Kenya medical elective - Dophil clinic and maternity home

Location: Siaya, Western Kenya

Dophil clinic is approx 20 minutes drive on the road from Ulamba Children's Home towards a town called Luanda. It is a private clinic that receives financial assistance from a local church, although it is now essentially self reliant except for large expenditures such as new equipment. It has recently added a Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centre for HIV/AIDS, and many of the staff at the clinic have received the relevant training in counselling to run this new service.  

They also offer free Anti-Retroviral Drug Therapy as they receive the drugs free from their sponsors.  The clinic is operated by three Doctors, one of whom is on site 24 hours a day.  There is also a team of Nurses and Laboratory Technicians who work in shifts.  

Moving Mountains built the operating theatre on the grounds of Dophil so minor surgery is carried out at the clinic and this helps to take some of the burden off Siaya District Hospital. The clinic also has a Male and Female ward, a Paediatric ward and a Maternity ward with a delivery suite.  There is also a Laboratory and a Mortuary and the clinic provides outpatient Chest Clinics, Mother and Child Health and Family Planning Clinics, Antenatal Clinics, Diabetes Clinics, Dental and Ear, Nose and Throat Clinics and Immunizations.

The clinic offers a wide variety of services to a large surrounding population and is run by an Administration Board Committee consisting of Doctors, Church Officials and members of the local community.

Siaya district is a rural area in the Nyanza Province of Kenya, close to Lake Victoria and the Ugandan border. It is one of the poorest regions of Kenya which continually faces a number of economic problems, including high unemployment rates (particularly in the youth), limited farm productivity (regular droughts have occurred in Nyanza Province over the last decade and beyond), poor infrastructure and government services and a lack of affordable, quality healthcare.

Unfortunately Siaya district also has the highest rates of morbidity and mortality in the country due to infectious diseases and the infant mortality rates in Siaya are very high. The most common diseases in Siaya district are malaria, HIV/AIDS, respiratory infections, and skin diseases. Severe malnutrition is another major problem, with rates estimated at 2.5 to 5% in children less than 36 months of age.

Dophil Clinic is a great introduction to medicine in Western Kenya, though we wouldn't recommend spending your entire Elective at Dophil, possibly one or two weeks before starting a 3 - 4 week Elective at Siaya District Hospital. It is a great place for aspiring or first/second year students not on their Electives but looking for medical experience in a less over-whelming environment.

Irish Times article about health and family planning in Kenya... Featuring our very own Dophil Community Clinic!

Elective volunteers at Dophil Clinic

Volunteer medical students at Dophil Community Clinic

Dophil Clinic

Reception at Dophil

Dophil Community Clinic's Operating Theatre in Western Kenya

 Operating theatre was funded, equipped and built by Moving Mountains