We picked this location for our mission because 1 in 9 children in Kenya die before they turn 5 years old. That means that out of 1000 kids, 121 die each year. We wanted to help turn this around. Most of these deaths are related to malaria. In fact, 90 kids under the age of 5 die from malaria each DAY. That is 32,850 kids each year, and that number does not include anyone over the age of 5.
Day one of each mission consists of setting up equipment and unpacking supplies. This year we brought 62 large bags of equipment, which we leave for the hospital after. Before embarking on each mission, Colleen, the president of the Kids team, visits the local hospital to evaluate their needs so that the team can spend the rest of the year gathering the supplies and equipment that the hospital is lacking. This also helps us determine the types of surgeons needed for the trip. This year we brought an orthopedic surgeon, ENT surgeon, general surgeon, and plastic surgeon.
Day two is when we do the prescreening. This is the worst day of the mission as we have to turn down cases due to the lack of time we have. This mission we did about 300 pre screenings, but during the 8 days we only were able to perform 86 surgeries. This means that we had to turn away 214 cases.
On day 3 we take on the most complicated and urgent surgeries. The Kenyan people required VERY complicated surgeries. To help as many people in the community as possible we also set up a mobile clinic in Bungoma, Kenya. The local hospital had no x-rays or real laboratories and the pharmacy was scarcely stocked so we brought with us medications and necessary equipment. We were able to see 200 patients in just 2 days.
Performing surgeries / improving health care quality is only 50% of what we do. The other 50% consists of educating local doctors. We make sure to have at least one local doctor working side by side with us during each surgery. We teach them new techniques and how to use the new equipment we brought. They also teach us. We learn how to perform surgeries with a lack of resources.