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Responding to the Kenya Floods: Through the eyes of Daniel Kimemia

Responding to the Kenya Floods: Through the eyes of Daniel Kimemia

In the informal settlements of Mukuru Kwa Njenga, south of Nairobi in Kenya, a mobile clinic navigates the muddy roads in search of a spot for the day. It will be stationed in a high-footfall, accessible position so that communities affected by the devastating floods of the past several weeks can get the health care they need. Flooding has displaced over 250,000 people and killed nearly 300 people.

Behind the wheel is Daniel Kimemia, a seasoned driver who drives the truck that pulls the mobile clinic behind. The past few days have been busy following the floods in the city. “When I hear that there's been a disaster, I know that it is my time to go and support the people affected,” says Daniel.

With his knowledge of the settlements, he manoeuvres through the crowded areas, ensuring that the most affected communities receive health services. Many homes in the informal settlements were swept away by rapid flood water, and the families caught unaware in the middle of the night lost both loved ones and precious property. Relentless flooding transformed the narrow paths into murky rivers; the rivers carried with it sewage and debris, washing both into homes and neighbourhoods.

"I am proud of my job"

“We are going to the makeshift camps, where displaced people are camping,” says Daniel. His role is not just that of a driver but of a lifeline, bringing critical healthcare services to those most affected by the deadly floods.

“When I come, we have to transform the van so that it feels like a clinic for this community,” he says. “I help in arranging the clinic in preparation for clients and making sure that the space is safe especially for women to access health services. Specialised services for pregnant women, new mothers, and children are essential and especially needed at this time. These include prenatal and postnatal care, vaccinations, and paediatric services to address families' specific health needs.

“I am proud of my job because it's my passion to serve communities, to serve the children, the mothers; it's my calling, but right now, they need help,” he adds. Indeed, many families have been left vulnerable with limited access to health services. This has especially been difficult for mothers, children, and the elderly.

"I am proud of my job"

The communities have an increased risk of waterborne disease, with reported cases of cholera and typhoid in several areas. With these risks increasing, the clinic ensures that those diagnosed receive proper care and referrals. The mobile clinic serves as a temporary health post in areas in informal settlements like Mukuru kwa Njenga, where families are displaced by flooding. It also reaches the most isolated areas of the settlements , providing vaccinations, prenatal care, treatment for waterborne diseases, and emergency medical interventions.

Just this past month, the mobile clinics served nearly 10,000 people in Nairobi's informal settlements.

And even as evening approaches and the mobile clinic team prepares to leave Mukuru kwa Njenga, Daniel’s work is far from over. Tomorrow the mobile health clinic is scheduled to go to Mathare, another informal settlement in central Nairobi that was wrecked by the floods, to provide essential health services. He will navigate the settlement roads to ensure that thousands more people can get the health care that they need.

Mobile clinics provide essential medical care

There are currently six mobile health clinics in operation in Nairobi, serving the communities that are displaced by the floods, and those communities badly affected. The clinics are equipped with basic medical supplies and staffed by health workers, and are a lifeline for flood victims with limited access to traditional healthcare facilities.

The mobile clinics have been swiftly deployed to hotspot areas where flooding has limited or destroyed healthcare services and facilities. Flood victims receive various medical services, including basic check ups, treatment for injuries, and access to essential medications.

Community members receive basic check-ups, treatment for injuries, and access to essential medicines. Mothers can access antenatal care and vital child health services.

Health workers assess and address the immediate health needs of patients, providing vital care to those who might otherwise go untreated and referring those with severe cases.

Community health volunteers also offer health education and promotion initiatives to help prevent the spread of waterborne diseases and other health risks associated with flooding.

Mobile clinics provide essential medical care

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