We had the opportunity to come alongside the Pokot people in 2010 when we arrived in Kenya as missionaries. The Lord called us into their area to do a follow-up medical visit on a sick child that I had treated in the hospital. I am a Family Medicine Doctor trained in the United States and serve at a mission hospital in Kapsowar, Kenya about 3 hours away from Lodengo. During that initial medical visit I met so many other young mothers with their babies asking me for immunizations because they did not have good access to them in their area. I had not brought any that visit, but I promised them I would come back. That started a series of mobile medical clinics where we would come nearly monthly and provide medications, immunizations, nutrition supplements, etc. Each clinic we would begin with prayer, singing and a gospel message. One day a young mother was bringing her child, but before she arrived the child died. The death made me wonder whether we could have saved the child if we had a permanent clinic among them.
After much prayer and meetings with the community leaders we made plans to build the AIC Lodengo Health Center. AIC stands for Africa Inland Church which is the organization that the Kenyan missionary works with as well as the Lodengo church. Finally, on December 1, 2013 after many months of hard work and trusting the Lord our little “hospital” was opened. The facility contains wards for male, female, pediatric patients, a maternity, outpatient room, pharmacy, lab, immunizations and nursing office. We have also built two staff housing buildings and a general meeting hall for community health worker seminars and other events such as the showing of the Jesus film or special eye clinic days, etc. Our staff include 2 nurses, 1 clinical officer, 1 lab technician, 1 nutritionist, 1 social worker, 4 patient attendants and 2 watchmen. God has been so faithful to us and the health center is providing a great service to the Pokot people in our region.
There are still definite challenges in the community and ignorance plus superstition is playing a big role in keeping some of the people from taking advantage of all the services in the hospital. We are hoping that with the help of our community health worker program and as the gospel spreads the people will fully participate in the work of the hospital.