Latest News

Sept 2018
Valentine - A wonderful success story

Below is a very eloquent thank you letter from Valentine, who was a student at the little school adjacent to the Ananda Margagirls orphanage, run by the selfless Sister Didi. MEAK has been a long-term supporter of Ananda Marga. They were introduced to Valentine by Sister Didi, who recognised that this young girl was very bright, but from a very poor family who would not be able to educate her past her primary school years. Following this, she had her education sponsored by MEAK and friends of MEAK who have since mentored and nurtured her to allow her to become a university graduate and now a medical researcher.

Below is a thank you letter from Valentine, a wonderful success story.

Good afternoon Mike,

It has been a wonderful final semester and year and finally I have finished my Bachelor's Degree.

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has been with me throughout my education;

Ms. Didi Giitika, it is through you I was able to meet Mr. Fraser and Patricia Douglas through Mr Mike and Dee Belliere, who offered to financially aid me through my high school years. It was an honour to work with you as my guardian through the four years of high school. I started this journey with you and I'll be grateful to you, because through you, I met the most wonderful people in my life. Thank you, Ms Didi.

Mrs. Nargis Kasmani, it was wonderful of you to take up the role of my guardian for the four years of university. Throughout the four years, you have become more than my guardian, you became more of a second mother and a friend to me. I couldn't ask for anyone else. Thank you Mrs. Nargis.

Mr Michael and Dee Belliere, you have been the link between Mr Fraser and I for the eight years of my high school and university. Through you, you helped me fulfil my academic dreams of getting to the university. Thank you very much for the constant communication and for being the best guardians, even though you were in London. I really appreciate everything that you have helped me with through the academic years of my life.

Mr. Fraser and Patricia Douglas, words cannot describe how grateful my family and I are to you. It is because of you, I was able to begin my high school education and also my university education. I am truly grateful for your support and care, kindness and also generosity. Thank you very much. My family and I will forever be indebted to you and forever grateful for everything you have done for us. Thank you very much

I am also grateful to the people I crossed paths with through the 8 years, the MEAK team and everyone else who contributed to my successful journey. Thank you all very much. I am finally going to become a graduate and it's all thanks to all of you. I will forever be grateful to you all.

Thank you once again.

Yours truly
Valentine Abisaki


June 2018
MEAK Annual Golf Day raises £8448!

The 2018 MEAK Golf day, held on the 7thof June raised a £8448 for the charity, making it the most successful golf day to date! 88 people played the beautiful course at Croham Hurst Golf Club in Croydon before enjoying lunch, the prize giving and raffle.

The annual event was brilliantly supported by the heating industry as in previous years, who provided most of the golfers. Thanks to everybody who participated and donated some truly outstanding raffle prizes for a wonderfully successful day!

The BSW Heating team on the green

MEAK Director Mike Belliere presents the trophies to the winning team from Crane Valves


May 2018
Team effort between Chain of Hope, Saruni Lodge, Evelina London Children’s Hospital and MEAK sees little heart patient receive successful cardiac surgery!

This is both the story of Precious, an 18 month-old infant and an example of super- efficient team work to help change a child’s life forever. This lovely story is from our Kenyan colleagues at Saruni Lodge in the Masai Mara:

Someone once said 'a grateful heart is a magnet for miracles', and how right they were. The past few weeks have shown us how a gesture of kindness and empathy can change a child’s life. This certainly was the case for a very valued member of Saruni Mara, Mary and her baby daughter, Precious.

Acting on a mother’s instinct after the birth of her beloved daughter, Mary was certain something was amiss. After seeking medical advice she learnt the unthinkable for any mother, that Precious was born with a heart defect and needed life-saving treatment. From the heart of the Masai Mara, far away from access to standard 'western' medical practices, Mary began the journey to save her daughter’s life with a series of attempts to receive the much-needed medical care.

Precious immediately after her operation and Precious recovering with her Mother, Mary

Luckily, Mary heard of the MEAK heart team visit to Kenya and brought Precious to see the MEAK heart team when they were at the M.P Shah hospital in Nairobi in February. Precious was listed for surgery, but sadly the list of patients was too long. Had there been more time Precious would have been the next operation MEAK would have performed. Never wanting to leave children behind, MEAK began exploring other options to help Precious by presenting her case to UK children’s cardiac charity Chain of Hope

Meanwhile, resourceful CEO of Saruni Lodge and Mary’s employer, Ricardo Orizio was tenaciously also trying to help. In a series of emails and telephone calls he also contacted many charities, one of them being MEAK. The stars had aligned for little Precious! Chain of Hope generously agreed to fund the operation for Precious in London at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital. Plans quickly fell into place and only a few months later Precious and Mary were in London for her surgery!

Precious had her operation on the 17th of April and is now recovering well. She will remain in the UK to convalesce before returning to Kenya where her beloved family awaits with anticipation.

This happy ending could not have been possible without the saving grace of the charities, the medical professionals and the support which Mary received in Kenya. Words cannot describe how grateful Precious's family and all those involved are, to both Chain of Hope and MEAK. Your work is a humble reminder on the effect of compassion and we cannot express our gratitude enough. Thank you!


Apr 2018
MEAK Supports orthopaedic surgery in Marsabit and helps an extremely grateful patient!

MEAK supported EGHO (Exploring Global Health Opportunities) and the Kenya Orthopaedic Project in their first orthopaedic trip to Marsabit in Northern Kenya in February.

Mission achievements:

  • Over 400 patients reviewed, many given physiotherapy advice
  • 21surgical cases and 5 minor procedures performed
  • 1 GRASPIT (Global Recognition and Assessment of the Sick patient and Initial Treatmenttrain-the-trainer course run
  • Side-by-side teaching in the disciplines of radiography, nursing and physiotherapy
  • Visit by maternity nursing specialist to investigate what support and training needed by the local medical team for the future

This mission was incredibly busy and sadly, as we often find, there were many more patients who needed surgery than there were operative slots over the 5½ operating days.

