BBC Radio 4 Appeal
What would you do if you had to choose between buying food for your family, or medicine to protect yourself? This was the decision Phanice faced when she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.Donate today and your donation could be doubled
Phanice is a mother of four young children from Mombasa County, Kenya. Eight years ago, she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. But like so many others in her community, Phanice had no access to local medical help. She explains: "Getting medication for diabetes is not easy for me because of the high cost of buying them. And even the distance to the hospital where I can get the medicine is very far. Even getting 200 shillings (approx. £1.30) to go there, I cannot afford it.”
Without medicine, Phanice became exhausted and weak, meaning she couldn’t work to earn enough money to keep her family afloat. She had to choose between buying food for her children, or medicine to control her diabetes. She needed the medicine to protect her from the risks of serious complications from diabetes – including heart disease, stroke and even going blind.
Phanice’s story isn’t unique. Half of all Africans still do not have access to the healthcare they need. During COVID-19 lockdowns across the continent, screening and treatment services stopped. People with long-term chronic conditions had to go without care.
Amref's Mobile Clinics
Amref introduced the mobile clinics in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Health, supporting the delivery of Kenya’s national COVID-19 vaccination programme. The clinics provided vaccinations to communities where the nearest health facility was hours - or even days - away.
Now, with your help, they could be the frontline for tackling another major health challenge in Kenya: the rise of chronic health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and cancer.
We have an ambitious goal to bring this lifeline to more communities. With thousands of dedicated people like you in our community, we hope it’s possible.
“We meet communities where they are”
To make sure people like Phanice get an early diagnosis we train volunteers. Junnet, 32, is a Volunteer Community Health Worker. As she is at the heart of her community, she makes sure the most vulnerable get access to the lifesaving services they need:
“I had that passion for becoming a community volunteer because people from [my] community were unaware of health issues. The mobile clinic makes it easier for people... as we meet communities where they are. Empowering [more people like me] with tools and skills will help bring healthcare to communities that otherwise would not have it.”
When one of our clinics visited Phanice’s community, she got vaccination and diabetes advice from trained health workers like Junnet. This free, easy access to medical support means she has the strength to work and take care of her family.
Your support will make sure mums like Phanice are diagnosed early and can stay healthy.
A donation today could help to cover the costs of running a mobile clinic. Supported by Volunteer Community Healthcare Workers like Junnet, one mobile clinic can provide vital services to more than 150 people a day.
Double your donation
Long-term supporters of Amref, The Hermitage Trust, are generously matching every pound given to this appeal up to £20,000. Please give today to double your donation and double your impact.
Listen to our Appeal online anytime here.
[Phanice Kwamboka, Barani, Mombasa county, Kenya (c) Kennedy Musyoka/Amref Health Africa; Amref's Mobile Clinic in Nyamira county, Kenya (c) Amref Health Africa/AstraZeneca; Nurse Sharlet Anzani pictured in the Mobile Clinic (c) Amref Health Africa/AstraZeneca; CHW Junnet Mbogo, Kilifi County, Kenya (c) Kennedy Musyoka/Amref Health Africa; Nurse Sharlet Anzani pictured in the Mobile Clinic (c) Amref Health Africa/AstraZeneca].