matched 50% by GlobalGiving. For example, if you give £20, that's £30 that will go to providing care to mental health patients in Kenya, at no extra cost to you.

We know you probably have a lot on your mind right now, but we hope you'll consider making a small gift. Our nurses and dedicated staff and volunteers rely on the generosity of friends like you to continue their vital work.

Thank you for your continued trust and support.

 

*Patients' names may have been changed to protect their privacy.



Counsellor Salome & volunteer during consultation
Counsellor Salome & volunteer during consultation

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Kamili team meeting at the Lower Kabete clinic
Kamili team meeting at the Lower Kabete clinic

You support is helping more and more patients access the care they need

Kamili’s unique approach in helping the mentally-ill is spreading throughout Kenya, thanks to your help. Over the last year they have seen an increase of 2,211 patients, completed 17,351 consultations and supported 10,000 patients and their carers.

Kamili has increased the number of consultations they give through now working in nine clinics throughout the country: three in Nairobi, and those in Kakamega, Taveta, Machakos, Kiambu, Nyandarua and Murang’a.

Training nurses in the Kamili approach to mental health - a key to sustainability

At the same time their nurses training programme is going from strength to strength, again with your generous support – they have now sponsored 36 nurses through their training. Many of these nurses have gone on to set up mental health clinics in upcountry hospitals: in Kjiado County, in Nyandarua County, Nakuru Country, Murang’a County and Kwale Country.

Kamili has also sponsored five nurses through the Nurse scholarship programme to gain their Higher Diploma in Psychiatry. This includes nurses who work in the Prison Service and in the Kenya Red Cross Society and other hospitals and clinics, who are setting up mental health clinics in their facilities, further increasing the outreach of the Kamili approach.

Group therapy sessions

In addition to seeing individual clients, the central Kamili Clinic runs the following Group Therapy sessions:

  • Drug and substance psychosocial support group – to identify triggers and to learn coping mechanisms;
  • Couples group therapy – to help carers of partners suffering from mental health issues;
  • Teenagers’ workshop – to psycho-educate teenagers with mental health issues.  

Lives turned around

In our reports we like to give some details of individuals who Kamili has supported. Here are three young patients at Lower Kabate Clinic, who have moved on:

Anthony, a rapper, has composed and recorded songs which are available on YouTube, thanks to support from Kamili. He also now works as a part-time caretaker ad security man in Kikuyu Town.

Noela has got a partial scholarship to attend a comprehensive 16-week Sinapis Training on entrepreneurship.

Ben has been sponsored for an Information Technology course at Kabate Polytechnic.

Please consider making another donation so we can continue to help young people like Anthony, Noela and Ben to regain their mental health through this innovative mental health project in Kenya.

The Kamili team visiting an outreach clinic
The Kamili team visiting an outreach clinic
Kamili nurses at an outreach clinic
Kamili nurses at an outreach clinic
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The amazing team at Kamili Organisation in Nairobi
The amazing team at Kamili Organisation in Nairobi

Training mental health nurses in Kenya

For over ten years now, Kamili Organisation has been caring for mental health sufferers and their families in Kenya. Kamili realised that to spread mental health provision in Kenya it needed to train nurses in its unique approach to caring for mentally-ill patients

A few years ago we set up a specially-designed nurse training programme. As the newly-trained nurses then go out and set up new mental health clinics, this is spreading mental health care access across the country.

Each year, Kamili trains about seven nurses, and this is already changing the face of mental health provision in the country: there are currently 36 Kamili trained nurses in 25 of the 47 counties. Our goal is to have a clinic in every county. For example, one of this year’s newly qualified nurses, Grace, has already persuaded the hospital in Kajiado to open a mental health clinic, and she is now training Community Health Volunteers to help refer new patients.

A second recently-qualified nurse from Kakamega, in East Kenya, runs four outreach clinics around the district each month, and has seen over 2,500 patients including 116 new ones in the last 12 months.

A third nurse in Machakos, south-east of Nairobi, runs four outreach clinics a month, and has seen over 700 patients, including 166 new patients in the last 12 months. A fourth nurse, based at Kiambu hospital has seen 1800 patients, including 560 new ones during the last year.  

Just think! Thanks to your support, these newly-trained nurses have been able to help another 5,000 people with mental health problems in Kenya.

A new future for William

Before we finish, we want to share this story about William, one of Kamili’s patients. William was abandoned when his mother died from HIV, but luckily he was adopted by a local family who took him in and raised him as their own. All went well until three years ago when he started having epileptic fits which led to his becoming psychotic.