One patient however, did get an operation and was extremely grateful. Here is his incredible story, as told to lead orthopaedic surgeon Dr Christoph McAllen from one of the clinical officers in Marsabit, 3 days after the team had left to go back to the UK. This story is all the more remarkable as this patient was actually found on a MEAK eye mission, where he was wheeled into the camp in a wheelbarrow!! He has since had a prosthetic leg fitted.

Giving the thumbs up: our patient after his pain-relieving surgery


Mar 2018
MEAK:Successful Eye Mission to Nanyuki, Laikipia County, Kenya

Another very successful eye mission! The eye team were operating in the grounds of the Nanyuki Hospital in the eastern part of the Rift Valley at the end of February.

Mission achievements:

  • Over 600 patients screened
  • 36 cataract operations
  • 121 dental operations

This mission was extremely busy! Patients from the surrounding area were mobilised and brought to the NanyukiDistrict Hospital where 4 tents had been erected for the MEAK team to work from. On arrival all 4 tents were full of patients, such was the demand for eye tests!

We are still awaiting final numbers but this was an extremely Mission with hundreds of patients benefitting!

Arriving at the clinic to be registered

Visual acuity eye tests out in the open air, right and the queue for the eye tests, left

Waiting patiently in the tents outside the hospital


Feb 2018
A lovely Thank You card

This a lovely thank you card from the family of a 3 year old boy who had heart surgery by the MEAK team on their recent visit to M.P Shah. Thank you Nathan X


Jan 2018
MEAK eye and dental mission in Amboseli and Heart mission in Nairobi in full swing!!

Paediatric cardiac surgeon Mr Caner Salih performing surgery

Members of the paediatric intensive care team - Dr Paul James, Emma Carmichael and Katie Garner

Dr Tom Day scanning Gertrude, who went on to have her cardiac surgery on Saturday

School children being taught how to have an eye test

Dr Hiram Mwangi getting ready to perform eye surgery

The MEAK dental team handing out tooth-brushing kits and teaching the children how to brush their teeth


Christmas 2017
Merry Christmas from us all at MEAK


Dec 2017
MEAK: Successful Eye and Dental Missions to Mwingi and Merti

MEAK are very happy to report another three very successful eye missions, this time to the Mwingi and Merti areas in the Kitui and Isolo areas of Kenya respectively. There were so many people seen on the Mwingi mission the eye team went back again to operate in early November to complete the mission and operate upon the remaining patients with cataracts. The Merti mission also incorporated the MEAK dental team, who were super-busy, as usual!

Mwingi Mission achievements:

August/September:

  • 1021 eye patients screened
  • 62 patients with cataracts operated upon to restore sight

November:

  • 256 patients screened
  • 79 patients with cataracts operated upon to restore sight

Merti Mission achievements:

Merti Mission achievements:

  • 2652 patients screened and eye health messages given, including school children
  • 201 cataract operations
  • 578 dental patients reviewed
  • 479 dental patients received extractions

Well done to everyone involved!

Checking eyes post cataract surgery
Photo: Georgia Clark


Nov 2017
MEAK heart team visit Mombasa and Kilifi

At the beginning of October two members of the MEAK heart team visited Mombasa and Kilifi on the Kenyan Coast.

They conducted their annual 4 day paediatric cardiac clinic together with the local medical teams and the Paediatric Support Group at the Pandya and the KEMRI/Kilifi District Hospitals​.

Nearly 100 children were reviewed by the team, including many patients who had previous cardiac surgery, facilitated by MEAK.

So many of the children are doing amazingly well and it was such a pleasure to see them having grown so much bigger and healthier!

Plans are now being put in place to arrange for cardiac surgery for those who require it by the full MEAK team when they will be operating in Nairobi in January.

We would like to thank the following people for making our annual clinic visit to Mombasa and Kilifi so successful:​

  • Dr Suleman Bakari​
  • Dr’s Shebe Mohammed, Phoebe Williams and Victor Ocholla​
  • Dr Neema Mturi
  • Dr Tim Malingi​
  • Dr Bilali Mazoya​
  • Professor Kath Maitland​
  • Dr Kuberan Pushparajah​
  • Tanuja, Tina and Misha from the Paediatric Support Group​
  • Chain of Hope for the use of their Sonosite echo machine​

and Hamish Gregory, who kindly took these beautiful photos for us in the Kilifi clinic.


Sept 2017
New MEAK Congenital Heart Disease Documentary

Film makers Frank Blau and Francesca Merz who travelled to Mombasa diligently followed the MEAK heart team around for 10 days to film this very sensitive documentary about the plight of children with congenital heart disease in Kenya, following them from their clinic visit to their discharge.

Find out more and watch the trailer here...


Aug 2017
MEAK: Another successful eye and dental mission! Kinango, Kwale County, Eastern Kenya

MEAK are very happy to report another highly successful eye and dentistry mission, this time in the Kinango area of the Kwale county, near Mombasa and the Kenyan coast. The mission was lead by Cataract surgeon Hiram Mwangi, Dentist Doreen Matumbi and MEAK's Nargis Kassim and Trustee Mike Fels.

Mission achievements: 9th - 16th July

Eyes:

  • Total number of eye patients screened and reviewed = 960
  • Total Cataract operations to restore sight = 35
  • Other eye operations = 18

Dentistry:

  • Total number of dental patients screened and reviewed = 599
  • Total number of extractions performed = 481

Baby with a rare conjunctival tag in the right eye which will be removed in Nairobi, where it can be done under general anaesthetic.

Young lady with a growth on the left eye, obscuring her sight. This will be investigated in Nairobi.


July 2017
MEAK: Successful Eye Missions to Oloolaimutia and Engos, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

MEAK are very happy to report another very successful eye mission, this time to the Oloolaimutia and Engos regions of the Masai Mara Reserve, near the Kenyan border with Tanzania.

