Medical Workers for Social Responsibility Kenya (MSR-KENYA) is an organization of medical doctors and students in Kenya who have share a common goal of ensuring that health professionals are not only qualified professionally but are also socially responsible. Each year students in the various medical schools in Kenya affiliated to MSR-KENYA are tasked with coming up with a project toward the goal of ensuring medical workers and the community around them made more socially responsible.
MSR Moi University Chapter was launched mid last year after the 6th Association of Medical Students of the University of Nairobi Scientific Conference. Dr. Sally Ndungu spearheaded the introduction of MSR to the various medical schools spread across the country. After which, students in the various medical students were tasked with the responsibility of introducing MSR in their respective schools.
MSR Moi University chapter began with the recruitment of 20 interested students spread across the academic years. After the election of leaders, members attempted and completed seven Medical Peace work courses. Seven of the students who completed the courses then went for a Medical Peace work skills training workshop held on the 21st and 22nd of February 2015 at the School of Medicine, Maseno University. After a successful training, the certified medical peace workers were to apply their newly learnt skills to come up with a project and implement their project within a specified period.
As the MSR- Moi University Chapter, we came up with the project dubbed ”Environment ni Mimi.” The timeline of the project was to run from March- September 2015.
The project entailed ensuring the environment is better taken care of. It portrays; the responsibility of the environment begins with us and that the protection of the environment against pollution is an individual and collective responsibility.
Majority of the students realized that there was a lot of littering that takes place around the environs of Moi University College of Health Sciences and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. This is because the community is not aware of the importance of having a litter free environment and also because there is a lack of adequate dustbins strategically positioned. Also, most people assume that the responsibility of ensuring that there is a clean environment is for another person, they do not acknowledge it as an individual responsibility.
In light of this, MSR-KENYA Moi University Chapter, decided to have a clean-up day in order to collect the litter and place dust bins around the school and the hospital in order to curb the problem of littering.
Rwanda’s successful anti-litter campaign was launched eight years ago after a law that was passed in 2003. Today the streets in Rwanda are strikingly clean and it is because the government used its anti-littering drive to mobilize its people into a cleaning up campaign. It is therefore formal tradition in Rwanda to have the citizens clean up their environment every last Saturday of every month (City Press; A nation heals itself 21/05/2011.) Clean up the world Campaign 2014 is a community based environmental campaign that inspires individuals from every corner of the globe to make their environment a cleaner and healthier place to live. The campaign brings together individuals, businesses, community groups and governments to carry out a range of activities and programs that locally improve the environment through clean ups and environmental conservations. ‘Clean up world’ is also an initiative that engages 35 million volunteers in 130 countries making it one of the largest community based environment campaigns in the world. They inspire and empower community groups, schools, businesses and local governments to join as members and carry out community based activities that address local environmental issues.
The main objectives of the project will be to.
- Create more awareness on the environment.
- To curb the excessive dumping of litter around the school and hospital environment.
- To make the environment more pleasant to the community around the hospital and the college.
- To promote social responsibility among the health workers and students.
- To live up to the standards of a College of health sciences.
- To create and bring a change in the mindset of the community and maintain a litter free environment.
Permission was sought from the school administration through a project proposal that was drafted by the project coordinator of the group. The project was approved by the Principal. The committee worked with the Moi University maintenance and estates department in drafting a budget of all the material that would be required to make the litter bins. In addition, the Public Health officers helped us determine the suitable locations around the school where the bins would be placed. The committee was also tasked with the responsibility of sourcing funds from potential donors in the support of the project. A specific deadline was set for the acquiring o the funds. The funds were sourced and Reale Hospital, Eldoret sponsored the project.
Ruth Anyango and Everlyne Achieng worked with the Moi University Estates department in the purchase of the required materials. The project coordinators outlined the specifications to the staff at the Moi University Estates department and liaised with them daily in the supervision of the bins.
Posters advertising the clean-up day were placed on notice boards all over the school. The posters also sensitized the public on the importance of a litter free environment. The clean-up day will take one day. It began at 9.00 am till 4.00pm. The number of students taking part were approximately 40 students consisting of MSR- MOI University chapter members. The students are from the College of Health Sciences, School of Medicine. In addition, The Red Cross team from Moi University also joined the MSSR team.
We picked up litter from the Anatomy Laboratory, to the Learning Resource Centre, through Nandi Road to the Main Hostel then head to the path towards the Sosiani Hostels. We would then place a total of sixed dust bins at strategic points along the sited areas. The dust bins will be dubbed ”Environment ni Mimi – AN MSSR INITIATIVE.’’
The students were dressed up in blue T-shirts with the MSR- logo on them as they went about the cleaning exercise. We are also worked with public health officers from Moi University and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in order to be advised on how to set up the dust bins and how to go about the cleaning up process.
We believe that the main outcomes of the project will be a cleaner and healthier environment and this will be of benefit to the Medical workers, the students and the general community around Moi University and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.
The project has also sensitized the community on the importance of having a litter free environment.