Yesterday Direct Relief International wired an additional $25,000 in additional emergency funds to Kenyan partner OGRA Foundation to help procure essential medicines in the Rift Valley region of the country, which is continuing to experience violence in the aftermath of national elections.
This commitment, coupled with an earlier grant of $25,000, will bring essential medicines to individuals and families who have been affected by the strife. “I think Direct Relief’s commitment so far, plus the IDA emergency health kit, should now be able to meet the immediate needs of the patients on our rapid assessment assuming we do not discover any more hiding somewhere,” said Dr. Hezron Mc’Obewa, Direct Relief’s regional medical advisor and founder of OGRA, via e-mail communication from Kisumu.
Dr. Hezron, who is also the head of the local humanitarian aid committee, reported that trauma patients continue to come into OGRA-run clinics, many of them children. “Our surgical team have now lined up 8 patients for theatre this morning; four children (shot in the crossfire by police) and four adults, three shot by police and one hacked by machete.”
Incidents of malaria continue to rise, due to poor sanitation and stagnate water pools in areas crowded with displaced people. According to Dr. Hezron, roughly 60 percent of the malaria cases being seen are in children. Of these, 42 percent are cases of moderate to severe malaria. The lack of adequate sanitation is also affecting the rates of water-borne diseases, including cholera and typhoid fever.
Camps in the Rift Valley region this week received nearly 60 tons of food from the World Food Programme, and the local humanitarian aid committee is starting full scale distribution within the region.
Security continues to be an issue, even for humanitarian aid staff at OGRA and other groups. OGRA lost use of one vehicle this week due to damage from youth throwing stones. Direct Relief regional partner AMREF has given OGRA an additional vehicle to help compensate for the loss and to ensure that patients who cannot transport themselves can gain access to medical attention.