Mission achievements: 21st - 28th March

  • Total patients screened and treated - 1102
  • Total Cataract operations to restore sight - 52
  • Other eye surgery performed - 4
  • Total dental operations (mostly extractions) - 285

This mission was logistically difficult as the area had experienced recent extremely heavy rain. Two bridges had been completely washed away and the clinic could not be reached by vehicle. The solution was to carry patients across the river, which can be seen here. Later in the week the flood waters subsided and the river could be crossed by vehicle again, enabling the patients to be transported back to their villages without further drama!

In addition, 4 children were reviewed who were found to be suffering from club feet, including this baby below. If left untreated, this will prevent her from being able to walk when she gets older. Arrangements are now in place to have these four children operated upon in Nairobi to relieve the club feet to allow them to walk and play like other children and have a considerably brighter future.


May 2017
MEAK: Successful Eye and dental mission to Taracha and Kisii, Western Kenya

MEAK are very happy to report another highly successful mission, lead by cataract surgeon Hiram Mwangi, dentist Doreen and MEAK's Nargis Kassim to the Kisii and Taracha regions of Western Kenya, close to Lake Victoria and the Tanzanian border.

Mission achievements: 21st - 28th March

Registering to be seen by the MEAK team

Eyes:

  • Total number of eye patients screened and reviewed = 1585
  • Total Cataract operations to restore sight = 197
  • Other eye operations = 7

Dentistry:

  • Total number of dental patients screened and reviewed = 875
  • Total number of extractions performed = 556

Eye tests in the field


April 2017
MEAK: MEAK and Fondation Eagle vehicle in Milgis Conservancy Update!

A report just in from our long time collaborators and friends in the Milgis Conservancy shows us just how busy and how valuable our vehicle is to the local community.

The vehicle is maintained in immaculate condition and is in constant use, performing a wide variety of tasks to help the local community. Such as:

Conservation

Including conservation awareness, rescuing wildlife in distress and anti-poaching wildlife monitoring and security

  • A baby elephant, stuck after falling down a well and right, with a conservation officer after being pulled from the well by the vehicle

Building and maintaining community water projects

Such as water collection and the construction of dams

  • Water tanks for water storage after the infrequent rains, far left and the vehicle carrying water piping, left

Health Projects

Including such activities as family planning, mobile clinics (for vaccinations, for example) medivac for emergencies and taking people to and from the clinic

  • Community family planning session out in the field with nurse Rita


March 2017
MEAK: Successful Eye Missions to Gatab and Loyangalani, Northern Kenya

MEAK are very happy following another very successful eye mission (incredibly, our 89th eye mission!) to Gatab and Loylangalani, near Lake Turkana near the Ethiopian and South Sudan borders

Mission achievements:

  • Total patients screened - 693
  • Total patients treated with medicines: 655 eye patients, 365 dental patients
  • Number of pairs of reading and sunglasses given - 108
  • Total Cataract operations to restore sight - 93
  • Total TPR (tarsal plate rotation) operations - 4
  • Total trauma cataracts - 5
  • Total dental operations (mostly extractions) - 232
  • Other minor operations - 10


February 2017
MEAK: 16 paediatric heart operations at first heart mission to M.P Shah hospital in Nairobi!

MEAK are very happy to report yet another highly successful surgical heart mission, this time in conjunction with March to the Top, the M.P Shah hospital and the clinical team from the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, lead by Professor David Anderson. This mission was MEAK's 21st, highlighting the sustainability and the longevity of the MEAK Heart Programme, which to date has provided over 440 operations for Kenyan children.

Mission achievements:

  • 16 free paediatric cardiac operations performed
  • 62 children receive free Echocardiograms and reviews in clinic
  • Intensive training programme in managing paediatric cardiac patients delivered
  • Paediatric Echocardiography training to physician from Sierra Leone
  • Effective collaboration with local cardiology, intensive care and theatre teams
  • Cardiology review of Kenyan children for Chain of Hope UK

The success of the mission was only possible due to the wonderful collaboration between MEAK, our Kenyan colleagues and our supporters. We would like take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to those who have made it all possible, including: March to the Top, Alexandria Skouras, Pollman's Tours and Travel, The Mamujee Brother's Foundation, Transpares Ltd, the Paediatric Support Group from Mombasa and the M.P Shah Hospital.


December 2016
MEAK: Another successful heart trip to the Kenyan Coast in November

The MEAK Heart Team, consisting of Cardiologist Dr Kuberan Pushparajah and Cardiac physiologist Alex Savis have just returned from another extremely successful visit to Mombasa and Kilifi, where they reviewed children with congenital heart disease together with the local medical teams at Pandya Hospital in Mombasa and the Kilifi District Hospital in Kilifi.

In total, the MEAK team together with the Paediatric Support Group and Dr's Bakari, Shebe and Gibb reviewed 101 children during 3 very busy clinic days. Many of these children were new patients with significant heart conditions that require cardiac surgery, but many were children that MEAK had seen previously who had already had their heart surgery - with great results!

Once again, this visit was only possible due to the wonderful collaboration between us and our Kenyan colleagues. In particular we would like to thank the extremely hard working Tanuja, Tina and Misha from the Paediatric Support Group in Mombasa who coordinate all the patients and the medical teams at Kilifi District and Pandya Hospitals and the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme.

Dr's Pushparajah, Shebe and Gibb in clinic in Kilifi

MEAK heart patient Happy Katana, who had successful heart surgery in 2014


November 2016
MEAK: Three children return from Israel following successful heart surgery

Three of the children seen on the MEAK Heart Team visit to Kilifi and Mombasa on the Kenyan coast last year have just returned to Kenya following successful heart surgery in Israel. Philip, Dora and Salma each travelled with a family member to the Save a Child's Heart (SACH) House in Tel Aviv, Israel where they had their surgery. All the children have recovered well and are now back at home in Mombasa.

Dora, Philip and Salma at the SACH house for families in Israel before their surgery operations

MEAK would like to thank all the people involved who made this trip a success – the MEAK and Wolfson Medical Centre medical teams, Tanuja, Misha and Tina from the Paediatric Support Group, the Mamujee Brothers Foundation in Mombasa and last but not least, the wonderful team at Save a Child's Heart in Israel and Kenya.


