On Friday the 27th we had a site visit to Nyeri Provincial Hospital, a level 4 health facility that was ranked second best level 4 facility in the country to the Mombasa Provincial Hospital. When we arrived, we met with the deputy medical superintendent, JK Macharria. He told us a little about the hospital, showed us some awards they had received and went over their month-by-month budget chart that was hanging on his office wall. We grilled him with questions about his facility and his budget allocation. Some of the questions put him in a tough spot and resulted in awkward answers but that has become a common occurrence wherever we go. We ask A LOT of questions everywhere we go, Dr. Wamai included, and sometimes people don’t know the answers to questions that seem pretty answerable given their position. I had been getting a little sick of the health center visits, I learn a lot at them but I am just more interested in the politics and governance in Kenya. I know more about it, my research is on it, and I can easily formulate questions about it, where as I don’t know much about health science or health care and I have trouble thinking of good questions to ask the health professionals that we meet. Anyways, after we met with Macharria, we split into two groups and went on a tour. we saw the entire hospital and it was much bigger than I thought. I remember walking into one wing and seeing a box with an envelope sized hole in it that said, “report corruption here.” I went over to the security desk and asked for the keys to the box but they said they didn’t have them. So, I talked the clinician who was giving us the tour and then I went back to Macharria’s office to ask about the corruption that occurred in the hospital. They said that people would pay off clinicians to skip the line to see them and that clinicians would often sell drugs out of pocket and make a profit instead of referring patients to a pharmacist. Macharria said he had to fire one clinician for selling drugs out of pocket even though they were understaffed by over 100% to begin with (When we were there, they had 8 doctors and the ideal number of doctors that they wanted was 18).
After the tour wrapped up, I went to get some lunch at one of the shops by the hospital. I got an awesome fruit salad tht had watermelon, banana, mango, avocado, and pineapple in it for 50 shillings (about 65 cents). The pineapple here is the best I’ve ever had. I’m going to miss it when I go home but I will be happy to go without it and have five guys and pasta and meatballs… Anyways, Shannon and I sat on the bench outside the fruit store eating fruit salad and I was reading the newspaper. She left and two Kenyan guys came over and sat next to me. One guy, Deye called me rafiki (which means friend) but I thought it meant baboon because of Rafiki from the Lion King and he thought that was hilarious. They were both doctors who were lecturing at the school near by. We talked about everything from soccer to politics.
We went back to the hotel and were told to change into nice clothes for a surprise that night. We all got dressed up and came downstairs where kids from NASISI met us. The surprise was that we were having dinner at another hotel with the NASISI kids, who were around our age. We had a buffet dinner of great cream of vegetable soup, chicken, goat, rice, potatoes, mixed vegetables and of course chapatti and ugali. After dinner we all watched the Champions League Final at the bar. It was really fun ‘cause half of the kids were rooting for Barcelona and half for Man U. I got n the Barcelona side and got realy into it with everybody.
Oh and it was Johnothan’s birthday dinner so after dinner, they brought out a cake for him (that Sara-Kay bought) and they poured water on him which is the traditional birthday celebration I guess. It was completely unexpected and he was soaked it was hilarious!