Ushirika clinic is a community-owned medical facility based in the heart of Kibera. In an area of about 4 square kilometres there are approximately a quarter of a million people living together in this informal settlement. Kibera is an area of extreme poverty with very little social welfare or infrastructure so the help that Ushirika offers is crucial for the people living in the slum.
The clinic is open 24 hours and serves both inpatients and outpatients with a full-time staff of 13. It offers minor surgical procedures and there are facilities for HIV+ and TB patients.
Since 1993 when Moving Mountains agreed to start to support the clinic, we have built a maternity wing, a large ward, toilets, counseling facilities and our annual Africamp groups have carried out vital renovations.
Adventure Alternative has been sending volunteer medical elective students to Ushirika for many years and it was donations from these placements, carefully monitored by Moving Mountains, which provided a vital flow of cash to keep the facilities from collapsing. We pay for an HIV/AIDS testing and counseling programme, and have trained community health workers to carry out awareness campaigns and home visits.
Since becoming an official partner to Ushikira clinic, we have demanded strict requirements from the committee in order to receive any further support. We manage any money which we invest ourselves and we are still in the process of trying to eradicate corruption entirely. Our long-term aim is to support a place that has pride and identity and acts as a centre for the community that works for its best interests.
History of the Project
1991 – Ushirika was built with funds from Medecins San Frontieres, Moving Mountains founder Gavin Bate was involved in the initial project working with Medecins sans Frontieres.
1996 – Adventure Alternative began sending volunteer medical elective students to Ushirika. Annual Africamp groups carried out vital renovations and building projects and additions.
1998 – Moving Mountains became an official partner to Ushirika clinic and demanded strict requirements from the committee in order to receive further support, and since then the clinic has been running successfully under a number of local committees.
Africamp volunteer groups (Adventure Alternative) (notably the Skerries Community College, near Dublin)
Medical elective volunteers (Adventure Alternative)
Kathryn Batowski, UK
Dr. Mary Coffey, Ireland
Medical Elective - funds raised go directly to the clinic, and students are supervised and contribute to the daily running of the place.
MM Kenya encourages the management committee to make the clinic meet its goal of quality medical care to the community. Our aim is to support a place that acts as a centre for the community, runs HIV awareness programmes, training, and funding community health workers and working with external partners such as AMREF. We are keen to develop the facilities further so that fewer people have to be referred to the state hospital. We also hope to continue placing medical students here.
A donation to Moving Mountains supports this clinic and many of our other life saving development programmes. Join the Moving Mountains Family and make a donation today.