September 2016
MEAK the back story to a successful eye mission.......complications, logistical nightmares and successes!

Most of website updates at MEAK tend to focus on our successes, but we are focussing on what it can take to make a mission a success. The following excerpts are from Nargis Kassam, the MEAK eye team coordinator describing her experience on the March to the Top sponsored eye mission in Isiolo

August 3rd, 2016

"We are all ok here at the camp. The logistics of bringing the patients in has proved to be a nightmare, due to the long distances involved. The vehicles that went out to get the patients this morning have not come back as yet. I have just got a call from one of our coordinators to say that the big truck (with 26 patients) will be back around 10pm. The patients will be very tired and hungry so we will need to feed them whatever time they come. They will be sleeping at the hospital.....

The Landcruiser had gone further and will not be able to make it back tonight. I now have to find a way to send them money for accommodation and food (I'm still trying to think how to do it). I have another group to be picked from elsewhere tomorrow and we also have to drop back the patients that were operated today. Because the truck is not back, there are no lights at the camp. We are going to be sitting in total darkness except for the tiny beams from our torches. On top of all this, the really strong winds have swept away our toilet and shower tents so no showering tonight and no sleep until sure everybody is safe......

.......But every cloud has a silver lining, at least for the team members. We are camped near a Samburu manyatta (settlement) and they gave us a goat in appreciation for what we are doing. The team are dancing with excitement, at least the ones who are here at the camp".

Despite the logistical difficulties, the team still gets excellent results with many people having their eye sight restored thanks to the dedication of the eye team. Well done everyone!

August 4th, 2016

"We have had a very busy day today with the cataract surgeries. We have done 32 today and have 8 left for tomorrow, plus the 21 that hopefully come in tonight, making a total of 61....."

MEAK's Nargis Kassam and an eye patient from the Isiolo area at camp


August 2016
The MEAK vehicle supporting the Samburu community in the Milgis area!

The MEAK vehicle, which was generously donated by Fondation Eagle has been keeping very busy, as always! We have just received an update on the activities that it is being used for, which range from rescuing baby elephants who have fallen down wells to assisting patients to reach the Latakwen clinic and dispensary, saving them a long walk.

Health:

  • Took a baby with whooping cough from Latakwen to Sererit. It was coughing and coughing and fainted several times. While collecting him a boy was brought in from Masikita with pneumonia
  • Took 3 women who were sick to Latakwen. One having just given birth with part of the placenta stuck and two who were bleeding badly after birth
  • Took the family planning nurse and animal health worker for 3 weeks on a family planning, rabies and re-worming campaign throughout the Milgis area
  • Vaccinated over 1000 dogs and treated other sick animals
  • Held meetings with 1300 people on family planning
  • Took a young girl from Ngurnit who had her leg amputated to get a prosthetic leg

Community:

  • Collected and delivered building materials for the Milgis school
  • Carried Lekuye, who lost his leg to Milgis school every week
  • Took the team to Mt Kulal for awareness meetings with the Kenya Wildlife Service to tell the people that the elephants want to return after 40 years of not being there, plus did some family planning
  • Collected makuti (palm leaves) and building materials for the people looking after the wells and held community meetings with the water committee
  • Carried water for some very sick camels that could not make it to water

Nditaye from Naimeri has a new prosthetic leg and is now walking well!

Family planning with nurse Rita

Lesurkat, the new driver keeps the vehicle in almost-new condition


July 2016
A MEAK eye mission success story!

The inhabitants of many of the areas the MEAK eye team visit are nomadic. Informal settlements regularly shift in search of water and pasture for animals. This can be challenging for following patients up after surgery in the long term. In the short term, it is fairly easy to find our patients in the same area to assess their vision 4 weeks after surgery. However, when the team re-visit areas years later it is often a new patient population they are seeing.

Except for this patient! This lady had bilateral cataract surgery by the MEAK team 2 years ago. Luckily, she was still living in the vicinity when the team visited the Samburu area in May. Her eyes were checked and found to be in good health and she reported seeing very well!

Reviewing patients like this lady has two distinct advantages:

  • Patients who have had cataract surgery for blindness are able to encourage other blind people where they live to have surgery. They dispel fear and increase uptake of surgical services in the region, which is often why we recruit more patients on a second visit to an area than on the initial visit; and

  • It is wonderfully encouraging for the team to see their patients live full lives long after they have packed up and moved on to treat others!


June 2016
MEAK: Another successful eye mission!

The MEAK eye team is keeping very busy! They have completed yet another highly successful eye mission - this time to the Mweiga and Samburu regions of Kenya, which were last visited by the eye team in January 2015.

Despite wet weather in Mweiga, both eye missions were very well attended with many members of the local community receiving screening and eye surgery. Many school children were also seen by the eye team, who screened for eye infections and taught the children how to look after their eyes to avoid eye infections. In summary;

Mweiga:

  • 1729 adults screened
  • 988 school children screened
  • 172 adults operated for cataracts
  • 8 children brought to Nairobi for eye surgery (as children require anaesthesia)

Sasaab Samburu:

  • 254 adults screened
  • 281 school children screened
  • 29 adults operated for cataracts
  • 4 children brought to Nairobi for eye surgery
  • 2 children referred for orthopaedic surgery in November by the Kenya Orthopaedic Project


May 2016
MEAK: Successful eye and dental mission to the Sololo region of Northern Kenya

The MEAK eye and dental teams recently returned from a very successful mission to the Sololo area of northern Kenya, near the border with Ethiopia.

Thanks to great planning and effective advertisement of MEAK providing free eye and dental services, there was widespread community engagement and attendance at the mission, resulting in:

  • 1704 people from the local community being screened for eye problems (with eye medication being dispensed and reading glasses distributed);
  • 151 eye operations being performed, of which 141 of these were sight-restoring cataract operations; and
  • 427 tooth extractions for debilitating dental pain

As always, we are extremely grateful to our wonderful team for making this mission so successful, in particular to MEAK's Nargis and Mike Fels together with eye surgeon Hiram and dentist Esther as well as their respective teams. Well done!

