Last week we were privileged to host 44 doctors, nurses and volunteers, led by Shauna King, from International Medical Relief. Their mission was to offer free medical services to Nairobi slum dwellers. In just 7 days they treated nearly 5,000 people!
This experience was both encouraging and shocking. Encouraging, in that so many people who could not afford adequate medical care were attended to. Yet shocking and sobering to realize the level of disease and infections that plague these populations. In addition to the easier-to-treat cases, IMR doctors pledged to provide heart surgery for a 3-year-old girl and 8-year-old boy who were diagnosed with terminal heart conditions; this was the first time their cases were even detected! That equals saving lives.
About seven years ago, Shauna held the first of many medical camps in Kadawa, Western Kenya. The village was so desperately plagued with HIV and other diseases that a complete generation was nearly wiped out. The doctors mainly saw children up to age 14 – and their grandparents. Most children’s parents had died their houses knocked down.
IMR’s intervention – along with the ongoing work of Hesbone and Violet Odindo leading DOVE in that region – actually saved the village. Today, Kadawa is a thriving, vibrant home to many widows, orphans and young parents.
Slums of Nairobi are a much bigger challenge. Yet we believe that efforts such as those of the IMR team are not in vain. With God’s intervention and commitment from many who work together, we could very well look forward to a new day in the city slums.
Thank you, IMR, for this courageous step!