International Volunteer Program 2017

Kenyan community health education meetings & health camps supported through Novartis Canada International Volunteer Program

Apr 24, 2017

Since 2009, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. has been extending its commitment to communities in need around the globe by selecting and sponsoring associates each year to contribute their time as a free resource to one of many global partnerships.

This year’s volunteers chose to work in Kenya with the Familia Nawiri (Healthy Families) program, a Novartis “social venture” designed to build local and sustainable solutions that address healthcare challenges for communities in the developing world by tackling the issues that impact access to healthcare, such as education, infrastructure and distribution. This is the second time the IVP program has visited Familia Nawiri.

Novartis first developed the Healthy Families (Arogya Parivar) model in 2007 in India and has since expanded the model to Indonesia, Vietnam and Kenya. Familia Nawiri was launched in Kenya in 2012.

One of the major ways Familia Nawiri brings health services to Kenyans in rural and hard to reach areas is through health camps that are set up on weekends in rural schools.

Photo: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. volunteers Tina Patafie, left, and Patricia Tiramani, right, with health professionals outside the Karucho Primary School in Kenya for a health camp organized by the Novartis-sponsored group, Familia Nawiri.

At the camps medical tests are done and people are given access to reliable essential medications. This is a vital part of the service as there is a wide problem in Kenya of stock outs at the public facilities and unsafe medication on the open market.

Photo: A community health education meeting in Gatura, Kenya, organized by Familia Nawiri assisted by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. volunteers.

During these meetings different health issues such as blood pressure, rational use of medicines, appropriate health seeking behaviors and diabetes were presented and discussed. Since the beginning of 2016, the health camps have served 6,860 patients. By the end of 2016, Familia Nawiri aims to have hosted 90 Health Camps in Kenya.

Photo: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. employees joined a celebration with ladies from Chepsion and the Kipkelion Empowerment Organization during their volunteer mission in Kenya.

Photo: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. volunteers help guide a cart carrying supplies to the Karucho Primary School in Kenya prior to a health camp organized by the Novartis-sponsored group Familia Nawiri.

School supplies were collected through the generosity of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. associates and given to the schools where health camps were held.