Eye surgeon Hiram performing a cataract operation

Nargis registering patients for eye surgery

Dentist Esther and assistant


April 2016
MEAK arranges successful corneal transplant surgery

A little boy was reviewed on the recent MEAK eye mission to Sololo on the Ethiopian border. MEAK arranged for him to go to Nairobi and he underwent successful corneal transplant surgery last week, at no cost to his family.

Find out more and watch the video here ...


April 2016
MEAK: Two boys return from India following their successful heart surgery

Two of the children seen on the MEAK Heart Team visit to Kilifi have just returned back to Kenya following successful heart surgery in India. Hellier and Munga were flown to India (with Hellier's Uncle John and Munga's mother, Kabeyu) where they were operated upon at Narayana Health City in Bangalore. Both boys are now recovering well from their surgery back home in Mombasa on the Kenyan coast.

Hellier (left) and Munga recovering after their operations.

Both families expressed their gratitude to MEAK, the Paediatric Support Group in Mombasa and the hospital in India for their services. The families had a good experience in India and found it to be "a nice place and friendly".

MEAK would like to thank all the people involved who made this trip a success – the MEAK and Narayana medical teams, Tanuja, Misha and Tina from the Paediatric Support Group and the Mamujee Brothers Foundation in Mombasa.

As Hellier's Uncle John so elegantly put it, everyone involved has "helped children celebrate life".


March 2016
MEAK: Restoring sight for two blind babies

During the recent MEAK eye mission to Mambrui, two children were identified as requiring urgent medical intervention. One child was born with bilateral congenital cataracts, causing her to be born blind and the other child had bilateral sclerosed corneas.

Baby with bilateral congenital cataracts

Baby with sclerosed corneas

The most common cause of congenital cataracts in babies is from maternal rubella or measles. In the developed world, almost all mothers would have been immunised against for these illnesses when they were children themselves (the MMR vaccination). However, in areas like Mambrui in rural Kenya, less people are immunised, which can lead to mothers contracting measles or rubella during pregnancy and babies been born blind with congenital cataracts.

Early intervention on cases such as this is absolutely essential. Maximum visual stimulation needs to occur in childhood (the earlier the better). Leaving treatment until later poses the risk of the child developing a condition known as amblyopia, whereby the brain cannot interpret the light signal correctly, resulting in the child always having impaired vision. An intervention in this case involves surgery to replace the diseased lens of the eye with synthetic ones to restore vision.

The other baby seen in Mambrui has bilateral sclerosed corneas. The cornea is the clear tissue at the front of the eye that permits light to travel through to the retina. To see well, the cornea must be free of any cloudy or opaque areas. Sclerosed (or thickened and opaque corneas) can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as vitamin A deficiency, bacterial or viral infections or trauma to the eyes.

Again, for optimal results treatment must occur early. The treatment for sclerosed corneas depends upon the cause, with antibiotic eye drops or special contact lenses being used. In severe cases, corneal transplant can be performed.

Since the mission to Mambrui in November, MEAK has organised for both children to have early intervention. This has been done in conjunction with the Lions SightFirst Hospital in Nairobi and will allow them to live their lives being able to see. A life changing result for these two babies! Amazing work!


MEAK: Positive changes for the MEAK-sponsored Latakwen Clinic in the Milgis!

For many years MEAK (Fondation Eagle and the wonderful Isobel Wilcox) have sponsored the Latakwen clinic and dispensary in the Milgis Conservancy.

Milgis clinic and dispensary

The clinic looks after the health of the Samburu tribespeople in the vast Milgis area and is responsible for managing all kind of ailments from pneumonia to snakebites and for vaccinating children, to name but a few of the tasks of our incredible Nurse Rita

Recent news from Helen Douglas Dufresne, Milgis Trustee tells us that our wonderful nurse Rita and her clinic are now going to be sponsored by the County Government, which is fantastic news! The best outcome we could hope for is for Kenyans to look after Kenyan's and manage their own clinics. The Kenyan government currently supply the medications, including vaccinations and consumables for the clinic, which has always been very well stocked. Helen and her team will continue to oversee the clinic to ensure it all runs smoothly in the transition period and we will still support the outreach service, which includes the never-idle MEAK ambulance, which can be seen from the photos below.

The MEAK ambulance being used to help build a classroom at the Milgis school

A Rendille girl waits with her mother for the MEAK ambulance

A close up of her foot injury

We wish all the best to nurse Rita and we give a huge thanks to all the MEAK supporters who have helped us support the clinic over the years. Thank you!


January 2016
MEAK: Takes delivery of NEW vehicle in Nairobi!

MEAK has been the fortunate recipient of a new vehicle to use for their activities in Nairobi, thanks to the generosity of Swiss-based Fondation Eagle.

The new vehicle is a dream come true for the MEAK team on the ground in Nairobi! The vehicle is invaluable for carrying out logistics for outreach missions and for supporting patients who arrive into Nairobi for treatment.

The new MEAK car is already being used for:

  • Mobilisation of patients for medical treatment : For example, baby Dararo who is receiving chemotherapy for her eye tumor is transported in the car to and from her chemotherapy appointments and to the MEAK patient accommodation in Kawangare. This service is vitally important for patients who cannot afford transportation, let alone the costs of the medical treatment, which MEAK either pays for or arranges to have donated
  • Buying and transporting of medical and patient supplies : Such as eye medications which need to be collected from the pharmacy and sacks of food for pending eye missions, such as maize and lentils, which will be used to feed the medical team and patients on outreach eye missions
  • Trips to the MEAK patient accommodation at Kawangare : For patients who have at least an overnight stay and are from outside of Nairobi
  • Collecting and dropping patients off at the airport/bus stops
  • Moving medical personnel
  • And much, much more......

