MED25 provides individuals in rural African communities with the human right to access quality, culturally appropriate, and affordable health care. In accordance with the 25th Article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, MED25 provides healthcare to those most in need, most at risk, and those who have suffered the most as a result of historical neglect.
MED25’s principle of providing healthcare to communities most in need led us to focus on a health clinic in Kisui, one of the villages in Mbita District, Kenya. The average life expectancy in Mbita is thirty-seven (37) years of age. It has the highest HIV prevalence in Kenya with a rate of 30%, compared to the national average of 6.7%. The primary need in this community is access to health care.
Our "brick and mortar" solution to health care came in April 2010 when MED25 opened a clinic in Kisui Village in Mbita, Kenya to provide individuals with basic health care that was not previously available in their community. To ensure a quality health connection, we reach one patient at a time, sometimes 50-70 patients a day at our clinic. We provide this high quality, low cost healthcare to the Mbita community through support from US donors. Patients pay small fees for lab tests and medications prescribed, but the operational cost is absorbed by MED25. Our long term plan is to create income generating businesses in the community to support the operational budget needed to operate a full-time health care facility.
The goal of MED25 is to create a community project centered around health care that is community driven and community funded. We understand that sustainability of projects is the key to long-term change in communities. While we require significant support from donations today, we know the best way to create lasting projects in rural communities is to find income generation through programs on the ground in the communities we serve. We estimate a five (5) year need to provide “start-up” funding in Mbita will be required until the local activities can fully fund their activities. This is similar to a “for profit” investment model where outside investors are required to supplement businesses in their early stages of development until they are self- sufficient. Returns to investors are philanthropic dividends vs. financial with outcomes seen in the form of community impact.
Our goal to enable this self-sufficiency is to invest in income generating businesses that can completely fund the activities of the MED25 clinic and the Community Unit in the future. In April 2011, MED25 invested in a one month survey, a local analysis of social businesses that would serve a need in the community while generating income to fully support the operational costs of the clinic overtime. It is easy for us to provide Western solutions to income generation based on our own beliefs about the needs of a community. Investing in a market survey identified the priorities of the community and how we could support it. The top need in the community was identified as a mortuary. The closest mortuary is a three (3) hour drive from Mbita which with the cost of transportation is excessive. Mortuaries and their services are primarily provided by health facilities in Kenya so this alignment of providing health services through the clinic while respecting cultural rituals of passing through an accessible mortuary is not unusual.A mortuary would serve a culturally appropriate need and generate income to fund medical treatments in the clinic which can be provided at low or no cost to community members.