About the Health Centre
Simbiri Health Centre is in rural western Kenya, close to the village of Kosele, about six miles from Lake Victoria. The Health Centre provides primary health care to people in the surrounding area, many of whom are very poor. Most of the work is done on an out-patient basis. However, the Health Centre also has 32 in-patient beds which are used for more serious medical cases such as severe malaria, other serious infectious diseases that require admission, severe dehydration, deliveries of babies, and various other medical problems. However, no surgery is done on site and people requiring more complex treatment or diagnostic procedures are referred to a hospital (several miles away).
The Health Centre developed from a small clinic with two staff in the early 1990s to its present size. See our history for a full account of the story.
The main Health Centre building was built with local stone from nearby Lake Victoria. Over the years this has expanded and the site now consists of:
- Two consulting rooms.
- Three wards that can accommodate up to 32 people, including the 13 bed children’s ward.
- A small isolation room which has three beds.
- A separate building devoted to maternal and child health.
- A small laboratory for diagnosis of common diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, TB, etc.
- A pharmacy store room.
- Two administrative offices.
- Reception room – also where patient records are filed.
- Toilets and washrooms.
- A separate residential building that accommodates 12 staff on site.
- A large storehouse and workshop for the in-house carpenters.
- Two 77,000 litre stone built water tanks. Also, various other large capacity plastic water tanks. The water tanks drain rain water off the large corrugated iron roofs of the Health Centre buildings.
- A kitchen.
- A café area for staff and any local people who wish to buy meals.
- A refrigerated mortuary.
- A pleasant meeting area under a traditional thatched-type roof.
- Some farmed land that grows maize, vegetables and bananas.
- A house for visiting health professionals.
Clinical officers, nurses, a laboratory technician and pharmacist provide the clinical work. Administrative, catering and support staff aid the clinical team. Currently there are 40 paid staff who have been recruited from the local population.
A UK doctor (Dr Keith Dick) lived on site for four years in the 1990s. He returned every year, for several weeks each year, up until 2012. Keith and his wife Dee have been the driving force in the development and expansion of the Health Centre. Keith has now passed the reins on to Dr Tim Kenny who first visited the Health Centre in 2011. Tim now provides medical oversight. He is in weekly communication with the staff and visits Simbiri at least once a year. But, we welcome other visiting doctors or other health professionals. Keith, Tim and other visiting health professionals from the UK are not paid but work in a voluntary capacity on behalf of the Simbiri Trust.
Simbiri Health Centre is registered as a Kenyan local community project. It is a non-profit making charitable project and all funds go directly into the running of the Health Centre and its development. Of the running costs, over two thirds is generated by local means and this is subsidised by the Simbiri Trust. The Simbiri Trust, in turn, is funded by individuals and charitable institutions in the UK. Funding and money matters are discussed more fully here.
Simbiri Health Centre was set up by Christian folk and remains very much run with a Christian ethos. Many of the staff are Christians and attend various churches around the area. For example, it would be a normal practice to begin a ward round with prayer. However, the working ethos and expectation of the Trustees is that all patients and staff are treated equally, irrespective of belief or faith. However, we would expect any staff or volunteers who are not Christians to respect the Christian ethos of the Health Centre.
For more details on individual aspects of the Health Centre, see…
- Staff and clinical work
- Buildings on the site
- Water and electricity issues
- Farm project
- Funding / Financial issues
- Some photos