We are incredibly grateful to Fondation Eagle for the donation of the car and it is already being put to great use, as you can see below

The new MEAK vehicle - loaded with consumables

Dararo and her mother preparing to go to the hospital for her to receive chemotherapy for her retinoblastoma


December 2015
Merry Christmas from all of us at MEAK

This little girl is Brittah Samuel and she is now 5 years old. She had cardiac surgery completed by Professor David Anderson and the MEAK team at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi in 2013 when she was 3 years old. We reviewed her recently in our clinic in Kilifi at the end of September this year. She looks amazing and is as bright as a button! She will not need any further cardiac intervention or MEAK clinic visits and she is now able to live a happy and healthy life. A perfect result!


December 2015
MEAK: Two babies seen September Heart trip to Mombasa and Kilifi get life-saving heart surgery

Two of the children seen on the recent MEAK Heart Team visit have already had successful heart surgery. The Heart team conducted a very busy visit to the Coastal areas of Mombasa and Kilifi to review children with congenital heart disease and provide support and teaching in paediatric Cardiology to the local medical teams.

Two of the babies seen on this visit were found to have a very large Patent Ductus Arteriosus (or more simply, a PDA). This is a normal structure present in fetal life, which normally closes after the baby is born. In some children, however, the PDA remains open and if it is large it can cause babies to be very breathless, have difficulty in feeding and generally fail to thrive, which how Samira and Mahenzie were when they were referred to us.

Samira and Mahenzie were taken to Nairobi where they were operated at the Kenyatta National Hospital by Cardiac surgeon and long time MEAK collaborator, Mr James Munene. Both babies are now recovering well from their surgery. Without the PDA they are now be able to breathe and feed normally and grow up and play like all other children.

MEAK would like to thank all the people who helped this happen – the medical teams, Tanuja, Misha and Tina from the Paediatric Support Group support in Mombasa, MEAK’s Nargis and Hiram in Nairobi and of course Mr Munene and his team at the Kenyatta National Hospital

Mahenzie after his life saving heart surgery in Nairobi

Samira after her PDA ligation, making a good recovery


October 2015
MEAK: Successful heart trip to Mombasa and Kilifi in September

The MEAK Heart Team have just returned from an extremely successful visit to Mombasa and Kilifi on the Kenyan Coast to review children with congenital heart disease, some of whom have followed up for as many as 10 years by the team and their local Kenyan colleagues - quite a remarkable achievement!

The MEAK team saw 101 children during 2.5 very busy clinic days. Many of these children were new patients with significant heart conditions that require urgent cardiac surgery.

Cardiac surgery is prohibitively expensive and unaffordable for almost all Kenyan families, especially if the children need to go abroad for their operations. Charities like MEAK provide a lifeline for many families to help their children have surgery and go on to live full, healthy lives.

The team also reviewed many patients who have been successfully operated upon by the MEAK heart team in the past - who are doing amazingly well! They are pink, growing and smiling and their families are very happy!

This visit was a wonderful collaboration between us and our Kenyan colleagues. In particular we would like to thank the wonderful Paediatric Support Group in Mombasa who coordinate all the patients and the medical teams at the Kilifi District and Coast General Hospitals.

Plans are already underway for the next MEAK heart trip to Mombasa and Kilifi in early 2016.

The MEAK heart team scan a young patient during busy clinic in Kilifi

MEAK's Dr Kuberan Pushparajah and Alex Savis and Dr Shebe Mohammed from the KEMRI/Kilifi partnership


August 2015
Samburu tribe continue to benefit from the MEAK Latakwen Medical Clinic

The MEAK-sponsored medical clinic in Latakwen, lead by highly-skilled and dedicated nurse Rita is working extremely hard to improve the health of the local Samburu population.

The Samburu county in Kenya's Rift Valley is a vast and incredibly inaccessible area. Roads are isolated rocky tracks and the nearest hospital is hundreds of miles and many hours of travel away. Without the clinic, medical care would be out of reach for many of the areas inhabitants. Nurse Rita sees hundreds of patients each month and successfully treats a huge variety of ailments, from snake and animal bites to respiratory tract infections.

There is a focus on vaccinating children from diseases and on treating common childhood illnesses, such as diarrhoea and pneumonia, which in the developing world are sadly two of the largest causes of child death, as consistently reported by the WHO.

Latakwen clinic and dispensary

Nurse Rita immunises a child on an outreach visit

Our long-standing association with the Latakwen clinic is one of MEAK's proudest achievements and one of our essential fundraising targets. It is vital that we help keep this clinic well-equipped and up and running to both help reduce the burden of child mortality in this region and to support the health of the Samburu people as this clinic is an absolute necessity for the Samburu people.

(A big thanks for the ongoing support of the Milgis Trust and Latakwen patron, Mrs Isabel Wilcox)


July 2015
MEAK Golf Day raises £8350!

The 2015 MEAK Golf day, held on the 11th of June raised a record £8350 for the charity, a record! 88 people played the course at Croham Hurst Golf Club in Croydon on a beautiful sunny day and followed with a delicious lunch, prize giving and raffle.

The annual event was brilliantly supported by the heating industry as in previous years, who provided most of the guests. Thanks to everybody who participated and donated prizes for a wonderfully successful day!


July 2015
MEAK conducts second outreach dentistry mission

The MEAK dental program carried out its second outreach clinic in the Kibwezi Forest, alongside the recent eye mission.

The visit received a boost from the donation of a portable dentists chair from MEAK Trustee Mike Fels and a full set of upper and lower jaw extraction pliers from Dentaid UK. Dentist Esther, seen below posing with her new acquisitions, was extremely happy with her new kit. This was sourced in response to feedback on how to improve the outreach service from the first mission. Needless to say, it was all put to very good use as Esther was literally overwhelmed with patients!

It is hoped that dental missions will be able run alongside most outreach eye missions going forward, in response to community need.


June 2015
A letter of thanks from a past MEAK heart patient

Stephen Kamau Macharia was one of the first heart patients that Dee and Mike helped when they established MEAK. Dee tirelessly fundraised to enable Stephen and his mother to fly from Kenya to the UK to have his heart surgery. He was operated in London in 2004, prior to the establishment of the MEAK heart team programme in Nairobi and Mombasa. Since Stephen, over 400 heart patients have received life saving cardiac surgery courtesy of MEAK.

