Kenya’s slums are home to 3.9 million people. [1] Huruma, one of these slums, is on government-owned land, but it is less than governed – the area has been largely ignored in terms of the availability of basic human services.

Irene Tongoi took this as an opportunity, a chance to offer a new dawn for those in the slums. In 2007, she opened the New Dawn Mji Wa Huruma Clinic to serve Huruma and the surrounding communities. It was the only provider of medical care services in the slum.

In the time since, the clinic has been in consistent operation, serving everyone in the slum community – malnourished children, the elderly, and adults with needs ranging from respiratory illnesses to rheumatism to malaria. In just the first half of 2013 alone, the clinic provided a total of 10,581 treatments, including caring for 1,265 children in the child welfare system, providing preventative care for 1,790 mothers and children, and providing 494 patients with regular medical dressings and injections. This span of time included a three-month national nurse strike, meaning the clinic’s staff received an increased flow of patients, but still upheld their high standard of care with the extra work.

One of the nurses reported that she recently had the chance to care for an elderly patient who needed counseling and treatment after the amputation of her left leg. The nurse stated, “We have been able to monitor her blood sugar and blood pressure with much success, she has greatly improved. She happens to be a widow with no children of her own thus was very depressed, she is a very happy person today.”

In situations like this, Irene says she “thanks God so much for enabling us to serve his people.” In return, join us in saying thanks to Irene for her humble service to an overlooked community for the past six years, especially for a very busy - yet very successful - 2013!

If medical needs are an area you’re interested in supporting, we currently have a unique opportunity to do so here.

 

[1] Homeless International, available http://www.homeless-international.org/our-work/where-we-work/Kenya.