190808 Healthcare in East Africa

The service is being led by seven people, all wearing white coats. Two hundred people sit in the pews, all waiting expectantly. But on this occasion it’s not for help of the spiritual kind. This is a pop-up clinic.

Maasailand is vast, and much of it is empty. Villages are often remote and their inhabitants live without many of the basic services that much of the world takes for granted, such as accessible healthcare.

What does this have to do with a conservation nonprofit, you might ask. Big Life Foundation is a holistic conservation organization, and this means that our fundamental approach is to work with communities to achieve conservation goals. But why would humans pursue a conservation goal, if other basic needs are unmet?

They won’t, and this is one reason why we are partnering with the Kajiado South Sub-County government Department of Health, with support from CHASE Africa, to provide community members with access to basic healthcare. This is achieved through mobile pop-up clinics that visit a different community each month, backpack nurses who visit remote locations on a motorbike in between the clinics, and a team of 14 Community Health Volunteers, whose role is to sensitize their communities on the importance of family planning for family health, women's rights, and sustainable use of resources.

In the last 18 months, these simple outreach methods have provided primary healthcare and medication to 2,802 people, immunizations to 516 children, de-worming tablets to 4,184 people, and family planning options (including referrals to local clinics) to 735 women.

We’re proud to have been a part of helping so many people already, but this project is still in its infancy, and the need is huge. We’re hoping to increase this community support over the coming years to benefit more people over a greater area where we work, and with your help, we can accomplish this goal. Because we believe that it is not a question of helping wildlife OR people, but wildlife AND people.