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  • Writer's pictureKMH

Another Successful Mission In the Books!

Updated: Mar 3

In January a group of 28 participants made their way to Kajiado County, near the town of Kimana, Kenya, which lies just to the north of the Tanzania border and sits in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The group consisted of 19 volunteer students from the Colorado and Utah Rocky Vista University (RVU) campuses, along with licensed healthcare providers from the USA and Czech Republic. We were also blessed to have local, community volunteers assist us with our mission work.

The trip was sponsored by the Hands for Health Foundation in Colorado, in conjunction with Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine. It was coordinated and directed by RVU Professor, Hands for Health Foundation President and Kilimanjaro Mission Hospital BOD Vice President, Camille Bentley DO, MPH, FACOFP.

This was the 7th trip to the Kimana area since 2014 that KMH has partnered with Hands for Health and RVU and I think it's important to note that every trip and every person who attends these trips is a volunteer and pays all their own expenses. We are grateful for their commitment to this cause and continued partnership.

The group was able to travel to and provide free health care to more than 1400 Massai living in the nearby communities as organized by local health care worker from KMH, Amos Ngari. Each day local health care workers consisting of a few nurses, a lab tech, pharmacist, nutritionist and 16-19 translators all organized by Mrs. Samantha Shackleford, President of Entepesi, worked side by side with the medical students and health care providers, offering ancillary support and additional vital services to those in need of immunizations, nutrition counseling, and medications.

With the opening of KMH the group was afforded the opportunity to allow two students per day to be able to spend time rotating at the clinic where they worked under the supervision of KMH Drs. Ken and Susan. In addition, this year, a select group of volunteers traveled and camped out for 3 nights to a distant site (Orbili) to provide care to an isolated group of Maasai. This proved to be a welcomed challenge for the students who provided care to over 100 patients under the supervision of Drs. Smith, Boris, and Veronica.

What Does a Medical Mission Look Like? A Brief Glance...

After arriving in Nairobi the group travels to Loitokitok, about 4 hours south, to stay at their home away from home: Kibo Slopes Cottages. Everyone had one additional day to acclimate to the time change (an 11-hour difference from Colorado to Kenya.) Kibo Slopes cottages has been our place of choice for a number of years and always provides very comfortable accommodations, with a full breakfast and dinner daily during out stay. The hotel workers take great care of us, as they learn quickly that they are also a part of our team.

The first full day is devoted to a work and cultural orientation, meet and greet with the local volunteers that will be working with us for the next 3 weeks. In the afternoon, all the meds and supplies need to be organized and packed for the workdays. This takes the full day as it has been proven to be very beneficial in establishing protocols, student and preceptor expectations, interpreter roles etc. for the workdays. This year additional protocols were in place due to COVID19. These protocols include the wearing of masks while working with patients, temperature checks and antigen testing of the group weekly, having a COVID screening of all patients before seeing them and finally, providing all patients with a mask and use of antiseptic during prior to care. All participants were required to have a proof of COVID vaccines in order to participate and were not allowed to enter the country of Kenya without a negative PCR test less than 72 hours before arrival.

Most worksites we visit do not have electricity, running water, or bathrooms. Conditions can be quite austere, working by sunlight. Days were either humid and in the 80s , or cold, (as they were on the second half of the trip). Everyone carries their own food and water and helps with set up on a daily basis the examination and care sites. These sites include tents, tables, chairs, laboratory equipment, pharmacy, surgical, physical therapy and osteopathic manual therapy areas. This setting up and taking down of the site daily ultimately would only take about 30 minutes after a few days on the job.

We provide a well-stocked pharmacy and lab from site to site daily and this year we also carried and used appropriately a portable Ultrasound and EKG. Students handle their patients care from the initial history to the final treatment and patient’s education. Students are also able to take turns rotating through both triage and pharmacy.

While demonstrating professionalism, respect and enthusiasm, students were able to practice and hone the following skills: ·Taking an appropriate History and performing a Physical Exam ·Excellent Patient rapport and Cultural sensitivity · Ability to work with a translator ·Ability to work as part of a team ·Performance of Out Patient Procedures ·Perform minor procedures such as: wound care, injections, I and D abscesses, debride burns ·Prescribe and deliver culturally appropriate medications ·Formal Presentation of each and every case ·Discussion of differentials, assessment and plans with their preceptors ·Maintain and complete a log of the patients and procedures ·Practice their Ultrasound Skills In the middle of the trip the group is allowed a break and recoup. This year we traveled to Ole Tukai Safari Lodge in Amboselli National Park. Here they rested and went on multiple animal safaris for 2 days. This part of the trip is a luxury, as this hotel caters to the wealthier clients traveling in Kenya. However, it is a well needed break from the everyday work that has been completed, and a good prep for the latter half of the trip. Everyone was very happy to participate in this venture!!

Many thanks to all our volunteers and especially to the doctors who volunteered.

Dr. Camille Bentley - Dr. Cherie Glazer - Dr. Scott Smith

Dr. Nick Hatton - Dr. Boris Jegorov - Dr. Veronica Kvapilova

Dr. Neeraj Sathe - Dr. Mark Wardle - Dr. Kathleen Jobe


Other aspects of the trip including Campaigns and Research Opportunities

Feminine Hygiene Products Supply 2022 Campaign:

RVUCOM M3 students, Savannah Rosenbaum and Kyla Graeser working with Christine Njihia of Entepesi in Kenya plan to bring FHPs for the girls in need living in this area. The girls raised over $4500 for reusable Feminine Hygiene Supplies. The specific items are actually produced in and purchase through a Kenyan company.

