On 01 November 2013 the Siaya County comprehensive rehabilitation unit was launched. The project is funded by Roechling Foundation through CBM and implemented by CBM’s partner the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK).
The project aims to bring services closer to the people and strengthen the Capacity of Rehabilitation Service Delivery at Siaya County Referral Hospital.
CBM and Roechling Foundation partnership
The first day of November 2013 marked the ground breaking and launch ceremony of the Siaya County comprehensive rehabilitation unit that will be based at the Siaya County Hospital. The project is funded by the Roechling Foundationthrough CBM over a period of three years (2013 – 2016).
The project will be implemented by CBM’s longtime partner, theAssociation for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK). Through this project, CBM aims to work together with the APDK Kisumu Branch, Siaya County Hospital’s management and the Ministry of Health in Siaya County to ensure that the health care rehabilitation services are scaled up within the county and the extended western Kenya region.
CBM and APDK partenrship hailed
During the ground breaking ceremony Honorable Moody Awuori the chief guest at the event and chairman of APDK, registered his appreciation to CBM for having worked closely over the years with APDK to touch the lives of people. Noting that APDK had been in operation for 55 years, “Uncle Moody” as he is popularly known to Kenyans noted that it was on the basis of accountability that APDK was able to attract international donors and called for the same standards to observed in this project.
“This facility will bring services closer to the people and will also ensure that families of People with Disability (PwD) are now involved in their lives hence promoting family health and raising awareness of the same within the community”, he said.
“Uncle Moody” made reference to the Kenyan Constitution of 2010 that elevates the rights of PwD and was happy that the government had continued to include them in leadership positions.
Dr. Omoto the hospital superintendent and host for the day noted that Kenya is experiencing an upward increase in the average life expectancy, the number of PwD was set to rise in the future. “Completion of the comprehensive rehabilitation centre will make the hospital more friendly to people living with disability” he added.
Access of health care still a challenege for PwDs
The APDK Kisumu branch coordinator, Mr. Isaac Otieno outlined the grim statics of PwDs where he referred to the survey carried out in 2010 that reported 1.6 million Kenyans are living with one form of disability. He noted that it was sad that of the 77 % children with disability, only 52 % can access health care. Closer home, Dr. Omoto revealed that Siaya County was home to a total of 35,000 PwDs (7.7% of the total human population in Siaya) who previously had to travel long distances to Kisumu to access rehabilitation services. His words were echoed by Mr. Gideon Omoto, the acting CEO of APDK, who noted that although it took seven years for the project to be launched, it was only a matter of nine months before the team returns to officially open the doors of the new unit.
CBM Kenya Country Coordinator present at the launch, Mr. David Munyendo, thanked APDK for a fruitful partnership. Mr. Munyendo noted that in addition to bringing services closer to the people, the rehabilitation unit would also strengthen the Capacity of Rehabilitation Service Delivery at Siaya County Referral Hospital’s through the following activities:
Improved health care and rehabilitation access for Persons with disability
- Establishment of a fully fledged and a functional Rehabilitation Unit at the Hospital.
- Purchase of Orthopedic, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Medical Equipments for the Rehabilitation Unit.
- Purchase of an outreach Vehicle that will also serve as a Mobile Clinic for the whole of Siaya County and the Western Kenya Region.
- Provide Capacity building for the Technical personnel.
Additional benefits of the comprehensive rehabilitation unit were also outlined as follows:
- Expand the capacity of Siaya County Hospital to fabricate prostheses and other orthopaedic appliances as well as to provide quality comprehensive rehabilitation services.
- Enhanced skills of the staff at the hospital in providing quality health care services.
- Decongest referral sites – Kisumu and Busia.
- Enhanced access to rehabilitation services by the community – reduced distance and through outreach.
- Increased community awareness on disability and participation in rehabilitation services.
- Strengthened capacity of APDK and MOH to adequately reach the marginalized communities through capacity building of the existing branches i.e. Kisumu, Buisa, Siaya, Kisii and Eldoret.
A message on inclusiveness and accessibility
However, Mr. Munyendo also called on all stakeholders to be careful to address the challenges that would be posed by the project namely – issues of quality and sustainability, participation of PwDs in the project and accessibility of the hospital to PwDs. Community members and hospital staff took time off their busy schedules to attend the launch ceremony.