As the local hospitals weren’t used to dealing with patients with mental health issues, he was passed from hospital to hospital that treated the symptom: psychosis, not the cause: epilepsy. Eventually his fits resulted in his becoming paralysed on the left side of his body.  

Finally, a friend recommended he visit Kamili. The results were immediate! Within weeks his seizures subsided and his psychosis disappeared. William and his dad still travel three hours to Kamili for treatment. The pride in his father's eyes shines out, as William is now participating in Kamili's savings and loan programme, as he plans to open his own sweet shop.

Please continue to support us to help patients like William.

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Peter directing traffic
Peter directing traffic

In our last update on Kamili we reported how we were getting ready for the Kamili Safaricom Familly Challenge, which was going to be a special one, as it is the 10th Anniversary. Each September families raise money by competing in carrying out 12 silly but fun tasks, like seeing how many crates they can stack on bicycles, crossing swamps, crawling under bars in obstacle races, singing and drums and stacking tyres.

This year, 35 families took part, their names reflecting the spirit of the games from: ‘Spongebob Sparkle Pants’, ‘Not Fast but Furious’ to the ‘Moheckibongos’. The overall winners were ‘The Mighty Minions’.

This is a major local source of finance, and this year raised 3.9 Million Kenyan Shillings (£9,821). This is a great amount to have raised, but we still need additional support to keep going, which is why we rely on generous donors like you.

We want to tell you the good news about one of our patients Johnson, a 50 year man, who has been struggling with mental health issues since he was 25. He came through our doors in 2010 after his attempts to get cured in public and private hospitals for almost five years had failed – he had spent a lot of money on medicines, without any notable improvements.

After five years at Kamili his condition has become manageable, and in 2016, exasperated by the continual traffic jams in Wangige market, he volunteered to help manage the traffic in the area. The improvement in traffic flows was immediate, and the Wangige community was so pleased that he has been employed by the Kiambu Country government as an assistant traffic marshal.

Now that he can see a positive future ahead, he plans to finish building his house, start farming, and marry the woman of his dreams. We couldn’t be more pleased with the results, so thank you again for supporting people like Johnson. Johnson is just one of the 1000s of people we help, so please help us to help them.

One of the teams at the Kamili Challenge 2018
One of the teams at the Kamili Challenge 2018
Kamili Family Challenge 2018 poster
Kamili Family Challenge 2018 poster
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The Lower Kabete clinic is all about smiles
The Lower Kabete clinic is all about smiles

Thanks to the support of our generous donors, we have been able to continue our vital work in mental health, in a country where it is often stigmatised and neglected. Here’s the latest update from Kamili Organisation.

Kamili is now operating three clinics at Lower Kabate, Kihara and Kangemi throughout the year, serving 9,643 patients, with 2880 new patients enrolled this year. Altogether it has given 16,530 patient consultations, including 13,650 with new patients.

The growing number of patients coming to the Kamili clinics demonstrates how mental health is slowly becoming a recognised disability in Kenya, although in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, mental health issues are frequently ignored, and 75% of mental health sufferers do not have easy access to mental health care.

We now organise group therapy sessions, which cater for different client groups:

  • Married couples’ therapy: in which one spouse is affected by mental illness. Twelve couples participated in this, and now run their own support group.
  • Single parents’ group: this ran for eight weeks, attended by 15 patients. It now operates independently.
  • Epileptic teenagers’ workshop – this brought together 18 teenagers, who suffered from epilepsy. One young man, John, who attended, described the results: “Therapy was life-changing. I used to have seizures once a day. I had to quit my job. Since getting medication and counselling from Kamili, I can live a normal life again."

Kamili also offers occupational therapy to improve patients’ skills and self-esteem, and provide vocational training, to help them build a livelihood. Sixty people learnt how to make samosas and Mandazi using ingredients from their gardens, as well as learning how to make detergents and soap. A further 16 women patients learnt the skills of juice-making from seasonal fruits like oranges, mangoes and pineapples. Those who attended these sessions then sold their products in their villages.

We're now getting busy organising the Kamili Family Challenge. This year will be the 10th anniversary and we'll have many special treats for our participants. Check out the link to the video below.

Patient during counselling
Patient during counselling

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Organization Information

Bread and Water for Africa UK

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @bwauk
Project Leader:
Sylvia Costantini
London, Westminster United Kingdom
$10,571 raised of $19,840 goal
 
90 donations
$9,269 to go
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