Empowering remote communities
Developed in Africa, the CLC is a flexible, modular, and open platform approach bringing Philips and third party products, solutions and services together. It works to address the issue of access and quality of care in under-resourced areas by strengthening primary and community health care, and empowering people through the setting up and running of the centers.
The CLC was introduced in collaboration with the County Government of Kiambu in Kenya. Located at the Githurai Lang’ata Health Center in Kiambu County, the CLC is not a traditional product-driven approach but a community-driven, open, and holistic solution, which means as well as simultaneously acting as mother and child centers to address urgent infant mortality rates, they offer additional value through the provision of 24/7 sustainable light, power and clean water.
The primary focus is addressing infant mortality and maternal health as well as the broader goal of universal health coverage by 2030, in line with the SDGs targets.
Looking beyond primary care
An important element to the CLC’s success is its broad view of the healthcare continuum, where healthy living and prevention play core roles. This can involve, for example, such features as social areas and a solar-powered soccer pitch LED lighting adjacent, enabling social and economic activity in the evenings.
Another key element is the early involvement of health workers and local community in the assessment and design of the CLC in order to create ownership and a tailor-made solution addressing the needs of that specific community. Community members develop ownership in the centers, playing active roles in the assessment and design of the CLC. As well as providing vital primary care the center goes beyond that function, by turning health facilities into community hubs where technology is bundled with services.
“The engagement of the community was the most important part of the project. From the beginning, the endorsement from them led to more people visiting the facility from outside the community,” says Bahaa Eddine Sarroukh, Philips head of
A number of commercial developments in the area since the facility was built show the positive effect it is having on the community. Property prices around the CLC have gone up, and there are now pop-up shops and small businesses emerging on the road towards the facility, making their livelihoods off increasing traffic and people flows. A motorbike station now acts as a place where people can be transported to and from the facility. Anecdotally, police say that outdoor lighting may have helped ease crime in the area.
“We do believe that when you provide access to care, you ease the flow of people and enable a host of other activities, which support the community’s growth and development. We have seen a very clear knock-on effect from the CLC through the availability of quality care and simple services,” says Sarroukh.
“People are empowered both socially and commercially, and what has grown around the CLC very clearly reflects that – empowerment takes many forms, but the community now has access to affordable and quality care and they are empowered to make decisions about their own health.”
Outcomes at Kiambu
Within 18 months of its opening (from June 2014 – December 2015), the total number of outpatients visiting per month increased from 900 to 4080, the number of children being treated quadrupled from 533 to 2370; first antenatal care patients grew fifteen fold from 13 to 188 patients each month; and, the number of fourth visit antenatal care patients each month grew sixteen fold, from 6 to 94.
The maternity wing of the center enables women to deliver their babies in a safe and secure environment. Since its inception, 634 babies have been born with an average of 36 babies currently born at the facility each month.
1 UNICEF, 'Gender and Health' https://www.unicef.org/esaro/7310_Gender_and_health.html
2World Health Organization, 'Children: reducing mortality' http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs178/en/
3UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa, 'Children and newborn health' https://www.unicef.org/esaro/factsonchildren_5774.html
4 WHO - http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/91/4/12-109660/en/