This week it was exactly one year since Gundua Health Centre opened and received its first patients.It’s amazing how time flies. The one-year old will be duly celebrated of course. We invited everyone we wanted to meet; representatives from the District Health Government, people from the neighbouring large farms who we would like to offer retainer contracts, the Swedish Ambassador (who unfortunately was busy elsewhere), the new Buuri MP Kinoti Gatobu, contacts and friends at other hospitals and clinics, media as well as the most influential people from the different villages around Ex-Lewa. We decided to run the clinic as usual, seeing patients and celebrating at the same time. After several discussions,it was agreed that our MP would arrive on Friday the 5th around 10 AM. His presence would make it easier for us to get others to come, everyone is so eager to meet this new promising minister. We put up our balloons, poured reflexes and condoms in large baskets, put up our new sign and proceeded to wait for our prominent guest. Four media companies were on site – tv, radio and two newspapers– MP Kinoti had participated in a radio interview the previous evening and talked about his visit to Gundua. Time passed, no MP. Two journalists started to interview me about Gundua Health Centre, so we got that out of the way. Finally, however, he arrived with a large group of people and everything could get started. The first thing we did was to walk around the centre and show him the facilities. Everyone was impressed by the high standard and how nice the clinic looks, especially our modern lab and the delivery room. We then had a ceremony led by Chief Helen, great as always. Students from Gundua Secondary together with the Gundua Parent Dancers presented us with a fantastic show and we were all invited to dance with them. I gave a speech about our vision for the Gundua Health Centre – to create better health opportunities for children, teenagers and inhabitants in Ex-Lewa by increasing awareness about basic personal hygiene and by providing modern and affordable healthcare to the needy. The following morning I could hear myself speak on the national news summary on the radio, and the reporter saying how grateful and happy the people of Ex-Lewa are for the health clinic. We could not have gotten better advertising.
The owner of one of the big rose farms, who we hadn’t previously met, arrived and was duly impressed. We immediately agreed to work together, which is exactly what the clinic needs. The MP as well as the representative for the District Health Governmentpraised our health clinic and we finished off with a good discussion with the MP about both the clinic and especially our school. We would like to put some pressure to ensure that the teachers we are paying for should instead become the responsibility of the Kenyan government. The rain naturally poured in time for food, but it did not matter and we are all looking forward to an exciting second year for Gundua Health Centre.