Sustainability is word that is often thrown around in the non-profit sector. In fact, we get asked about the sustainability of our Roadside Wellness Centres quite often. Since mobile workers, like truck drivers, are constantly on the move, it can be challenging to incorporate income generating activities to help offset the cost of some of the additional services we provide. We’ve been working hard, however, to change this while continuing to expand the range services available to our patients across our network of Roadside Wellness Centres. A recent example of an early success on this front is can be found at our Roadside Wellness Centre in Salgaa, Kenya, where we recently launched our first in-house laboratory.
Laboratory services are scarce in many of the regions we operate in. Private or government labs can often charge a significant amount for testing and results. Traditionally, Roadside Wellness Centres have outsourced lab work and incurred these costs. This is not only a financial strain but also an inconvenience for our clients and an impediment to timely diagnosis. Having our own in-house lab will enable us to overcome these constraints while establishing greater trust among our clientele with regard to the security and confidentiality of their health information.
Beyond the importance of this new lab to mobile workers passing through Salgaa, people in the surrounding community will also benefit, including local residents, employees of neighboring farms, educational institutions and other community partners. The lab opened its doors on June 27th 2012 and by July 13th had earned about 80 Euros, with an average collection between 5 to 10 Euros daily.
In the coming months the team at Salgaa will work to develop a targeted marketing campaign to encourage further the use of lab services. Being the only lab within the vicinity and providing services at a lower costs then private firms will undoubtedly support this goal.
We’re excited to announce this new initiative, and proud of our East Africa team for their work in continuing to deliver and expand the range of health and safety services North Star Alliance makes available to mobile workers and their communities.