OUR KITUIUNI HEALTH CENTER HAS COME ALONG WAY TO THIS DAY!
HomepageOUR KITUIUNI HEALTH CENTER HAS COME ALONG WAY TO THIS DAY!
MBUINI HEALTH CENTER, ONE OF OUR PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS CONTINUES TO THRIVE!
The vision for a Health Center at Kituiuni was conceived many years ago. Initially it was merely, only a pipe dream of a few young visionaries from the area, who had grown up and attended school together and later in life, having completed school and entering the work force, continued in pursuit of their dreams and childhood friendship.
One of the most remarkable things these young men did, which in fact also served to solidify their bonds further, was to convene a group of like-minded young men (and even some elders) who wanted to join hands with them and become agents, or catalysts of change for the development of our Kituiuni area. In this respect, they could be viewed as some of the best role models of their time, for other youth in the village following in their footsteps and to this end; they were true pioneers and burgeoning leaders in their own rights.
The by-product of their friendship and solidarity was the formation of an organization which came to be known as KDO for, Kithangathini Development Organization and they took it as their way of giving back to society for the blessings and care they received from their community as they grew up.
This was way back in the 70s and during the time, by the grace of God, life in the area was not as hard as it is today, owing to the fact that, it was a period of relative prosperity. The reason behind this was that, most families in the area owned small coffee farms and the Cash Crop they had planted created a fair amount of wealth for these rural area dwellers of Kituiuni/Kithangathini and poverty did not hold as much sway as it does today.
But this notwithstanding, there were many other things that were lacking and without going into all of them, the team identified some of these which they wished to try and alleviate the suffering they caused. One of these was the lack of medical health services in the area.
Kituiuni/Kithangathini, a sub-location of the Makueni County, is a sort of an enclave cut off from other parts of the County by high terrains and extremely poor infrastructure particularly the terrible dirt roads which are impassable during rainy seasons. To reach medical centers located many miles away from Kituiuni, children; pregnant mothers; the elderly and the sick travelled long distances on foot, on treacherous roads up and down the hills and there were no means of transportation, and it was like adding insult to injury.
The members of KDO decided they would try and do something about this misery and alleviate the suffering. Out of their own limited resources they pulled together funds and purchased a half acre of land at Mbuini, Kituiuni, and it was here where they hoped and dreamt that, one day, a health center would stand!
Right around the mid 70s, the team broke ground at Mbuini, for the work of a Health Center to start and a foundation was dug and laid down and the work of the Center commenced, but unfortunately, shortly after this, before the job came off the ground, a strange and weird mishap happened and the onetime blossoming and forward looking KDO, the engine behind the enterprise to bring change, suffered a debilitating setback among its ranks and as a result, for many years, the project stalled until a new organization, which was sort of a replica of KDO appeared on the scene. It was simply called, KUSARD which was an acronym for Kenya USA Christian Relief and Development, Inc. It made its debut in the late 90s under its founder, Simon, a former KDO member himself. The new organization, in partnership with its benefactors overseas and the Community of Kituiuni, together undertook to complete the work KDO had started as an enduring legacy for those who dreamt the dream of a health center here and those who later saw to the actualization of the vision.
Upon completion of the building, basic medical services started to be offered at the center under the care of local trained social workers but since they lacked proper medical skills, each week a full mobile clinic was held at the center through the collaboration of KUSARD and Kikoko Cottage Mission Hospital and this way more necessary medical services were made possible for the residents of this region through this Mission of mercy Partnership.
But although a milestone had been reached, we never rested on our laurels. We continued to pursue more partnerships and by a stroke of luck, the County Health Department listened to our pleas and decided to partner with us and by coming on board more resources and facilities which we couldn’t afford on our own, became feasible; like permanent medical staff; medical supplies and other things. To us, it was the dawn of a new era for the people of Kituiuni and the rest is history.
Born of the new partnership with the Makueni County Government, a maternity wing, one of our aspired goals, was added to the center and more recently, a laboratory was constructed and is now open, or almost about to open, to facilitate the diagnosis of patients’ illnesses and enable the medical staff to determine the best referrals. As well, the maternity which was also added made possible, services unknown there before, like pre-natal care and child birth.
And what an accomplishment for the people of this one time, god forsaken backwater place! It all went to show how the people of this area, with a little bit of direction and selfless leadership, their resilience and commitment to a cause can pay dividends.
In later years, the work at the health center continued to make waves. The founder of KUSARD, in collaboration with their benefactors in the States organized a free health clinic event in the center. The visitors, who came on a Mission Trip, brought with them, not only medical personnel of their own, but also, as part of their Mission, medical supplies like drugs etc and a weeklong free clinic was held at the center. This exposure kicked off a series of activities and negotiations with our County and it was with much gratitude to us all in the Community when the Health Department eventually undertook to run and oversee the operations of the Center and this eventuality brought a big break to us and many more benefits followed making the area one of the few in the Makueni county with such facilities.
But the people of Kituiuni are dreamers and we dare to envision a hospital, like the one shown in the picture with all the modern medical equipment and amenities and a cutting-edge medical staff possessing different medical skills and expertise. It may not happen in our life time, but just like our predecessors never imagined a medical center in Kituiuni, likewise, just like night follows day, it will happen in due course for the betterment and wellbeing of future generations.