It's wonderful to hear from Stephen and we are delighted that he is doing so well. We wish him all the best for his studies at University and an exciting future!

Read Stephen's letter...


May 2015
Successful corneal graft for MEAK eye patient

During every eye mission we discover patients who require specialist eye surgery to restore their sight, such as 9 year old Habiba Omar. On the recent eye mission to Marsabit we met Habiba, who was diagnosed by the eye team as suffering from Keratoconus. Keratoconus is a debilitating eye disease that can cause severe visual disturbance, such as permanently blurred or double vision and halos around bright objects. The treatment for this is a corneal graft, which is unable to be carried out in the field as it requires specialist surgery and a donor cornea.

Part of our role is to make sure that these patients are followed up long after we have left the field. We are very happy to report that several months after her diagnosist, Habiba was brought down to Nairobi and had successful corneal graft surgery at the Lions SightFirst Eye Hospital. When her bandages were removed she was absolutely beaming - she could see everything clearly for the first time! She was so happy and her father cried tears of joy! This operation would normally cost in the region of KSH250,000.00 (£1,800), but thanks to the generosity of Lions Sightfirst, she had the surgery free of charge.

An enormous thank you to MEAK's Nargis and the generosity and skill of those involved at the Lions SightFirst hospital for giving Habiba a very bright future!

Habiba pre op

Habiba post-op


April 2015
Very successful start to 2015 MEAK Eye Mission Programme

January and February were extremely busy for the MEAK eye team! Two very well publicised and attended missions were carried out in Mweiga and Marsabit regions, with literally thousands in the local community benefitting from free eye care.

Mweiga: This mission was carried out in January in collaboration with The Safari Collection and the Mary Immaculate Hospital, a 57 bed facility that provides medical care to a population of 123, 000 people in the surrounding district. A very effective mobilisation campaign using posters and radio announcements ensured that 100's of people were waiting at the hospital when the team arrived.

Vital statistics - 2744 people were screened by the team, with many given medication for viral conjunctivitis. 149 eye operations, including 124 sight-restoring cataract operations. 300 pairs of reading glasses distributed and an extra 350 pairs distributed when the team returned to review the surgical patients a month later.

An enormous thanks to The Safari Collection, Solio Lodge and Solio Ranch for supporting the team and providing essential logistics

Marsabit (February 2015): This mission was carried out in February in collaboration with Fly540, who generously provided the return flights for the eye team and their equipment to Marsabit.

Vital statistics - 3215 people were screened by the team, of these 844 were school children. many of those screened received medication from the team. 324 eye operations were performed, including 260 sight-restoring cataract operations.

An enormous thanks to Fly540, whose support ensures these missions are able to be carried out

Patients in Marsabit awaiting review by the eye team - February 2015


March 2015
GiftAid It on MEAK Website

Using Gift Aid means that for every pound you give MEAK geats an extra 22 pence from the Inland Revenue - helping your donation go further. This means that when donations are made through Gift Aid, £100 can be turned into £122.

Imagine what a difference that could make - and it doesn't cost you a thing!

Find out more on our Donate page.

Download the GiftAid form here.


Feb 2015
Eye team activity underway in central Kenya

The first MEAK activity for the eye team in 2015 is currently underway in Mweiga, central Kenya. This is being conducted in collaboration with The Safari Collection, Solio Lodge and the Mary Immaculate Hospital.

The eye team have been overwhelmed with community members attending for free eye checks. On the first two days nearly 1200 people had attended for screening and 54 had been listed for sight-restoring surgery, which will also be performed by the MEAK team.

Most of the patients will have their surgery in the Mary Immaculate Hospital. However, babies like 10 week old John cannot be operated on in the field as we do not have any access to general anaesthesia. Arrangements are already in place to have him sent to the Lions SightFirst Hospital in Nairobi for corrective surgery of his bilateral cataracts, which will allow him to see for the first time.


Dec 2014
Wishing you a Merry Christmas from us all at MEAK


Nov 2014
First Heart Children return from Cardiac Surgery in Bangalore

We are very happy to report that the first five children had their cardiac surgery at Narayana Health City in Bangalore. They had all been screened by the MEAK team on previous visits to Kenya and were triaged as requiring urgent cardiac surgery. The children were extensively worked up by the Paediatric Support Group in Mombasa, to whom we are extremely grateful.

All five children all had successful operations and returned fit and well to Kenya at the end of September. Plans are now well underway to send our next group of children to Bangalore in early January 2015. We are hoping we will be able to re-instate our full cardiac program in Kenya later next year. However, in the meantime we are grateful for the Bangalore link which is enabling us to provide a service and give families and children the chance of living full, healthy lives.


Oct 2014
First MEAK dentistry mission a huge success

In response to numerous requests from local communities and conservancies, MEAK conducted its first dental mission part of a planned eye mission at the A.I.N.A Orphanage in Meru, supported by the March to the Top Foundation.

Esther, our dentist from Nairobi, was overwhelmed with patients! She performed a staggering 60 extractions per day from her dental rooms within the orphanage. We received first-hand reports of chronic, debilitating dental pain in the local community. Villagers shockingly have had to resort to smashing teeth out with rocks to end tooth ache, powerfully highlighting the unmet need for dentistry in rural, poor communities.

At the end of the week 463 people had received a dentistry review and 427 extractions had been performed. It is now our intention to incorporate dentistry into the MEAK eye mission schedule going forward to address the overwhelming need in the community.


Aug 2014
MEAK and Narayana Health collaborate in Bangalore for Paediatric Cardiac surgery

The recent unrest in Kenya has lead to the unfortunate cancellation of the first MEAK heart trip in 10 years. This has resulted in many children who are desperate for cardiac surgery being faced with a wait for their operations - a wait for some children which will be too long.

Having already set expectations with families and our co-ordinators in Kenya, such as the Paediatric Support Group in Mombasa, we set about finding another way to have these children operated. Our enquiries lead us to the incredible Narayana Health City in Bangalore, founded by Cardiac surgeon and renowned philanthropist Dr Devi Shetty.

