Press Release: Kakenya’s Dream Celebrates the Grand Opening of Community’s First Health Clinic in Rural Kenya

Clinic to Address Critical Health Disparities in Southwestern Kenya – A Major Advancement for the Region

– Kakenya’s Dream is proud to announce the grand opening of the Kakenya Health and Wellness Center, a pioneering youth-friendly health clinic in southwestern Kenya. Opening on July 12, this groundbreaking new initiative addresses critical healthcare disparities in rural communities, aligning with global efforts to improve access to healthcare in underserved regions worldwide.

Kakenya’s Dream is a leading nonprofit organization that empowers vulnerable girls and rural communities through transformative educational, health, and leadership initiatives. Operating in one of Kenya’s most marginalized regions, health and livelihood outcomes are dire, especially for women and girls. 66% are subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM), 50% are forced into child/early marriages before the age of 19, less than 25% complete high school, and the teenage pregnancy rate is 28%, nearly twice the national average.

The opening of the Kakenya Health and Wellness Center marks a significant advancement in the region’s healthcare landscape, offering essential services to communities that have long been underserved. According to Kenya’s 2022 Demographic and Health Survey, 50% of women in the region report that they have serious problems accessing healthcare when they are sick. Currently, there is no place for young people to receive resources or services related to their sexual and reproductive health, and a culture of stigma, secrecy, and shame around sexual health often prevents young people from seeking care. Even basic medical needs often go unaddressed because they are cost-prohibitive, and hospital facilities are often too far away because most of the population (70%) lacks access to motorized transportation.

Sadly, these challenges are not unique to Kenya. According to the International Labor Organization, 56% of the global population living in rural areas lacks health coverage. From sub-Saharan Africa to the deep south of the United States, billions of people are facing many of the very same barriers: long distances to medical facilities, high costs, and a lack of specialized care for youth and women.

With initial funding provided by the Start Small Foundation, the Kakenya Health and Wellness Center will provide basic primary and preventative care, stigma-free and youth-friendly sexual and reproductive care, mental health support and counseling, and an emergency hotline for reporting incidents of gender-based violence. Kakenya’s Dream Founder and President, Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya, shared, “When I was a girl, the nearest hospital was 40 miles away. Because roads are rough and motorized transit is scarce, most of us had to make the journey on foot. Many others couldn’t, and so they had no healthcare. But the distance is finally closing. The opening of this clinic is a new chapter for the communities we serve, and we look forward to the positive impact it will bring for years to come.”

For more information please visit kakenyasdream.org/health.


About Kakenya’s Dream: Kakenya’s Dream is a community-based nonprofit organization in Narok County, Kenya, offering a comprehensive, girl-centered approach to addressing gender inequality, achieving girls’ empowerment, and uplifting rural communities.

For more information, contact Zoe Blossom at zoe@kakenyasdream.org


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