Three years ago, Lifecare International began an inspiring project to express our dedication not only to providing insurance, but to enhance the wellbeing of others around the world.
May 2019 saw our third annual Better Together Mara Medical Camp take place. Co-sponsored by Lifecare International and Bupa Global, the event provided much-needed medical treatment to the communities in and around the Maasai Mara.
It remains the case that the Maasai community lives well below the poverty line. This, coupled with poor sanitation and a lack of facilities, means the standard and availability of medical care is poor. With local medical resources practically non-existent, the sick and injured often travel miles by foot for hospital care.
Ill health in this region can have a far-reaching impact throughout the country. Kenya’s wildlife is its main source of revenue and must therefore be protected at all costs. This preservation largely depends on the good health and welfare of those living in the Mara region.
Setting up medical camps can, therefore, provide a much-needed lifeline to the most vulnerable and at-risk communities. Doing so in this part of the world is no easy undertaking, however.
A team of local healthcare experts were joined by 40 volunteers, including members of Bupa Global, Bupa Cromwell Hospital, Cigna, Allianz and Aetna, along with staff from Lifecare Kenya, UAE and Qatar.
Some volunteers flew into Nairobi before making their way, in a nine-strong Landcruiser convoy, to the Mara. Once at the camp, the team was aided by 43 Maasai volunteers who helped with translation.
The camp saw more visitors too, with the arrival of the Narok County Governor’s wife, HE Sarah Tunai, who toured the Sekenani facilities and met with volunteers and patients.
Better Together Mara Medical Camp 2019: Open for treatment
After much hard work and preparation, both camps opened for treatment on 27th May. Over the course of the two days, medical experts treated over 2,400 patients.
Patients of all ages received medical care, from young to old with 32% of those treated under the age of 12.
Treatments ranged from the everyday to the more serious and covered every ailment imaginable. Over 350 tooth extractions were performed, along with 38 potentially sight-saving cataracts surgeries, 31 tumour removals and two cleft lip repairs.
The medical team were also on hand to treat a range of infections including those of the respiratory tract, ear, eye and skin – all of which amounted to 59% of the total treatments administered to children during the camp. Treatment for gastrointestinal conditions accounted for 10% among children and 16% among adults.
But it wasn’t all common conditions. This year’s camp brought us something we’ve never seen before – our first Better Together Mara Medical Camp baby!
A heartfelt thank you
As the medical operations came to an end, the Lifecare International team visited local schools and distributed sanitation packs, books, laptops, and toys to the Mara locals.
Meanwhile, our partners from Action in Focus handed out food packages throughout the event, containing beans, flour, rice, and other nutritious staples.
Then, after two days successfully administering treatment throughout the community, we brought the Better Together camp to a close on the morning of Wednesday, 29th May.
We held a recognition breakfast to pay tribute to the medical and non-medical volunteers who had given their time to make the camp possible. As well as thanking them for all their hard work, we handed out Maasai Shuka – a type of traditional blanket – as a sign of our appreciation. To the Maasai volunteers, we offered certificates and umbrellas to thank them for their efforts.
The whole team – local, medical and non-medical volunteers – came together to make a real difference to the health and happiness of the Maasai community.
Having sent every participant of the camp home with a smile on their face, Lifecare International marked the end of another successful Better Together Mara Medical Camp. The team felt an overwhelming sense of happiness and fulfilment to have held the largest camp yet.
Lifecare remains committed to growing, improving and evolving the Better Together Mara Medical Camp every year. As the team concluded the third chapter of the inspiring project, work begins on developing the fourth.
The Lifecare team would like to express our gratitude to Action in Focus, Atua Enkop Africa, and the Taiba Medical Center for partnering with us to provide outstanding results and make the camp possible. We are forever grateful for their hard work.
We would also like to draw attention to the support from our international insurance partner, Bupa Global, as well as the much-appreciated presence of Bupa Cromwell Hospital, Cigna, Allianz, and Aetna, and to our staff based in Kenya, the UAE, and Qatar.
Furthermore, we would like to thank those who contributed with the giveaways: Amar Forever, Project Beauty, Computech, Freight Forwarders K Ltd, Text Book Center, Educate Yourself, Kenafric Industries, and Neptune Hotels.
Finally, we’d also like to thank all the locals from the Mara for having faith in our enterprise and providing constant energy and happiness to the camp despite the extreme conditions.
Patrick Watt, Commercial Director, Bupa Global
I was privileged enough to see first-hand the difference these camps make to peoples’ lives. What makes this project so unique is that it is delivered in true partnership with competitors, working together for the greater good. Congratulations to Lifecare for making this happen.
Terry Heller, Head of Partnering and Intermediary Distribution Africa, Bupa Global
Through a true collaboration of organisations Lifecare achieved what they set out to do – to reach and treat thousands of people who in many instances would not have access to even basic care.
Mr. Ravi Singh, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon (Shoulder and Upper Limb), Bupa Cromwell Hospital
It is inspiring that Lifecare, a company that helps provide access to medical services to people with means, is committed to delivering medical care to people without means.
Laxmi Sonara, Business Development Manager, Bupa Cromwell Hospital
To be able to contribute on a personal and professional level was so rewarding and I wish we were able to stay on for longer. The work and vision of the Lifecare team is truly inspiring.
Richard Rilstone, Director of Sales and Client Management – MENA, Cigna
I was shocked at the lack of medical facilities in the area, and it really highlighted the importance of the support provided by Lifecare and their partners. This event was about giving something back to a community in need – great job team Lifecare!
Cheryl Beattie, Head of Sales and Distribution (MEA), Allianz
It’s heart breaking that in this day and age people still don’t have access to basic health care provision, and Lifecare are making it possible for the people of the Mara to have access to what should be a basic human right for everybody. What was truly humbling was to see patients cured of disease and illness that had adversely and severely affected most of their lives, following the amazing work of the surgeons who volunteered their valuable time. Thank you again Lifecare for giving me the insight into the great work that you do for the Mara community.