In March 2014, a KIK team had to return to the UK after Ebola was confirmed in Kailahun District. Although this is a terrible disease, it is contagious rather than infectious, so spreading can be prevented by good hygiene and hand washing.
Thus the local KIK staff were instructed to erect simple ‘Tippy Taps‘ in the KIK compound and to educate the KIK children in their use. One of these ‘Tippy Taps’ is shown in the above picture.
This was so successful that none of the KIK children or KIK staff contracted Ebola, so the local chiefs instructed people to visit the KIK compound and see how to build these hand washing stations. Hopefully this KIK initiative saved many lives in the local community.
However, the many deaths from Ebola in Kailahun District meant that the number of orphans looked after by KIK almost doubled to 180 after the outbreak, putting great pressure on KIK resources, such that work on other projects was curtailed for a time.
In the early days, KIK formed close links with Nixon Memorial Hospital in Segbwema.
In 2009, East Lancashire Healthcare Trust provided hospital beds, hospital screens, theatre lighting, oxygen concentrators and other equipment for the hospital.
KIK now has a working partnership in place with the Kailahun District Hospital. We have an arrangement with the hospital that all KIK children will be treated free of charge.
In return, every year KIK donates life saving drugs and equipment, based on the needs of the hospital at the time. We also provide a free full-time nurse, Mariama Bockerie, one of the graduate beneficiaries of the programme. You can see her here, on the KIK video.
The importance of clean drinking water to good health is obvious. Therefore in 2011 KIK donated 8 lifewater clean water kits to The Nixon Memorial Hospital in Segbwema.
They were installed in the centre of the wards, so that patients and staff had access to clean drinking water 24 hours a day.
The next stage is to install units in as many primary schools and secondary schools as possible. These kits cost about £45 each. If you would like to sponsor one, please donate here.
We believe that we should not install these kits in the schools without providing education to the students about the importance of clean water and sanitation. Accordingly, during the team visit in March 2016, a local staff member was trained in how to give such education.