Residents

Migori, Kenya

Dr. Beth Bailey went to Kenya during her fifth year in residency and wrote the following about her trip.

"I went on a mission trip with KenyaRelief.org to Migori, which is in southwest Kenya. They are a Christian organization based out of Alabama, founded by Steve James in memory of his daughter who supported a Kenyan boy for several years before she died unexpectedly at age 19.

KenyaRelief.org organizes multiple mission trips, medical and non-medical, to Migori each year. In addition to the mission trips, they run an orphanage and provide many other services to the people of Kenya. This year KenyaRelief is sending 20 missionary teams, four of which are ENT teams. I was part of Team 12, one of the ENT teams. The teams typically include physicians, residents, nurses, nurse practitioners, CRNAs and even engineers - we had an engineer accompany us to work on one of the clean water projects. Each medical mission holds clinic and operates in the 6,000-square-foot Brase Clinic and Vision Center that KenyaRelief.org built about six or year years ago and have already outgrown. They are currently raising money for a 300-bed hospital that they will begin construction on later this year or early next year.

In addition to the health care and medical supplies that the organization provides, KenyaRelief.org has also built a new school that opened in January 2013 - the Kenya Relief Academy, which schools the children of the associated orphanage and children from the surrounding villages - it's located in the same area as the clinic and orphanage. The organization has also drilled multiple wells and funded several water filtration systems. In addition, they've constructed several churches and new homes for many widows in the community.

We had about 50 patients show up the day before clinic started and the day of clinic, we had 250 patients waiting outside, many of whom had spent the night in anticipation of our arrival. Our team performed 32 surgeries over three days, the majority of which were goiters, but we also did a thyroglossal duct cyst, total parotidectomy, excision of a supraclavicular tumor and a submandibular gland excision. Our team was fortunate to have a portable Sonosite ultrasound machine loaned to us for this trip so we were able to ultrasound many goiters and other H&N neoplasms, as well as evaluate vocal fold mobility preoperatively and postoperatively. We had clinic for 3.5 days and I believe we saw over 400 hundred patients, although the final tally is still pending.

The clinic that we worked in is across the street from Brittney's House of Grace, which is where we stayed and is the home to orphans and children from the surrounding villages. This, too, was built and is funded and run by KenyaRelief.org. We had the opportunity to interact with all of the children. Currently, there are 77 children of all ages that live in this community, which includes boys' and girls' dorms, a library, kitchen, dining hall, farm and church. The kids go to school and church there, receive medical care, healthy meals and counseling all through this organization. It's really remarkable! The children are so sweet and have so much love to give, all of them being from very dismal social circumstances. KenyaRelief also has four social workers and multiple dorm parents that care for the children, who may or may not still have family.

We were able to tour the district hospital in Migori, which is basically the government-run hospital in each Kenyan city. What we saw were very destitute conditions. and this was the most illustrative demonstration of Migori's need for the services of KenyaRelief.

After clinic, we spent the last two days on a safari at the Masai Mara game reserve. We saw lions, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, elephants, water buffalo, hippos, crocodiles, wildebeest, baboons, etc. It was amazing!"