Alabaster team members love building relationships with Kenyan healthcare providers. These partners teach our teams about their communities and how to provide care in remote communities, and they always end up being such good friends.
This year, we met Stanley. His posting in Shompole, a neighboring community to Endonyolasho, started in December. Around that time, the leadership in Endonyolasho asked him to visit the clinic Alabaster partnered to build once a month. During our visit, Stanley partnered with us to run a clinic, teach students interested in pursuing careers in healthcare, and eradicate a 6-month long scabies epidemic (more on that in a future post!).
We want to introduce Stanley to you, too. Twenty-eight years old and originally from an area southwest of Nairobi, Stanley has a nursing degree, which, in Kenya, allows providers to see patients and dispense medication. He is applying to go back to school to specialize in critical care medicine. Here, he tells us more about himself and his journey to becoming a healthcare provider.
On deciding to become a healthcare provider
Ever since I was young, I had the passion of becoming a doctor, in fact my parents used to tell me that I look like a doctor. I can say it’s inborn because there is nothing concrete that stimulated me to have the passion of becoming a healthcare worker.
On his journey to becoming a nurse in Kenya
I had planned to study medicine after clearing my O’ level (high school). When I did my last examination in 2005, I scored a B and it required one to score straight A’s for you to be admitted in the university as a medical student. I really felt bad; in fact, I was willing to repeat the class but the curriculum had changed, so my chances of passing the exams were slim.
My uncle advised me to study nursing instead; after all I would still be working in a hospital and taking care of patients. He told me that all is not lost.
So I sent my application to a public college to study nursing. My parents could not afford to take me to a private institution. All this time I was waiting to go to school, I used to do casual jobs at Nairobi’s industrial area. After applying, I did not get admitted. I tried the 2nd year but did not succeed; the 3rd year I still didn’t get a chance. I was ready to give up. The 4th year is when I saw light at the end of the tunnel. I got my admission letter and was so excited about it. September 2009 is when I joined nursing school and graduated in December 2015. And as they say, the rest is history. I made it!
On working in a remote part of Kenya where many people don’t have access to care.
I started working there from December 2015. The most joyful thing is the satisfaction I get in offering health services, touching lives and impacting positive change to the community. The hardest thing working there is the hardship that I was not used to. The hot climate and rough terrain, which makes traveling a nightmare and also expensive. Poor mobile phone network coverage makes it difficult for people to reach you and vice versa. The toughest of all is working away from my wife. I only stayed with my wife for 3 months before I was posted there.
I do what I do because I have that passion in me, to offer health care services. Knowing that people benefit from what I do keeps me moving, it's not easy working there, but the Grace of God has always been sufficient. Service to humanity is service to God.
On married life while serving in remote areas
Today, we celebrate our one-year anniversary. My wife is a laboratory technologist. I work at Kajiado West sub-county and she works at Kajiado East sub-county. You can see the difference ‘East and West’. The distance is approximately 230Km (nearly 150 miles). I see her mostly during the weekends i.e. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
On partnering with Alabaster
The most helpful part is helping in eradication of scabies; this had become a big concern and a menace to the community. Another thing is supplying us with drugs that we did not have in our dispensaries, this has been of big help for us to deliver health care services. Can’t forget to say that I made new friends.
On plans for the future
I am planning to join school next year in March God willing. To specialize in critical care, I trust that God will give me the chance to be admitted and also provide the school fees required.