So I left off Blog #1 at my arrival at Samaria clinic on the Kaburu family compound near Ndathi in the Kubaru region.

Susan Kaburu      

Susan is a RN midwife and like her private clinic colleagues acts more as a family nurse practitioner. She assesses and diagnoses and prescribes medication or other treatments and now refers out for deliveries and more complicated cases.


The so-called road to Samaria clinic


Susan tells me that off the road to Samaria Clinic live about 20-30 families or about 100-150 individuals. Most are subsistence farmers. Today the crops are spinach, carrots, cabbage, arrowroot, beets, and potatoes. A big bag of carrots goes for 500KS or $US 5.50 but the carrots being grown here are a variety that is “too fat”” for the hotel and grocery store market, so that the carrots are sold for cow feed at 70 KS a bag. We also see beautiful heads of cabbage left to rot because lack of transportation to a marketplace.


The clinic patients speak the tribal language of Kukuye . Most children are taught English in school so some understand it but they are somewhat not willing to go out on a limb and talk to me. I don’t blame them. I felt the same about my French. Susan encourages them to speak to me in English but does translate for me, especially when the patient has the “deer caught in the headlights” look when I talk to them.

The Samaria Maternity Hospital was established about 10 years ago and up to somewhat recently had three midwives, a lab tech, and four maternity beds for overnight stays. Women came at all hours to deliver. When not delivering, the nurses tended to the

general illnesses or trauma events that happened in the community. It was an exhausting schedule. Susan had also been known to enlist the services of her daughters Njeri and Anne. Njeri tells a hilarious story of being stopped on the road by a delivering mother and having to find a wheel barrel to transport the mother to Samaria in time for delivery.                                                                                                                 

A few years ago a public maternity hospital was opened a few kilometers away and at the same time the exhausting schedule had taken its toll on Susan. She no longer delivers babies and now refers mothers for deliveries. She does still provide antepartum and postpartum care, just not the deliveries. She is the sole practitioner at the clinic and works 9-6pm Monday –Friday and half day on Saturday. This is now my schedule.