Mark Willis just returned from his second trip to Africa on December 15, 2010. Mark is a member of Bonyo’s Kenya Mission (www.bonyoskenyamission.org). Bonyo’s Kenya Mission is dedicated to the improvement of healthcare and life in general in the rural village of Masara in the Nyanza Province of western Kenya. Bonyo’s Kenya mission owns and operates the Mama Pilista Memorial Health Clinic in the village of Masara. Fundraising by Bonyo’s Kenya Mission provides a skeletal staff to provide for the daily healthcare needs of the area. Each year however, Bonyo’s Kenya Mission in conjunction with Share Kenya, a cooperative effort between Northeastern Ohio Universities, Colleges of Medicine, Ohio University College of Medicine, Ohio Northern University, Rocky Vista College of Osteopathic Medicine, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, Akron Children’s Hospital and Summa Health System converge on the clinic to provide more comprehensive medical care and on a larger scale. This year’s mission consisted of 30 some medical and pharmacy students along with physicians, nurses and others in the medical field. Mark Willis served as the chief operating officer for the mission to coordinate the patient’s care among the various disciplines represented by the group. The group treated over 2,400 different patients. Several were seen multiple times for follow up visits throughout the trip.
In addition to the general medical coverage, the mission ran an eye clinic with donated eyeglasses. Mark Willis made arrangements for ophthalmology coverage through Tenwek Hospital, a faith based hospital about 2.5 hours away in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya. Patients were screened for surgical issues including cataracts. The surgeries will take place at Tenwek Hospital in the near future. Other eye concerns were addressed through the ophthalmology coverage. The mission’s ophthalmology department was able to provide screening and eyeglasses for all who needed them. In addition to other medical issues, approximately 1,000 had sight issues that were addressed in the mission.
In addition to coordinating the various students and healthcare providers, Mark Willis coordinated with the 60 some interpreters hired by the mission to work with the U.S. healthcare workers and the patients. Most people in this area of Kenya speak the local Luo tribal language (Dholuo) or the east Africa dialect of Kiswahili. The clinic was broken down into various functions from registration and triage to intake screening, wound care, and general medical treatment. Our patients ran the gamut from pediatric to geriatric and required everything from emergency care to optical care and screening to lab tests and pharmacy services. Mark Willis used his training as a Fire Fighter EMT and his organizational abilities as a lawyer to pull the group together, staff the various departments and provide patients with quality healthcare.