Extension of Babadogo Catholic Church HIV/AIDS Centre and Health Clinic
Project location: KENYA, Nairobi
Project start date: April 2009 - Project end date: April 2010
Project number: 2009-07
Beneficiary: APURIMAC ONLUS
April -October 2009
Although the grant of the Nando Peretti Foundation was approved in late April 2009, in agreement with the local partner, APURIMAC Onlus preferred to begin the project on September 1st, 2009, in order to wait for the end of the rainy season and to refine the methodology for the construction phase, needed by a substantial increase in prices of materials to use. This phenomenon, which affected the entire Sub-Saharan Africa, was linked to the refurbishment of sports facilities and services provided for the next World Cup 2010 to be held in South Africa
APURIMAC Onlus pointed out a new methodology to manage the project in "semi-economic way" that is providing co-management of various phases involved the construction. A construction project, in fact, can be completely outsourced to a constructor, a procedure which involves higher costs, or be totally managed "in economic way" directly by the local partner, from the purchase of materials, the selection of staff until the construction. Obviously this methodology is able to cut the costs, eliminating completely the expected return for a possible construction company, but with a greater commitment of the local partner. The methodology identified for the project provided a form of semi-economics style, decision motivated by two aspects. The first is that the local partner would not be able to manage the construction of the building not having among its employees none with the professional skills. The second aspect is that the company identified for the work was already known by APURIMAC Onlus and by the Augustinian Fathers and had always been honest and very serious. The form of co-management was ensuring a good progress of the project in respect of the six months provided for the construction phase.
Beyond the respect of the timetable and provisional cost estimate, another key element was the quality of the building. APURIMAC onlus decided, thanks to this close collaboration, to check every step of building, from the realization of the blocks that, without the right proportion between sand and cement, would become unsafe, to the choice of material for the roof. Of course, all the workers had to be registered and insured, no obvious way in Kenya.
Unfortunately, the situation of the slum, already made difficult by the phenomena of crime, deteriorated further after the riots of February 2008 during the presidential elections and caused thousands of deaths.
Even if today the political situation is stable, after the riots of last February 2008 in the slums of Babadogo the social situation is worse: this point is really a problem because, in a slum, the relationship among people are the only force on which we can support a development programme. Babadogo, like any other African slums, lives on a balance and coexistence between different people who share the same problems of poverty, suffering and underdevelopment. This cohesion, however, is the only power that can be used to enhance the human potential always untapped
November 2009 - June 2010
The construction of the clinic finally started, with past delays due to political and social turmoil. Phase 1 of construction works, or re-roofing and the construction of two halls and smaller rooms, was completed in early May. Phase 2, or the arrangement of the third floor to a combined medical center to work from Day-Clinic, is being implemented. Phase 3 will consist in the opening of the clinic, and to raise awareness regarding the health sector.
Meanwhile, Social Activities have been initiated on the premises that are already available from the local partner. These activities serve as preparatory work for what will be done later, once the premises are ready for use. The association has set up awareness meetings aimed at young women, single mothers, and women mostly widows or abandoned who have already contracted HIV.
Currently 110 people are participating in the activities. They represent one-third of the people who already received treatment in the old clinic in Baba Dogo.
Meetings were held regarding:
- The importance of child education;
- How to participate with children in schooling activities;
- The child and his/her position in the family;
- Domestic concerns.
Activities regarding health care were unfortunately delayed by construction works. However, registration of people intending to use the services to be offered by the clinic has commenced. The clinic will increase the number of patients already in contact with the health services offered by the others. It should be noted that the clinic served more than 350 people per week. The clinic will substantially increase the quality level of services offered.
The Augustinians participate in these developments, working closely with people, with local institutions and with many volunteers recruited in the area. Thanks to the recent period of social stability the association can work again in the streets to develop the program to raise awareness on health and social issues. This part of the program is absolutely necessary in an area afflicted by AIDS, TB and with an increase of child crime.
June 2010 - June 2011
The third phase of the project, or the actual opening of the clinic was started at the beginning of May 2010 and was interrupted in mid-June. It was then subsequently re-started in November, to be finally completed between March and April of 2011.
The work required to complete this last phase of the project resulted in a slight overexpenditure of the budget. Currently the center is ready to begin work: all the rooms were whitewashed, bathrooms installed, sinks have been installed in all rooms, the pharmacy was equipped with a sturdy heavy steel door. Finally, both water and electricity are finally available.
Some facilities have already been purchased and staff has been recruited to allow for the effective launch of activities.
Currently the clinic in Baba Dogo is running as a center for HIV and AIDS, funded and administered by the diocese.
Apurimac NPO is working to raise additional funds to ensure the launch of 100% of the services of the medical center during the day, now active only for 50% of its assets.
Currently, the center offers basic health care services, with particular attention to issues related to malnutrition and poor hygiene. Locally, through the involvement of a social group, a program of home care for the seriously ill is under construction .
In addition, a program of nutrition information and education was started which is divided into monthly meetings, both within the center and in other gathering places in the area.
A more general awareness and information campaign is ongoing through participation in radio programs (in fact, television is not sufficiently widespread and used in remote areas), and this is leading to an increase in the daily flow of patients and increased public attention on health issues.