James Reihill – Experience without Limits
In September 2017, James Reihill, a registered nurse working as an Account Manager with the Critical Care division of Accuscience was approached by Loose Horse productions, a TV production company who were seeking Irish speaking professionals to travel to Nairobi to see how the Kenyan health care system compares to the Irish health service.
The trip was filmed for a documentary which was broadcast on TG4 this month called Taithí gan Teorainn (Experience Without Limits).
James travelled to Nairobi in November where he and a fellow nurse Michelle met with Sister Mary Killeen from Dublin who has been in Nairobi since the 1970s. They visited an orphanage, clinic and school which formed a base for their 10-day trip. The clinic is a drop-in centre for mothers and babies, some of whom would walk for 10-15 miles to see a doctor or nurse. James presented the clinic with medical equipment donated by Accuscience; BP monitors, thermometers, stethoscopes and a baby scale.
James visited the Mukuru slum in Nairobi. The slum is home for approximately 700,000 people. In the Mukuru slum, human waste lines the streets and seeps through homes. Open sewers run alongside local schools, pollution is everywhere. Disease and poverty are rife. James went deep into the slum to visit patients who were unable to make it to the clinic, and witnessed some truly harrowing cases such as HIV, plague and malaria. So many small children die from the conditions in Mukuru, the average life expectancy is just 40 years old.
James’ visit made a small difference to some people’s lives in Nairobi. He is already planning another volunteering trip to Nairobi later this year.