In March of last year, when COVID-19 restrictions necessitated our health center’s closure, we quickly pivoted our health and therapy programs to best support our special-needs patients and students.
Before the pandemic, our two Occupational Therapists treated 12 patients a day. Towards the end of April, when we re-opened our treatment center with an abundance of caution, they worked in a limited capacity with a maximum of two patients a day. Thanks to this continued therapy, important gains were not diminished, and our kids flourished and reached critical developmental milestones.
Eight kids walked for the first time in their lives. Anita Wangechi came to Ubuntu when she was only a year old, suffering from convulsions and delayed developmental milestones. Anita attended our neurological medical clinic, and once officially diagnosed with epilepsy and with a treatment plan in place, she started therapy in tandem with a course of medication. With her convulsions under control, Anita’s condition significantly improved; three months ago, she took her first steps.
A real high point in the year was when twelve-year-old Faith Wanjiru, who has been in therapy for seven years, walked unaided for the first time!
In such a challenging year, we were able to stay afloat by the commitment of caregivers like Emily Waithera Ikumba, who regularly traveled two hours with her grandson Michael Mbugua for his treatment sessions. Born with cerebral palsy, Michael was only a couple of months old when overwhelmed his twenty-three-year-old mother left. Since then, Michael has been in the care of his grandmother, who is also raising two teenage sons. At first, Michael’s grandmother took him to the neighboring town of Naivasha for treatment. With only one available therapy slot a month, a doctor referred Michael to the Ubuntu Health Center to attend therapy once a week. With consistent treatment, Michael now has head control, can sit independently, and has some crawling control!
On the 4th of January, we re-opened our school, and our Occupational Therapists are providing treatment in tandem with the school program. We can't wait to see which life-changing milestones our patients and students achieve this year!