8th Aitong Medical Camp

The Land & Life Foundation ran their 8th successful medical camp between 29th and 31st October 2019. A total of 961 patients were seen and treated free of charge by a group of volunteer doctors from Kenya and oversees. This brings the total number of patients treated since inception to over 5,400.

New partnerships were forged as The Angama Foundation came on board to support the medical camp in cash and in kind, a clear indication of how successful this event has become over the years due to the hard work and commitment from the Land & Life team and their existing dedicated partners; The Elewana Collection, Kicheche, Saruni, Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA), Safarilink, and Oasis Health.

The focus this year was Cervical cancer, which is the second most common cancer amongst women aged 15-49 years old. On 18th October 2019, Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta launched a HPV vaccination campaign aimed at protecting women against this cancer. In line with this nationwide initiative, together with our partners we embarked on a HPV self-collection campaign in Aitong from 14th to 20th October.

We are happy to report that 138 women braved heavy rains and showed up in Aitong during the campaign. Their samples were sent to a lab that specializes in DNA testing. All women who tested were asked to collect their results during the free medical camp. 32 of the women tested positive for HPV. Out of these, 11 had biopsy specimens taken and they were tested further to rule out cancer. The HPV data collected at this camp is the first of its kind collected in Kenya, and as such represents a real milestone in the detection and treatment of cervical cancer in the country. The Land and Life team are grateful to the huge support and encouragement from donor and volunteer Dr Claudia Mason, in not only enabling this but pushing it all through and making it happen. We believe that HPV screening using the self-collection method will continue to play an important role in allowing early detection and treatment and will achieve a maximal impact on cervical cancer prevention. Screening can detect cancer at an early stage enabling women to receive treatment when it is highly effective. This and the increasing availability of HPV vaccination for women and girls, and the potential for reduction of the possibility of developing cervical cancer later in life. This however, does not eliminate the need for regular screening when women get older and that is why we keen to make this a long term project.

We would like to thank our Partners for their commitment and support thus ensuring the 8th Aitong Medical Camp was a huge success, including the Aitong Health Centre staff, Mr. John Sankok the Director of CMP facilities, Dr. Claudia Mason the lead gynaecologist and all the enthusiastic and energetic team of doctors, Safarilink, Kicheche Community Trust, Kicheche Camps, The Elewana Collection, Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp, Cheli & Peacock Community Trust, Mara North Conservancy (MNC), Saruni, the Ministry of Health Narok West for providing the medical supplies,  Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA) for providing volunteer staff and media coverage during the event and finally to the community of Aitong for your collaboration and wonderful relationship that we have continued to enjoy throughout the years.