Location: Lwala, Kenya
The Lwala Community Hospital provides primary care, maternal reproductive health services and HIV care in a region with a very high infant mortality rate (95/1000) and the highest HIV/AIDS rate in Kenya. Fully staffed by Kenyan clinicians, the 16-bed facility cares for nearly 50,000 patient visits each year. The most common illnesses/conditions treated are child birth complications, diarrhea, HIV & TB.
Health eVillages was launched in Lwala in January of 2012 and deployed 8 devices with customized digital training and diagnostic resources for Lwala’s clinical staff. Its impact was immediately realized when one of the nurses saved a baby’s life using the neonatal resuscitation techniques that he learned during our initial training session earlier that week. Building on early success, in 2015, Health eVillages deployed 8 tablets to Lwala to better address the needs of healthcare providers. Utilizing Health eVillages tablets, providers have improved their “Safe Babies Program,” which has succeeded in drastically increasing the number of hospital deliveries from 46% to 96%, and reducing infant mortality to 1/3 of the regional rate.
Health eVillages and Vodafone Americas Foundation also funded the construction of an internet tower that brings wireless connection to the entire hospital. In addition, Health eVillages made a grant to enable the expansion of the hospital that has added 1,500 square feet of new in-patient and exam space as well as 6,000 square feet of staff housing, as well as the purchase of their “Health eVehicle” for transport of personnel, patients and supplies.
Since 2017, Health eVillages has provided 175 new tablets to support Lwala’s nutritional education program that was launched in partnership with the Tramuto Foundation. These tablets are given to community health workers who are responsible for screening for malnutrition and enrolling families into a gardening for nutrition education program. As of 2018, 673 clients have been enrolled in Lwala’s nutrition initiative.
Health eVillages plans to continue to support Lwala Community Hospital and its Community Health Workers in 2019 by deploying an additional 130 tablets. These will be used to help screen more children and families for severe malnutrition and to expand outreach to expecting mothers, to avoid and address pregnancy complications and bring more healthy babies into the world.