Healthcare for Kayiben

Building Stage 1, a Maternal and Child Health Clinic

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Healthcare for Kayiben is a major project which will impact many lives. It was born of the fundamental need for all people to have access to basic modern healthcare. It is possible through Mallam’s vision and drive and the commitment of the community.  Join SET4LIFE Australia to help provide healthcare for Kayiben and more than 1000 people in the neighbouring communities.

The project got off to a wonderful start on 11th September, 2015 when ‘the Welcoming Village’ invited all the neighbouring villages to be part of the proposal. The people of Yiben fed the visitors and hosted a formal meeting that gave everyone a voice, generated great enthusiasm and pledges of support from all, and was followed with celebrations into the night. In the following weeks and months, with Mallam’s co-ordinating efforts, planning and preparations ensued.

An Executive Healthcare Committee was elected with a representative from  each village, population data for each village was collated, the location and construction of the building was planned, land was donated and the site cleared, building plans were drawn up and a contractor engaged, a power saw was purchased, an operator was engaged to cut timber and upskill some local lads, mud bricks were produced by every village, sand and gravel was dug and carried to the site and materials including cement and reinforcing steel were brought in.

In mid-February the builder, Farner Kamara and his community workforce began constructing the clinic with a great sense of urgency. As planned, the zincalume roof was on by the end of March, before the wet season set in, and rendering completed in July. By early September 2016, the building was finished with concrete floors, drainage, doors, windows and paint! It is a secure, national-standard building that is immediately recognisable as a health facility. It is the talk of two chiefdoms and, along with their school, the pride of the community. 

Meanwhile, back in Australia….  we have been busily communicating and planning with Mallam and the Committee, keeping up with the costs, forward planning, liaising, partnering, marketing, fundraising….  We and the Yiben people are grateful to our volunteers, sponsors and supporters for the amazing progress.

Moving closer to servicing the clinic, Mallam continues to plan, co-ordinate and prepare….

The focus is now on building a block of ventilation-improved pit (VIP) toilets. The UNICEF-approved design is environmentally-appropriate and will serve as a model for future community sanitation.

Timber has been cut and sized for furniture and is curing.

Trees have been felled to make 4 traditional dug-out canoes. The canoes will ensure transport  is always readily available at each of the four crossing points to Yiben and will give equal access to the clinic for all villages. 

Rainwater tanks, medical equipment and  solar power are also needed.

Healthcare for Kayiben will be a three-stage project with a special focus on the most vulnerable groups with the highest mortality rates, mothers and children under 5.  Stage 1 is a Maternal and Child Health Clinic that can deliver health education, maternal and child services, immunisation and prevention programs and basic treatments for common ailments, particularly malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea. 

The clinic will operate as an outreach of the Fadugu Community Health Centre with our support and partnerships with NGOs to provide access to specialised programs and services.

With this sustainably in place, we plan to expand both the building and the level of health care available. Ultimately we envisage a fully operational Community Health Centre with inpatient facilities (Stage 2) and a functional maternity unit (Stage 3).