Becoming a Patient at the Tumaini Clinic

When our UNC intern got a cold last week, she ended up with a firsthand look at what it’s like to be a patient at the Tumaini Clinic. --

Today I became a patient at Tumaini.

Although I’d been adjusting to the change in climate, the weekend rain in Marsabit left me ailing with chest congestion, cough, and fatigue all within 48 hours. After two sleepless nights and trying in vain to address my symptoms with natural remedies, I decided it was time to visit the clinic, this time as a patient.

As I walked in the clinic, I was grateful for the slow morning that allowed me to be directly seen by the clinician, Ivy. We spent a few minutes talking about our weekend and I spent more minutes detailing my every symptom.

After looking over her notes, a few entries in the care management system used at the clinic, that magical “enter” button, and a quick call to the reception for my patient card, my prescription was ordered and ready to be picked up at the pharmacy. Within 15 minutes I was all set. But the best surprise was yet to come.


As I slowly made my way to the pharmacy to find out how much the treatment would cost me, I was surprised when she rang me up at 100 Kenyan shillings. To put this in perspective, my cough suppressant and antibiotic only cost me approximately $1. Today, I may have just been the happiest patient Tumaini serviced.

From my time here, I’ve heard it said that the service at Tumaini is exceedingly better than that at the district hospital in town. Though I have not been a patient at the district hospital (and certainly do not have ‘being a patient’ again on my to-do list), I can firsthand attest to the praise that the team and clinic has received.