West L.A. Member Starts Medical Mission to Benefit Her Childhood Home – Sept/Oct’11 Voice
UNAC/UHCP member Millicent Manyore, RN, a seven year PCU RN from Kaiser West LA, founded Medical Missions Kenya after migrating from Kenya 12 years ago. Growing up in Kenya, she didn’t know the health system in Kenya was any different until she went to a doctor in the United States. She says “I had no idea what high blood pressure was let alone the fact that mine was high.” As a nursing student, Manyore brought a small home glucometer and an electronic blood pressure machine to test family and neighbors back in Kenya. She ran out of glucose strips before she ran out of people who needed testing, as word spread through her hometown.
Manyore is taking a group of volunteer nurses and doctors on the inaugural medical mission trip in December. The organization targets remote rural villages to provide medical relief to locals, often poverty-stricken individuals, who have been excluded from health care systems worldwide. Despite the tremendous progress made in global health over the past two decades, there are places in Kenya where health care services are non-existent or not accessible.
Manyore says her first trip to the doctor in the States changed her life path for good. “I realized then how little I knew about health and how inadequate the Kenyan health system was. It was then that I decided to go to nursing school. I knew I wanted to make a difference.”