About Tenwek Hospital Community Health and Development
As part of our compassionate ministry, we are passionate about reaching out to the communities that need our services the most. Tenwek Hospital Community Health and Development was established in 1983 after a realization that a majority of the cases that were presented at the hospital could be prevented before they became a serious problem.
The department was therefore established under the compassionate pillar of the hospital and its motto inspired from the belief that prevention is better than cure. Over 30 years later, the unit has grown to become a holistic ministry that focuses on taking God’s hope to individuals, families and communities that need it the most.
The Community Health & Development team have left marks of hope across various communities in Kenya including, the surrounding Bomet area, Narok County, Nakuru County and Baringo County. The department also has two satellite offices in Ngiito and Naikarra which positions the team at a strategic vantage point to meet the needs of the region.
To serve Christ by facilitating change through community based health care and appropriate development within needy communities.
“Bir Mat Ko Loo” which means prevention is better than cure
The community capacity building programme was established in 2008 with the main aim of ensuring that communities are empowered to identify and address their needs. Tenwek Community Health & Development makes use of basic tools and exercises to bring to the realization of the communities they serve that life could be manageable and better if they found local solutions to their problems. This approach is unique and has been successful because it allows the different communities to own the process of development. Through such programmes, we have seen communities improve their livelihoods, embrace gender equity and increase their engagement in leadership and governance issues.
In the South West region, many locals would say that food scarcity is their biggest problem. Considering the climate conditions and the financial capability of the people in the region, Community Health & Development has developed two major strategies to combat the issue.
- Food Banks Initiative
We educate the communities on the importance of storing surplus food for the future and provide them with the necessary assistance to achieve the same. This has ensured that during the dry season, a number of the families have food to take them through the drought.
- Dairy Goats Initiative
The communities around the key areas that we serve are pastoralists and they value livestock. However, with unpredictable rain patterns, pasture has become a key issue in livestock rearing. Lack of sufficient pasture results in lack of adequate milk for the families and this results in a crisis. We encourage the communities to consider alternative sources of milk like dairy goats which require much less pasture for a significant amount of milk. This has been embraced positively especially in the drier areas that we serve such as in Baringo County, Narok County and Bomet County.
HIV/AIDS is a national pandemic that affects the health and financial stability of families and communities across the various parts of Kenya. We have invested heavily in the education, testing and support of communities to ensure that spread of the disease is controlled within Bomet County.
We therefore run the following initiatives:
- Provision of free HIV/AIDS testing and counselling
- Prevention of mother to child transmission
- Encouraging abstinence among the youth using Biblical based teachings
- Encouraging men to take the lead in HIV/AIDS prevention
- Fighting teenage pregnancies and sexual abuse
- Encouraging parents and teachers to have open communication with children about sex and their sexuality
Having clean water and practicing appropriate sanitation and hygiene goes a long way in the prevention of water transmitted diseases. We therefore run the following initiatives:
- Provision of Bio-sand Water Filters in specific area schools and communities
- Construction of rainwater tanks at schools
- Facilitation of spring capping to help communities protect water springs
- Encouraging community members to build latrines outside their homes.
The Women in Prostitution programme runs in collaboration with the local churches ministry. We provide training and resource mobilization for local church leaders interested in ministering to women in prostitution.
The main strategy in fighting the vice is to reverse the cause that pushed them into the profession. This is through imparting them with knowledge and skills that allows them to earn an income to sustain their lifestyle. We also reach out to those at risk of falling into prostitution and encourage a lifestyle change.