Nairobi, Kenya Oct 6, 2010. Global Health Partnerships received word that the Toyota Troop Carrier that it purchased in July had cleared customs, and has been registered. Normally buying a new vehicle is a straigth-forward proposition; not so in Kenya. Back in April 2010, after our Rav 4, tiny SUV, died, we decided to find and purchase a new vehicle. Many recommendations pointed to Toyota as being so reliable and serviceable that its trucks are the favorites of safari operators. An option was available to arrange the seats to accommodate a stretcher.
With two rather miraculous donations, the hurdle or raising around $50,000 was quickly overcome. Next we discovered that in order to purchase the truck as a non-profit, and avoid about $20,000 in duty and taxes, we had to be officially registered as a Non-governmental organization in Kenya. This took a couple of months and considerable haranguing to just get the application reviewed. Once we were an NGO we could apply to purchase the Troop (or Patient) Carrier at the originally planned price.
Eight months later, Oct 6, 2010, we received word from the Nairobi dealer that GHP now has a fully registered, licensed and insured vehicle.
The vehicle will be used to transport patients to hospital and to get GHP staff and volunteers to the villages to provide health care, education, and to carry out medical investigations and health promotion. GHP in collaboration with Kenyan Ministry of Health and Kisesini Village operates a dispensary in a remote are of eastern Kenya. The clinic serves about 35,000 people living in 75 villages within about a 20 mile radius. The roads are so bad that an off-road motorcycle is often the fastest way for even government officials to get around.