Change Magazine January 2018 Issue - Page 18

“Do people pay for services during these medical camps?” I asked. “Absolutely not. We mobilize for drugs, volunteer medical personnel and other logistics. When we take a medical camp to a village, we treat everyone that turns up for free. In fact sometimes we organize for surgical camps and take consultant surgeons to the village to provide quality services to people who could never have afforded such level of healthcare.” “You talked about health literacy, please expound,” I inquired. “Health literacy involves building the capacity of healthcare providers to do their work well, especially through continuous medical education; and creating awareness in the community about specific conditions or promoting healthcare-seeking behaviours at community level.” 14 She paused and looked at me, and then added, “For example last month on September 30th was World Heart Day. Even though it is a global day marked worldwide, I organized for a Heart Walk and mobilized several people and local organizations including Kisii University, Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital, private hospitals, and companies to participate in the Walk. We marched through the streets of Kisii town to raise awareness about cardiovascular conditions. The climax was at Gusii stadium where we held a half marathon and free medical camp. On that day alone we reached over 3,500 people with targeted information on heart health.” emergency but most of the time I ask friends and well-wishers to support. But we need a more constant and sustainable funding stream because the need is big and we are unable to cope with the demand.” “Where do you get the money to do all these activities? I asked. “Funding has been our greatest challenge. Sometimes I spend my salary or savings if there is an Change Magazine January 2018 “You have been constantly referring to ‘we’ or ‘our’. Who are these people?” concerning this kind of violence. Every year we organize a Women in Health Empowerment conference to raise awareness about all forms of gender-based violence including female genital mutilation. We also participate in the annual 16 days of activism every November to team up with other actors in the quest to end this violence in our generation.” She broadly grinned at this question. “I cannot work alone. I work with a team of excellent volunteers. The success you see must never be accredited to me alone. For example, my husband is one of my biggest donors. So I’m not alone.” “Of course, cancer is emerging as the biggest threat to human existence now. We at HRC are so keen on incorporating cancer screening at each med