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Fairtrade Eastern Africa | January 23, 2020

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Riabai Dispensary has saved the community.

Riabai Dispensary has saved the community.

The Riabai dispensary based in Kiambu County registers more than 2,500 patients each month, who visit the facility with different cases, including maternal care, immunization, and HIV/AIDS Treatment.

With about 150 patients treated each day, the dispensary has saved the locals a whole 84 kilometers distance they used to travel to Kiambu district hospital.

According to Salome Njeri Maina, the deputy nurse in charge, many patients would not afford the transport costs to Kiambu town.

“Some would walk the whole distance and many deaths resulted due to this problem”, she said.

In 2010, Ndumberi Coffee Growers Co-operative Society came in to rescue the situation. Using premium from Fairtrade coffee, drugs were bought enough to start serving the high number of patients, relieving them from travelling to the district hospital.

Government came in to employ four nurses while the premium employed two workers, a laboratory technician and a cleaner.

The dispensary now serves not only the community around, but also people from the neighboring areas.

The premium was also used to build an incinerator which is used to destroy used syringes, needles, blades and other dangerous materials.

“We spent over 5000 shillings to build the incinerator and it is working well,” said the society chairman Stanley Kihiu. They can now burn their syringes, needles, razor blades and other unused medical instruments thus avoiding transmission of diseases like HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and other infections when blown away by wind.

The incinerator has ensured a safe environment to the community

Just close to the dispensary, is a big plastic water tank on a cemented platform. The tank stores clean drinking water for the community around. Fairtrade premium was used to buy the water tank, as to ensure that a community of healthy farmers means more work in the farms and more production of certified Fairtrade coffee.

However the premium being received is not enough for the many demands in the community, and the management of Ndumberi cooperative society hopes that more Fairtrade products will be soon available in the local shops to help serve more people in the area.