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 Health  Kenya Project #26695

Mental health care for 5,000+ patients in Kenya

by Bread and Water for Africa UK
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 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.

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
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

Links:

Mental health patients at the beadwork project
Mental health patients at the beadwork project

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

 

We recently introduced beadwork classes targeting 30 patients and caregivers; the first group of 8 are currently undergoing an intensive 8 lesson programme. The beadwork project is a therapeutic technique to help a patient cope with their thoughts through distraction skills. The patients are exposed to different types of beads, different colours, and different patterns/techniques of creative art.

 

Patients have also benefited from the sewing programme where they were taught to design and make carry bags. They have made handbags and backpacks which are readily needed by local market as a result of the recent ban of plastic bags in Kenya.

 

The two nurses who were on the Kamili scholarship scheme graduated during the course of 2017. We will be visiting their respective hospitals, in order to set up mental health service clinics and provision there.

 

The two Kamili counsellors visited Machakos County referral hospital where one of our nurses runs an outreach clinic 10km away from her work station. This clinic has helped the community at large to change the perception of mental health, with many general nurses now willing to take up psychiatry courses. The families of patients suffering from mental health problems can now accept their sick members as they are and are now involved in their treatment. 

 

There are plans to open more outreach clinics in order to reach patients who relapse, because services are far from them and they cannot afford to travel to the hospital. We also rolled out the Kamili loaning and savings scheme to this area, which the patients have embraced wholeheartedly.

 

On a sad note, Mr Mugo - one of our most instrumental nurses based in the most arid part of Kenya where mental patients are highly stigmatised and mental health services are neglected - recently passed away. We will be visiting the area in the hope of sponsoring another nurse to carry on with the good work the late Mugo was doing.

An employee at Kamili
An employee at Kamili
Cooking lesson at the Lower Kabete Clinic
Cooking lesson at the Lower Kabete Clinic

Here at Kamili, we are so grateful for the continuted support of amazing friends like you. The donations have enabled us to continue sponsoring nurses for their mental health training and setting them up in clinics countrywide.

We have so far 3 nurses in training. Our founder Melanie Blake MBE visited them and they are doing really well. We have seen a total of 61 new patients in our 3 clinics in Nairobi in the past 3 months.

There was a-5-month long nurses’ strike (that just ended) which paralyzed services in all upcountry government facilities. Mental health services were not spared as the nurses we work with are government nurses. However, Kamili nurses made sure to provide critical services to existing patients, in particular the ones who need their monthly injections.

Our patients and carers have embraced Occupational Therapy interventions including sewing, juice making and cookery, thereby benefiting from the Savings and loaning scheme. We have had different sessions in which patients learned technical skills in preparing fast foods, sewing and weaving carry bags and making cleaning detergent. A total of 48 patients and their carers attended these sessions. We hope that they will transform the skills so obtained in venturing into Income Generating activities.

Counseling therapy has continued to have a great impact in the patients’ lives. Both individual counselling and group therapy have been embraced. Last month, the counseling department targeted teenagers living with epilepsy from the three clinics in Nairobi for a three-day workshop. The main goal was to offer the teenagers a safe environment to learn and ask sensitive questions about their condition and share experiences on how they have been coping with epilepsy.

At the end of the 3 days, the teenagers understood their conditions and how to cope with it. A total of 21 teenagers & 13 caregivers benefited from the workshop.

Thank you once again for being part of the campaign towards mental health service delivery.

Warm regards to all our sponsors, from all of us at Kamili.

Soap making as part of our occupational therapy
Soap making as part of our occupational therapy
A successful workshop for epileptic teenagers
A successful workshop for epileptic teenagers
 

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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
$9,077 raised of $19,840 goal
 
63 donations
$10,763 to go
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