A Message from our Founder on the Closing of AID Village Clinics

When the Mbirikani Clinic was launched nearly 12 years ago from a mobile trailer with a staff of four, we set forth our mission “to help bring critically needed health care diagnosis, treatment and education to under-served rural Kenyan communities.” With the support of our staff and that of many others in Kenya and around the world, we have grown to help save the lives of thousands and improve the health opportunities for many more.

We knew we needed to make the Clinic financially self-sustaining. On June 30, 2003, we incorporated and registered as a US charity, AID Village Clinics, for the purpose of seeking donations from other sources. I expected the Clinic would be entirely supported by others by 2009. Unfortunately, we have not been able to meet this goal of achieving financial sustainability. It is not possible for one person, or even just a few, to support the medical care of so many.

For that reason, I made the very difficult decision to inform the Board of Directors of AID Village Clinics that I would end my financial support, and the board directed that the Clinic be closed. As a result, the Clinic will close November 30, 2012. We will carry out the closing in a manner that minimizes the impact on our staff and our patients, providing severance payments to our employees, and medication and referrals to our patients.

We should all be extremely proud of the great progress and significant impact made in addressing the challenges of disease during our time in Mbirikani. Literally thousands of lives from the immediate area and from a far larger geographic area have been saved. Consider these specific accomplishments:

  • Over 10,000 individuals have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and thousands are receiving care either from our facility or others;
  • Mother-to-child-transmission of HIV/AIDS has been reduced to zero among our patients under care;
  • Half a generation of infants have been immunized;
  • Nearly every resident now sleeps under a mosquito net virtually wiping out malaria in the area;
  • Chronic infections have been addressed and in many cases cured;
  • Patients have been referred to Nairobi at no cost to them for specialized diagnosis and treatment that could not be carried out at the site.
  • Residents have pit latrines where there were previously no sanitary facilities;
  • Supplemental feeding has been provided in times of local disaster or drought;
  • Waterborne illnesses have declined dramatically due to the use of an inexpensive product to sterilize water;
  • Many community members now understand when they are ill and know how to take steps to prevent illness and to monitor their own health;
  • We designed and populated a database that can be mined for information about what works – and what does not – to produce positive outcomes in an isolated rural community.

We leave behind a notable legacy of individualized comprehensive medical care – and much hope for the future. The capacity of Kenyan government institutions has improved, and our patients should be able to avail themselves of diagnosis and treatment, including HIV/AIDS medications provided through the PEPFAR program.

I extend my gratitude to all who assisted with this project.

Ann Lurie, Founder, AID Village Clinics, Inc.