Buildings on the site
Main Health Centre Building
The main building consists of a reception room, two consulting rooms, a small laboratory, a male and female ward (each with seven beds), a small isolation ward with three beds, two administrative offices, pharmacy store, washrooms, toilets, and a spare room that is used for counseling or consulting or meetings. In 2012 an extension was built to make a children’s ward with 13 beds.
Although there are 30 in-patient beds (plus two beds for baby deliveries), most of the patients are seen as out-patients. The verandas provide shade for patients waiting to be seen.
Kitchen / Cafe
Our cooks prepare food for the in-patients in the small kitchen. In 2013 an extension was made of a concrete flooring area with tables, chairs and simple tin roof. This now provides a cafe area for staff, visitors and locals to buy food and drink. As it is a separate building to the main clinic building, the situation is very pleasant in which to relax and enjoy a meal or have a tea break. When funds become available we will build a low wall to surround the cafe area, provide better cooking facilities, and extend the menu to make the cafe more attractive for locals to use (which will generate income for the Health Centre). Note: the locals call cafes ‘hotels’ which is a bit confusing as there is no accommodation there!
The original mortuary has expanded over the years and now has a capacity for 30 bodies. It is the only properly refrigerated mortuary for many miles around and is widely used by the community. Please note: it is uncommon for a patient to die at Simbiri Health Centre. The mortuary provides a service to the community when people die in their own homes. Bodies are brought to the mortuary from up to 50 miles away and are then prepared for burial by our excellent mortician (Joseph). Bodies then remain hygienically preserved ready for the funeral. Most funerals occur on Saturdays. The fee that we charge for collection of bodies, preparation and storage of the body provides a good income stream for the Health Centre.
There is a staff residence block that accommodates 12 members of staff. Priority goes to those members of staff who need to do night shift work, that is, clinical officers and nurses. There is also a house owned by Keith and Dee Dick on site. They lived there for four years whilst the Health Centre was rapidly developing in the 1990s. They also stayed there for several months each year from 1998 until 2012 during their annual visits. This residence is now used by visiting doctors.
A separate block houses a small maternity section with a delivery room and two individual rooms for women in labour and after delivery. The other section of this block has a consultation room which is used for various types of consultation and for child health clinics (assessing development, immunisations etc).
A lovely meeting hut called an ‘obela’ was built in 2005 in a traditional Kenyan style. This is used as a place for relatives to sit in the shade, or just for a quiet place for anyone to sit in the cool, out of the sun, in very pleasant surroundings. It is also used for meetings such as staff meetings. The HIV support group also use the obela for their meetings.
Videos of the site
These were taken in November 2013….