2022 Research Activities

Study entitled: PREVALENCE OF ATRIAL FIBRILLATION AND ITS CORRELATION WITH BLOOD PRESSURE, GENDER AND AGE IN INDIGENOUS POPULATIONS LIVING IN KENYA AND GUATEMALA. About 300 patients consented to screening for Afib while in Kenya. This was conducted by Drs. Vickie Roettger and Camille Bentley, from RVUCOM. This study is looking at Afib in indigenous groups and was also be conducted in Guatemala in March.

A survey was also conducted by M3 students Jordan McGee, Mackenzie Ryan, and Maca Basanes while in Kenya: “Contraceptive Care Among Kenyan Women” About 150 patients consented to do this survey . It included questions on type of contraception used, barriers to use and ease of access.

Both Studies are IRB approved through RVUCOM.


Aid to Ukraine

KMH was able to send a $1000.00 donation to a Rotary Club in Hungary working with the refugees as they cross the boarder in Ukraine. Because of the generosity bestowed on us, we've been blessed to be generous with others when there is a need.


Recent Equipment Purchase and Donation

Thanks to our faithful donors this past year we were able to purchase a fully automatic chemistry machine, the Fuji NX700 This purchase will ensure our laboratory is more dependable, economical and efficient.

We also received a wonderful donation of a defibrillator!


In 2021 we raised $240,000.00 with the help of 127 amazing donors. THANK YOU so much for your generosity and support!!

Employee Spotlight

By Dr. Scott Smith

Rural Kenya is known for its dusty environment, so maintaining a clean business can be a challenge. KMH is probably the cleanest hospital in Kajiado county thanks to environmental engineers Veronica Kelembu and Joyce Wanjohi. Arriving to work at sunrise, they have cleaned all the patient rooms and bathrooms, washed down the sidewalks, and emptied the trash bins before the hospital opens. Patients and staff arrive daily to a sparkling clean hospital thanks to their efforts!

My name is Joyce Muthoni Wanjohi. I have been in the cleaning department since the opening of the hospital. I enjoy being in a clean environment, hence I ensure everything is neat and in order. For me, cleaning is also my service to God and to humanity, as it is said, cleanliness is second to Godliness . I also give the patients directions around the hospital. I have learned a lot while working at KMH. Working with my colleagues has made work easier and enjoyable.

My name Is Veronica Bebi Kelembu. I have been at KMH since it opened in March 2021. I am in the cleaning department. I ensure the KMH environment is always clean and neat . Aside from cleaning, I help the doctors in translation to the patients that only understand Maasai language. I really enjoy my work and I give it my best. Working at KMH has changed my life in many different ways. I am a born again Christian and what gives me hope in life is that God hears prayers and he has the best for those who diligently seek him. I know that He will never leave me or forsake me.


By Dr. Scott Smith

Porini Medicine

The Swahili word for wilderness is porini. There are some areas of Kenya that are not accessible by normal vehicles. One such village is Pastor Daniel’s Maasai village of Orbili. During heavy rains the road to the village crosses a river which can only be traversed with off-road vehicles. Medical students from Rocky Vista Medical College and volunteer physicians from Czech Republic had the opportunity to experience porini medicine. They ventured by 4-wheel drive vehicles on a 3-day camping trip to treat patients at Orbili. Aside from patients presenting with a variety of tropical illnesses and traumatic wounds, there were cultural experiences to engage in. On one occasion our group was invited to participate in an evening of mbuzi choma where the local Maasai men butcher a goat in their traditional method and roast it over the open fire. When the goat, which was donated by one of the patients, was brought to the campsite, medical student Tori (Victoria Valdes) immediately reached for her large pocket knife and volunteered to assist. There was a brief silence before the Maasai men agreed. In the Maasai culture women do not participate in preparing the goat for dinner. In fact the Maasai Morani (Warriors) are not allowed to eat with women. As our medical team were not Maasai, these customs were overlooked. As we sat around the fire anticipating mbuzi choma, we had the fortune and excitement to observe giraffe cross just north of our camp while listening to hoofbeats of zebras running to the river for water. In medical school, many doctors learn the saying, “when you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras” and are taught to focus on the likeliest possibilities when making a diagnosis, not the unusual ones. However, when practicing in Orbili sometimes physicians need to look for a zebra.

Wellness Tips

Stretching, it's not just for the cats.

Have you ever noticed how a cat stretches after they have been lying down for a while? Stretching feels good and stretching regularly also helps increase your range of motion in the joints and will help maintain your muscle strength and increase your flexibility. Keeping your joints and muscles in good condition can help guard against injury. Take time to stretch throughout the day.

  1. Stretching can improve posture.

  2. Tight muscles can cause poor posture.

  3. Stretching can improve range of motion and prevents loss of range of motion.

  4. Stretching can decrease back pain.

  5. Stretching can help prevent injury.

  6. Stretching can decrease muscle soreness.

  7. Helps reduce or manage stress.

  8. Promotes circulation.

Give to support the mission of KMH. Donations are tax deductible.

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