As the Health eVillages, Africa mission trip comes to a close, letters continue to pour in with good news about the affect of the donated Health eVillages Smartphones and mobile medical devices on the healthcare in the community. Stories such as this one, taken from a letter from Nurse Kelly Baird of the Lwala Community Alliance in Kenya, not only provide imperative feedback on our program, but remind all who work for Health eVillages what we are truly working for:
During the week of February 6th, a young girl of fourteen, Winnie Akoth, came to the Lwala Community Hospital (LCH) with her six month old son, John Junior. Her son’s head was swollen greatly beyond the normal size due to a dangerous condition called encephalitis.
Winnie and her mother live about 25 kms (15 miles) from LCH and originally took John Junior to a nearby hospital in a town called Homa Bay. There, they were referred to Kijabe Hospital, a Health eVillages pilot site, which has a special program to assist children in Kenya dealing with this dangerous problem.
As a fourteen year old mother, Winnie has no income and her mother delivers firewood to neighbors for minimal profit. When the doctors at Homa Bay referred Winnie and her son to Kijabe, Winnie felt there was no hope because she didn’t have the money to pay for the transportation, let alone the procedure. Fortunately, one of Winnie’s sisters knew of the LCH because she had been living in a nearby village with her husband. She referred Winnie to the LCH, an organization whose nurses recently received Health eVillages Smartphones loaded with Skyscape.
The results were incredible. The mobile devices, coupled with the bond among the community and their passionate care, helped to come up with a realistic treatment plan for John Junior that worked with Winnie’s budget and schedule. Using the devices, they were able to use the treatment complications listed in the Health eVillages software to convince the young mother that moving to the larger hospital in Kijabe was necessary. Through relationships that LCH staff had developed with Kijabe’s doctors, an agreement was reached that John Junior would be cared for at Kijabe at a reduced cost of $200 which LCH could cover through support from Real Medicine Foundation. On February 9th, Winnie, her sister and John Jr. left Lwala for Kijabe full of hope for a bright and healthy future for John Junior.