Repair and refurbishment of the Health Centre on Mageta Island in Lake Victoria

The aim of this project is to repair and refurbish the health centre on Mageta Island, to improve healthcare standards and encourage wider use of the clinic.
The health centre is the only one for all 12,000 inhabitants of the island.
New Mageta Map.png
Mageta Island has the some of the highest HIV and AIDS prevalence and child mortality rates in Kenya. Mildmay has been working with communities to deliver HIV-healthcare through support, education and training in remote, impoverished rural areas like Mageta in Western Kenya for over 15 years.

What we are doing

We are repairing and refurbishing the health clinic on Mageta Island to increase its use by the Island's inhabitants, leading to improved health of the population.

  • A facelift of the facility, including repainting, minor renovations like tiling of the maternity unit and the wards to improve on infection control

  • Minor renovations to partition the rooms for privacy since there is only one general ward that houses everyone that is admitted

  • Make the mother and child clinic baby-friendly with brighter colours and some murals, which would improve the overall service delivery

  • Improved support supervision

  • Regular Continuous Medical Education

  • Staff accommodation within the facility

  • Support for more health outreach activity

  • Mobilisation and sensitisation of the population to improve health-seeking behaviour


Why we need to do it

The health centre is poorly equipped, with even essential but basic medical equipment in short supply. The building itself is not in good condition, and isn't a welcoming place.


A large proportion of the island’s population avoids using it - except for the poorest residents, who don't have any choice.

Services board outside the centre

The poor condition of the health centre

Despite the best efforts of the staff and volunteers who operate the health centre, it is in poor condition, both in its fabric and its facilities and equipment. The building is over 60 years old and has suffered from a long-term lack of investment by County Health Services, who have simply not had the funds available to invest in it. Accessing the facility for regular supervision and support remains a challenge for the County and Sub-County Health Management Teams, due to difficulty in travelling to the island.

The facility faces several and unique challenges unlike other rural facilities due to its geographical location (on a remote island) and the population targeted. The poor condition of the facility is discouraging to the island’s residents, and those that have the resources to do so will take the ferry to the mainland to seek treatment, which in turn, means less incentive to invest in the clinic, exacerbating its decline.

The poorest and most impoverished residents have no choice but to use the health centre, despite its condition and lack of modern and hygienic facilities.

There is currently only one medical ward that doubles up as the maternity unit. Women are not guaranteed privacy if there are other patients admitted. The current toilet in maternity doesn’t have a working flush, the toilet bowl is stained and the floor is not tiled.


The facility is proposing to utilise an, until now, unused room as the general ward and refurbish the current ward to be used as the maternity and children’s ward. 

The delivery room has two delivery beds and is in disarray. We need to fit lockable cabinets to protect essential items as well as curtains and solar lamps for conducting delivery at night. The solar system available has been there for a long time and is no longer giving out enough light.


The challenge:


Essential equipment and work needed for the health centre

  • Examination lamp

  • Adjustable delivery couch

  • Patient monitor

  • Movable medication trolley

  • Resuscitaire®

  • Infant weighing scale

  • Fetal doppler

  • Oxygen cylinders (1 portable)

  • Electric suction machine

  • Postnatal beds

  • Patient cabinets

  • Incubators

  • Wheelchair

  • Patient trolley

  • Oxygen concentrator

  • Minor renovations to partition the rooms for privacy since there is only one general ward that houses everyone that is admitted

  • 6 beds ,mattresses and bed linen

  • Curtains to fit 8 windows 

  • Solar lighting 

  • Make the mother and child clinic baby-friendly with brighter colours and some murals, which would improve the overall service delivery

  • Regular Continuous Medical Education

  • Staff accommodation within the facility

  • Support for more health outreach activity


Expected outcomes

  • A safer, cleaner and better-equipped facility that will better serve the needs of the community

  • A robust healthcare system for pregnant women on Mageta Island that copes with emergency complications and where mothers can expect to give birth successfully the vast majority of the time

  • Increased attendance, with better health outcomes among the general population, but in particular, high-risk groups

  • Improved education regarding personal health among the general population, but particularly, high-risk groups

  • People in the community living healthier longer lives

  • Better trained, more responsive and productive healthcare workers will have gained a sense of pride in the improved effects of their work, feeling better-motivated

  • The health centre will be a benchmark for quality local healthcare facilities - a model that can be applied in other rural areas of Kenya.

Health Centre services

Services include basic sexual and reproductive health services (immunisation, antenatal, postnatal, family planning) and other general outpatient services that include prevention and treatment of communicable and non-communicable diseases. The health centre is also the base of our Safe Motherhood Project, emergency ambulance and community outreach and educations services.

How much?

Total project cost: £24,500

Pie chart




Still to raise:

Project progress

Thanks to your generous donations the refurbishment of the health centre is coming along, but we still need to raise £11,900 to complete the project.

The interior of the health centre has been repaired, renovated and repainted, with a new tiled floor laid - which is a great improvement on the old earthen/bare concrete floor.

As you can see, the beds and mattresses are in bad condition and still need to be replaced along with a lot of other essential equipment. (see the list of essential equipment).

General ward.jpeg

What has been accomplished so far



During the 1952–1960 Mau Mau Uprising, the British colonial government used Mageta Island as a forced labour and detention camp due to its isolation in inhospitable territory.

The detention cells were later converted into the health facility that now serves the whole island, established by the national government before the devolution of power and responsibilities to county governments in 2010.

Devolution has resulted in a sporadic and continuous health crisis in Kenya since the allocation for health is mostly for recurrent costs.

There is also an ongoing problem with drug supply and investment in facilities.

Image credit: IWM MAU 865

Fishermen on Mageta.jpg

About Mageta Island

Lying off the eastern shores of Lake Victoria adjacent to Siaya, Mageta Island is about 8km from end to end and about one kilometre wide at its widest. Its total surface area is around 6.6 square kilometres. It is located in Bondo district, one of the poorest districts in Kenya.

The main economic activities are fishing and small-scale subsistence farming.

Despite social, economic and political advances elsewhere in Kenya, the island community feels isolated and there is little development in infrastructure, health and education. The island is not connected to the electricity grid and inefficient solar power cells generate barely enough power to light 40w light bulbs.

Community Health Volunteers outside Mageta health centre.jpg
Donate now:

Community Health Volunteers in front of the health centre


Kenya Logo.png

*Mildmay UK works with our sister NGOs overseas

Mildmay KENYA and Mildmay UGANDA operate independently - they are locally registered with their own Boards of Trustees and constitutions. Although they undertake fundraising and partnership work locally, they rely on Mildmay's supporters in the UK to fund their work.


Mildmay UK needs to raise funds for these and other projects