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
The new Clinic
The new Clinic

A move into new premises – more training for mental health nurses, government recognition for training, and more patients new premises

As we reported last October, thanks to your support we have completed our new mental health facility, so we can offer more nursing, counselling and social work students, and fulfil health regulations about keeping staff and patients safe during Covid. It has also enabled us to see an ever-increasing number of patients.

Mental Health Nurses’ Training: This year we were able to offer 41 nurses a Kamili training scholarships. Classes began – virtually – in September, so there will be  Kamili trained nurses in 38 of the 47 Counties after the current class graduates in August 2021. Our vision is to reach all the 47 counties by 2023.

The Community Health Workers’ Training: We hope a mental health module in training courses for Communities Health Workers (CHW), will be included in national CHW courses beginning in September (2021). We hope that this, coupled with the Community Health Service Bill that officially recognises CHWs will help raise the profile of Mental Health Nursing as a career in Kenya. 

More clients – more consultations Between October and December 2020, the number of clients increased from 3850 to 4,254. We held 1785 psychological consultations: 775 new patients and 1,010 return reviews. 

We held Group Therapies for patients struggling with illicit drugs, and workshops for teenagers and their caregivers. In addition we facilitated a two-day awareness sensitization of mental health services at Kitengela Sub-county hospital, carried outdoor-to-door outreach services; and held monthly support group for married couples.

We also held monthly health talks to reduce the stigma of mental health, improve patient compliance, lower the rate of relapse and increase the number of patients who will eventually come off medication completely. These talks also encourage patients to adopt more healthy lifestyles, and help prevent conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and HIV and AIDS.

We believe this has all contributed to improving our patients’ quality of life with an increased number enrolling for occupational therapy skills, starting up businesses thanks to loans from Kamili Savings and Loaning scheme. A highlight was when one patient was nominated for TV and Radio awards for his gospel music talents.

 

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Team Kamili equipped with PPE to stay save.
Team Kamili equipped with PPE to stay save.

Makena is epileptic and has been attending clinic at Kamili for the last 10 years. She is a mother of two and has been doing well on medication. She managed to train as a social worker through a grant courtesy of Kamili’s partnership with Cheshire Disability Services Kenya. Kamili’s Savings and Loaning scheme enabled her to get a loan and to start a business in chicken farming.

She secured a lucrative tender of supplying chicken and chicken products to Kenchic. The tender has however been cancelled following government restrictions on eateries – the main market where Kenchic’s processed chicken was sold. Makena could hardly find another market for the chicken and as such has suffered huge losses. She hopes that the government will lift its restrictions on the hospitality industry to allow her back into business. We have however, advised her to scale down her operations for now. 

Key Milestones: Despite the new challenges faced by the current pandemic, Kamilli is doing its best to continue providing excellent mental health services during this difficult time. As the pandemic has major impacts on many households, and strongly affecting the poorest families, many have a drastic decrease in income, with less funds to spend on travelling and medical services. The increasing financial difficulties as well as the uncertainties we face during this pandemic in general, impose an increased risk on patient’s health.

Kamili has put in the greatest efforts to navigate through this challenge and to ensure the staff as well as the patients’ health and wellbeing is cared for. A new outreach clinic in Kitenglala, Kajido county has been set up, to reach more patients and to minimise the burden of having to travel long distances. The main clinic in Lower Kabete was extended to provide better services and to be able to adhere to the social distancing measures recommended by the government. Extra nurses were hired to ease and avoid congestion of patients. All staff have been provided with PPE equipment, to ensure everyones safety. Patients not able to buy masks themselves receive free cloth masks, made locally during sewing classes by the participants of Kamili’s own livelihoods programme.

New ways of communications have been established, to ensure continuity of care and to avoid relapse due to failure of attending health services. Patients now receive phone calls to encourage them to visit local health services, if they cannot afford to travel to the main clinic.

Nevertheless the clinic has seen 5 new patients every day and between march and July - a total of 226 new patients.

Ground floor of the new clinic
Ground floor of the new clinic
Consultation Room
Consultation Room

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Maryanne* came to Kamili in August 2012 needing a lot of support. A single mother of three daughters aged, 22, 16 and 8 years, Maryanne was first diagnosed with Peuperal psychosis after she delivered her first born, and later after several years in and out of hospital a diagnosis of Schizo-affective disorder was made. 

On her arrival at Kamili a holistic recovery programme was put together and we are pleased to say that she hasn’t had a major relapse which required admission into hospital since her arrival. Her initial plan involved medication but Maryanne was keen to move away from taking medication and has successfuly reduced her prescriptions and is now supported monthly with counselling and is doing really well. 

During her time at Kamili, as she continued to improve, Maryanne enroled in the savings and loans scheme on offer and put her talent for making home-made detergents, hawking second-hand clothes and farming pigs to good use. By being able to generate her own income and benefit from the loans scheme she has been able to put her eldest daughter through boarding high school, who is now only 1 year away from completing her exams. 

Key Milestones: The nurses scholarship scheme continues to thrive and grow with 32 applications for an available 8 places this year. It is clear the demand is high and much more can be done as funding increases and we increase our reach. Despite great setbacks resulting from COVID-19 the clinic remained open, with strict safety measures in place, and clients have continued to receive treatment throughout this time. We continue taking care of in excess of 11,106 patients and their carers. There is a sharp rise in patient numbers since most of the government facilities have restrictions taking on mental health patients during the current pandemic period.

We have continued monthly mental health talks across several outreach clinics in Nairobi which has resulted in a  reduction in stigma and discrimination; and encouraged patients to engage in healthy lifestyles.

 

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

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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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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
$12,193 raised of $19,840 goal
 
116 donations
$7,647 to go
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