The Gertrude’s Hospital Foundation runs two community outreach clinics in urban slum areas in Nairobi. The Githogoro outreach clinic is located within the Githogoro slums which mainly comprises of casual laborers who work in the nearby construction sites and also coffee plantations. The Mathare outreach clinic is located in the heart of Mathare Valley slums. Both clinics attend to an average of 150 patients on a daily basis. The services offered at these outreach clinics include doctor’s consultation, laboratory services, pharmacy, HIV treatment, care & support, prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT), Tuberculosis (TB) screening & treatment, immunization & well baby clinic, nutrition services and ante-natal care for expectant mothers. The outreach clinics attend to over 59,000 patient visits annually. The Githogoro outreach clinic has now been accredited by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) allowing patients under the NHIF scheme to be attended to at the clinic.
Despite the main hospital and its satellite clinics focusing on paediatric care, the community outreach clinics attend to both adults and children. This is because quality medical services in low-income settlement areas are hardly available and hence the Foundation has taken up a family-centered approach of attending to the whole family. This helps to prevent the re-infection of children, especially with communicable diseases.
The Githogoro community outreach clinic was setup in 2008 with support from The Clinton Foundation (The Clinton Health Access Initiative) and Pathfinder International while the Mathare Clinic was setup in 2012 with assistance from Project A.B.L.E. (Aid on Behalf of Literacy and Education), a U.S.A. based charity. Through partnership with PharmAccess Foundation, the outreach clinics are connected to M-Tiba, a mobile wallet (m-Wallet) platform that allows donors to provide funds directly to beneficiaries using mobile money (M-PESA) with real-time reporting of the funds utilized. These funds can only be spent on health services and cannot be redeemed for cash or other goods and services. Over 60,000 beneficiaries have been enrolled onto the M-Tiba platform under the ‘Smiles program’. The Smiles program has enabled the outreach clinics to provide affordable, quality healthcare services to low-income earners. For the clinical staff, the M-Tiba platform provides real-time reporting on the utilized and remaining funds as well as health-related data of the clinic, such as, the disease patterns and health-seeking behavior of the population; thus allowing for better planning of the local community’s healthcare needs.