Chumvi is a crossroads community that is growing fast and becoming a central hub. It is located about six miles over dirt roads from Timau, the nearest population center. The Chumvi Primary School has more than 700 students with some students walking two hours to reach school. Chumvi is the home to the KHCI Woman’s Center which houses the Chumvi, Kenya Days for Girls Enterprise.
Maternity Unit for Chumvi Clinic
The Chumvi Clinic, a facility in the private sector, was in danger of closing in 2008 because of inadequate funding. Given the large population area (more than 9000 clients) financial support to keep this clinic in operation was deemed important, and funds were sent to sustain the clinic, provide funding for construction of a maternity unit, and partially subsidize the costs of delivery in the clinic setting. Il Ngwesi Clinics and KHCI work toward increasing the number of in-clinic deliveries to reduce neo natal and maternal mortality and morbidity.
Many women reside miles from the nearest health care facility and must walk to the clinic because of lack of available transportation. One of the big issues is how to provide care for women in their third trimester who come to the clinic in false labor. In the past women were expected to walk home if they were not ready to deliver. This was truly an extreme hardship for the pregnant women. The other issue of concern for women who deliver in the clinic is how to provide a space for post-partum rest and nourishment before they walked back to their homes.
The women of Chumvi and Nurse Martha came up with a wonderful solution for these two issues, the creation of a maternal shelter using traditional Maasai construction techniques called a Manyatta. It is bringing their home to the clinic. Inside the newly completed shelter there is now a double bed with linens and mattress, several benches, a hearth for warmth, a propane stove for heating making tea and cooking porridge, basic cooking utensils, a water thermos and solar lighting provided by KHCI. Now women come to the clinic accompanied by a relative and have a comfortable place to stay for a few days. This model has been successful, is being adopted in Lokusero and will likely spread to other clinics.
As an additional incentive to encourage women to deliver in the clinic KHCI and CT Chapter of Days for Girls are providing DFG Heavy Flow Feminine Hygiene pads and Sanitary towels, along with receiving blankets and a new born out fit for women who deliver in the clinic. In the spring of 2016, state of the art Fetal Doppler’s were given to both Chumvi and Lokusero Clinic. Imagine the joy of women as they heard for the first time the beating of their unborn child’s heart. This has brought many to the clinic to hear the heartbeat.
KHCI provided a Nursing continuing education grant to LPN/midwife Martha to help her obtain a RN diploma. Martha received her BSN in 2012 and is currently working in Chumvi Clinic near her family.
Water at Chumvi
In Chumvi a large water project was completed several years ago by a Canadian donor where water is piped about 12 miles (20km). An emerging challenge is to level out water availability throughout the year, water supply is impacted during the dry season. The community is considering the construction of additional water storage and piping and has approached KHCI for help in the venture. This will help significantly improve village life, hygiene and combat disease.