Beatrice Wafula the director and proprietor of Bewa Medical Clinic was a housewife in 1972 when an emergency situation inspired her into the nursing career. Her first-born baby of less than a year had convulsed and she rushed her to the nearest health facility.
Instead of a response she thought was appropriate for the urgency of the situation, she was devastated by the unexpected insolence with which her case was handled.
“Mama Wewe hujafiwa na mtoto, huyu wa ngapi tumeona… (mama you seem to have never lost a baby before, we have seen so many of such cases),” one nurse coldly responded to her when she tried to get her attention.
Beatrice challenged herself saying she would have done better if she were in the same position. She convinced her spouse to enroll her into a nursing course at Kenya Medical Training College in the same year. She has never looked back since then. She worked for the government from 1976 and retired in 2005.Two years later, she opened her own clinic with two staff; herself and one more nurse.
KMET staff and Bewa Medical Clinic staff during a supportive supervision
Her private career gained momentum in the year 2012 when she joined the Huduma Poa Health Network. The network employs an integrated approach in promoting provision of primary healthcare services with a comprehensive component of health promotion among communities.
The services in focus are Family Planning Method Mix; HIV Counseling, Testing, and Care; Prevention of Mother to Child Tansmission of HIV/AIDS;HIV/AIDs Care and Treatment; Cervical Cancer Screening and Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI).
Huduma Poa organized trainings and updates to build capacity of the staff at Bewa Medical Clinic in all the above-mentioned services among others as a way of guaranteeing quality of service to clients.
Says Beatrice; “the skills update by KMET has enabled me to offer quality clinical services as a nurse and be an effective administrator as well.”
In addition, Huduma Poa linked the facility with two community health volunteers to shore up demand for health services.
Beatrice says the two having been trained by KMET, made it easy for the community members to understand certain primary concepts of healthcare and the need to seek quality healthcare.
“Initially we grappled with a perception among the public that we were only interested in raking-in profit being a private facility but the CHVs have been ambassadors of Bewa talking of our quality work and affordable rates,” she says.
Whereas the facility used to see about five patients a day in its formative years, today they treat fifteen to twenty patients a day. In addition, they have added a new staff:-the laboratory technician.
Huduma Poa team discuss the findings of the supportive visit assessments at Bewa
Beatrice’s facility is the only private clinic in the sub county that follows the IMCI algorithm in treating children under the age of five. According to Andrew Simiyu the sub county reproductive health coordinator the facility was ranked the top in the sub county for IMCI management.
Andrew also reveals that Bewa Medical Clinic is performing superbly well in provision of family planning methods contributing a lion’s share of the county reproductive health data.
“It is no doubt Bewa Medical Clinic caters for the highest number of reproductive health clients in the sub county and interestingly even outshines the government Sub county hospital in data; which is only 200 meters away from Bewa.”
Beatrice says her facility’s success has also been shaped by her cordial relationship with the Ministry of Health officials with whom they plan joint outreaches and supplies her with immunization kits.
Beatrice hopes to buy her own fridge and cooler boxers for immunization services in the next few months.