Marira clinic, a satellite health center of AIC Kijabe Hospital opened its doors in the year 2006 in Marira, Kiambu County. This move was necessitated by the need to bring quality outpatient services to communities. According to World Bank, of Kenya’s total population, almost 35 million Kenyans are excluded from quality health care coverage. As a result, this outpatient facility was envisioned to provide curative health services and few preventive services. Some of the services provided are Maternal-Child Health, general outpatient, TB clinic, VCT, and eye clinic (once a month). Marira Clinic has also been at the forefront in providing HIV services, a leading cause of deaths in Kenya. Today, it attends to at least 15,000-18,000 patients per year.
Wins for the community
10 years later, the area residents count it a blessing to have health services at a stone throw-away distance. Mama Njami, a patient in Kijabe Hospital from 1965 and now goes to Marira clinic says this facility is not only nearer but saves the extra shillings she used to pay to get to Kijabe. In addition, the community enjoys a partnership that guarantees clean water access from a borehole in the clinic’s compound. What more, the clinic is an equal employer to the area youth making a small dent in the unemployment problem in Kenya.
Marking the strides with technology
The clinic has been a pilot site for an open Healthcare Management Information System (HMIS) to collect meaningful clinical data and optimize health outcomes. From patients’ registration to cashier points and keeping inventories, the clinic is gearing to a paperless system by the end of 2016. This is a shift from a trend of relying heavily on paper-based data collection tools. This is particularly prevalent in health centres and dispensaries ran by government and faith-based healthcare institutions which serve the world’s poorest communities. In 2015, the clinic became the first globally to try billing and inventory modules. This has seen a 44% reduction of expenses in health supplies serving the same number of patients in 2014/15.
A future glimpse
Marira Clinic will ultimately be the outpatient unit of AIC Kijabe Hospital. This will see concerted efforts to exclusively provide inpatient services and excellent training as a level 5 tertiary referral center and teaching hospital.