Rays of Hope is a community based organization (CBO) founded by Murithi Marangu, in November 2009 with a vision to provide health care to the disadvantaged in the community. Their key activities are focused on community health tasks which include:
- Community awareness and education about HIV/AIDs, as well as testing.
- Provision of Healthcare through treatment of minor illnesses
- Basic Laboratory testing
- Home Care
Rays of Hope operates a small community clinic in the Meru Central District of Kenya near the town of Githongo. With full time work by Murithi, its founder, and a part time staff of a nurse, laboratory technician and community facilitator, they provide laboratory services for malaria and typhoid, the dispersement of medicines and drugs, counseling for HIV/AIDS, testing and post test counseling. They also provide maternal, prenatal and child healthcare, as well as Community Education classes. House calls are made for those in the community unable to travel to the clinic. All of these services are provided at no cost or for a minimal fee.
Their goals are to hire more full time staff, provide more home care to those in need and have more medicinal and other supplies available for their patients.
Kenya is home to one of the world’s harshest HIV and AIDS epidemics. An estimated 1.5 million people are living with HIV; around 1.2 million children have been orphaned by AIDS; and in 2009 80,000 people died from AIDS related illnesses.
Kenya’s HIV prevalence peaked during 2000 and, according to the latest figures, has dramatically reduced to around 6.3 percent. This decline is thought to be partially due to an increase in education and awareness, and high death rates.
Many people in Kenya are still not being reached with HIV prevention and treatment services. Only 1 in 3 children needing treatment are receiving it. This demonstrates Kenya still has a long way to go in providing universal access to HIV treatment, prevention and care.
Rays of Hope is providing a much needed service in this tiny, rural, mountainous community in Kenya. Since opening their doors in November of 2009, they have seen almost 3000 patients, as of March 2011 !