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Transforming healthcare for farm workers and communities in Kenya

20 June 2023

Transforming healthcare for farm workers and communities in Kenya

In Nanyuki, Kenya, access to healthcare can mean enduring pain on a gruelling journey to the closest health facility. This is what happened to 35-year-old Stephen Kiura, a pack house worker at Ontilili farm in Nanyuki.

A few years ago, when Stephen fell ill he had to bear pain and bad roads as he was ferried for 35 km to Nanyuki town for the closest medical attention.

However, when Stephen fell ill on a night shift a few years later, he had a very different experience. Stephen was rushed to the nearby Muramati Health Centre, where he received prompt medical attention and medication to treat his ailment.

As part of Farm Africa's partnership with the Waitrose Foundation, the Muramati Health Centre was constructed in December 2022 to provide workers at Ontilili farm and the neighbouring community with affordable and local access to healthcare.

“The doctor and nurses were kind to me when I went there. I only paid Kenyan Shillings (Ksh) 700 for a lab test. If I had gone to Nanyuki, I would have paid Ksh 3,000,” Stephen said, praising the efficiency of the health centre.

A new maternity unit has also made it easier for expectant mothers to deliver safely. All three of Stephen’s children were born at the new Muramati Dispensary maternity unit. While he paid Ksh 3,000 for his first two children, he incurred no costs for the birth of his youngest child.

What’s more, new state of the art residential units for the clinical and nursing staff were also built.

With the Waitrose Foundation’s support, local access to healthcare means the community can now receive timely, quality medical attention and ultimately, better health outcomes.

“As workers, we feel Waitrose has helped us and the community in a big way,” remarked a grateful Stephen.

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