Nairobi, Kenya 29 November 2014- The opening of a state-of-the-art medical clinic in Soweto East, one of Kibera's 13 villages marked another milestone for Kibera's slum-upgrading effort. Housed in the Kibera Soweto East Resource Centre, a multi-use resource centre built with funds from the German BASF Foundation and actively supported by UN-Habitat, the clinic will provide the much-needed medical services to Soweto East's estimated 70,000 residents.
The services, which will be available at subsidized rates include physiotherapy for the disabled, family planning, music therapy, cancer screening and vaccinations, Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) and general consultations. A striking novelty of the project is the ability to conduct remote consultations by way of an innovative tele-health unit donated by CISCO Systems through which patients will be able to receive attention from specialist doctors based in Kenyatta University Hospital and Gertrude's Children's Hospital.
All of these services are made possible through the support of Afya Research Africa as well as the Ministry of Health, with Orange Telkom providing internet connection free of charge. In addition to the medical facilities, the centre is already providing a communal space for social gatherings, toilet facilities, Information Communication Technology skills training for children, a day-care centre and a cyber café which is connected to an on-site police post established through the assistance of a local Member of Parliament and the Kenya Police, a venture which has significantly increased security in the area.
The opening event saw a staggering response from the community, when more than 500 people received free medical check-ups during the course of the day. After representatives from all involved organizations and government bodies duly commemorated this important occasion, the event ended with several live performances, from dance to song and poetry provided by a socially-minded group of young artists called Kibera Talking.