Indiana University
and AMPATH
in Kenya

 

David Zaret
Vice President for International Affairs
Professor of Sociology and History
Bryan Hall 104, Bloomington, IN

zaret@iu.edu

Plaque for Moi Hospital Building constructed with IU Assistance Plaque for Moi Hospital Building constructed with IU assistance

For almost 25 years IU's School of Medicine has been working with Moi University Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya.

The IU AMPATH project (Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare) has treated millions of people in Kenya. Conceived in the late 1980s by four IU physicians, it began as an initiative to assist the fledgling Moi University Faculty of Health Sciences — later to be renamed the Moi University School of Medicine. Just over a decade later, with 20 million Africans estimated to be infected with HIV, the program tackled the HIV pandemic in western Kenya.

AMPATH is a consortium led by Indiana University that includes several North American universities, in partnership with Moi University and its Teaching and Referral Hospital. The partnership has significant support from from a $75M grant from USAID, and it operates one of the world's largest and most effective centers for the prevention and treatment of AIDS. AMPATH cares for 160,000 HIV infected patients in over 500 clinical facilities in urban and rural sites in Western Kenya.

AMPATH has been nominated multiple times for the Nobel Peace Prize. In recent years it expanded to provide comprehensive primary care services that include control of non-communicable, chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, diabetes and mental illness. This care is supported by income- and food-security programs that underpin sustainable advances in healthcare.

 

Children in Wheelchairs at Moi University 
	Hospital
Social therapy session for orphan patients at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.
© 2013 David Zaret

 

I recorded the images on this page in September 2013.

Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital provides comprehensive health care services. It operates in partnership with the AMPATH Consortium, established in 1997, led by IU. Other consortium members includes Brown University School of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Purdue University, University of Massachusetts Medical School and the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine.

North American institutions in the AMPATH Consortium engage in student and fauclty exchanges, clinical care, training and research.

Children's Wing of Moi Hospital
Parents with child patients at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.
Exterior of Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital
Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret.

A few more scenes from Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. These images do not capture the very warm, close collaboration between Kenyan and North American medical personnel and the dedication of both groups to "leading with care"--the AMPATH slogan. AMPATH is a partnerhsip of equals. In recent years, responsiblity for the large USAID grant has been transferred from AMPATH to the Moi Hospital.

Vice President David Zaret with IU President Michael McRobbie and Laurie McRobbie
Touring diagnostic labs, with IU President Michael McRobbie and
Laurie McRobbie. Behind me is Nasser Paydar, Executive Vice Chancellor
at the Indianapolis campus of Indiana University.
Mortuary at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. Photo by David Zaret
One never forgets that one is in a hospital, no matter where its located.
The local context is not indicated by the mortuary sign but by the
laundry in the background.

This last set of five images record a visit to a Kenyan household in a remote village. The visit was led by an outreach clinician who administered a battery of diagnostic tests to the head of the household, who you see in the last of these images. There is no electricity in this or other nearby villages.

In this work the clinical officer (who has about 2-3 years of training) is assisted by a high-tech open-source medical records system, develped in collaboration with Kenyan personnel by IU's Regenstrief Institute, a leading center for bio-medical informatics. Via a cellphone the clinical officer transmits patient data to the system and receives clinical guidance from the system.

Exterior of Rural Household, near Eldoret
Exterior of home for relatively well-off householder.
The kitchen is in the thatched hut located directly behind the home.
Kitchen Hut in rural village near Eldoret

 

The clay stove inside the kitchen.

The main reception area in the home

Clay stove in Kitchen, Eldoret Kenya Inside rural Kenyan home

With the householder, who may have been pleased by the visit of a few Americans but was probably even more delighted by the very good results of the diagnostic tests administered by the clinician. She is holding gourds that have charred interiors, in which a traditional drink, fermented milk, is prepared. Behind me is Ryan Piurek, who directs news and media at IU-Bloomington.

 Vice President David Zaret visiting rural Kenyan household

 

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© 2013 David Zaret