The first five Kenyan children are set to arrive in India at the end of August for their cardiac surgery. With the continued support of our wonderful donors we hope to send many children to Narayana Health over the next year.

MEAK looks forward to a long partnership with the team at Narayana Health. Despite not being able to carry out our cardiac work in Kenya at this time, our commitment to the Kenyan children is unwavering. It is our hope that we will be able to return to Kenya again very soon to carry out cardiac surgery and training with our Kenyan colleagues.

Dee Belliere, MEAK Director and Alexandra Savis, MEAK Hearts project manager with Drs Guru Prasad and RenukaDevi Rangaswamy from the International Patient’s Division at Narayana Health in Bangalore, India


Jul 2014
MEAK golf day raises over £7000!

The 6th annual MEAK golf day organised by MEAK Director Mike Belliere and Trustee Mike Fels in conjunction with the Croham Hurst Golf Club was yet again a resounding success.

88 players teed off in beautiful summer weather on an outstanding course for 18 holes of golf to support our activities in Kenya. Just as the weather clouded over (unfortunately!) the golfers were treated to an exceptional lunch and prize giving, followed by a raffle and auction.

MEAK were fortunate enough to be the recipient of a cheque from the Trade Union Fund Managers (TUFM), who generously presented a cheque for £12,000, which will contribute greatly to us carrying out our work in Kenya.

MEAK would like to thank everyone who participated in the Golf Day and those who donated wonderful prizes for the auction and raffle. We would especially like to thank Rosanagh from Quintessentially, the TUFM for their ongoing support and the Croham Hurst Golf Club for providing us with an exceptional venue for a successful day.


June 2014
The gift of Cardiac Surgery for Gift!

Thanks to Chain of Hope and the Evelina London Children’s Hospital

We first met 3 year old Gift Mwachiru and his father Samson in Kenya in November last year, when we did our last heart mission.

Gift suffered from Tetralogy of Fallot. A combination of four cardiac defects, it ultimately causes infants to go “blue” (cyanosis), and severely limits their ability to play and grow.

One of the most heartbreaking aspects of performing a mission is that there is ever enough time to operate on every child we see. We saw Gift late in our visit to Kenya, when our operating list was already set. Not wanting to leave Gift without an operation we approached Chain of Hope to sponsor him to come to London, which he did a few weeks ago.

Despite looking a little glum here (he was happily running around prior to the photo being taken!) he had a very successful heart operation. Dad is delighted with Gift’s progress and was full of praise for everyone involved in facilitating Gift’s surgery. He can’t believe how fast he can run now!!

MEAK would like to thank everyone in the Paediatric Support Group in Mombasa, the Chain of Hope charity and the wonderful team at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital for making Gift’s operation possible. Our heartfelt thanks!


June 2014
Osman Mohammed – A MEAK Orthopaedic success story

14 year old Osman from Lamu, near the Somali border has been living with a severely deformed right leg for the last 6 years. Osman fell and sustained a severe fracture of both bones in his lower right leg while tending his father’s cattle. Unable to obtain any treatment, he has struggled since to walk, aided by a stick.

MEAK found Osman while screening for eye patients on the Kenyan/Somali border. They brought him back to Lamu, a six hour journey over sandy tracks and then, through their network of volunteers and the generous donation of a flight from SafariLink, flew him and his father to Nairobi for x-rays. The MEAK orthopaedic then drove him 12 hours on a truck to Kitale, where he had corrective surgery. In all, a journey of over 1000km from his home .

He underwent a 2 hour operation and when he woke up from the anaesthetic amazed to find he had a straight right leg!

Osman was delighted and made a quick recovery. Whilst his right leg is now slightly shorter than the left, the surgeons anticipate that he will have no problem walking with an elevated shoe once the fracture has healed. In November 2014 the MEAK orthopaedic team will return and review Osman and consider if he needs any further surgery to equalise his leg length.

The MEAK team and SafariLink feel privileged to be part of Osman’s journey, following heard work, tears and eventually big smiles, his story will remain in the hearts of everyone who has been involved in his story for years to come.

In the words of Osman, “Before, I had no hope. Now that my leg is fixed I will work harder than ever before to become a doctor so that I can help others like the MEAK team have helped me.”


May 2014
MEAK restores sight to the isolated Boni tribe

2011 patients screened

66 sight-restoring operations performed

The Boni tribe, also known as the “honey-hunter” tribe, due to their ability to whistle to birds to guide them to honey, are a small semi-nomadic tribe living between the Indian Ocean and the Somali border in Kenya’s north eastern Lamu district. Lacking access to healthcare, the MEAK/Lions Sightfirst eye team were greeted with open arms and big smiles when they arrived at the end of March. Together, they screened and dispensed eye medication to over 2000 patients and operated on over 72 patients, restoring sight in 66.

The need was so great in this medically neglected area that the team plans on returning in November to finish performing cataract surgeries on many of the bilaterally blind patients, such were the overwhelming numbers of blind people in this region

As always and enormous thanks to all those involved, especially our medical team and Fly540 Aviation who generously donated the flights to Lamu.


Jan 2014
MEAK and Evelina London Heart Team carry out 20th Successful Heart Mission in Nairobi

The MEAK team in conjunction with the Cardiology Department at the Kenyatta National Hospital completed another successful paediatric heart mission in November. Over 150 children attended the free screening clinics in Nairobi and Mombasa to receive Echocardiograms and clinical review by the MEAK team. 18 of these children ranging in age from 4 months to 14 years went on benefit from open heart surgery by the team from the UK.

An East African First..

The team, led by Professor David Anderson, Head of Paediatric Cardiac Surgery at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital completed East Afica’s first-ever "Senning" operation.This life-saving operation requires the atrial chambers to be “switched” to restore normal circulation. Despite the baby being in theatre for over 5 hours he recovered quickly and continues to do well. The team are currently planning the next Mission for June 2014 where they will operate on children that were identified during the November visit as requiring cardiac surgery, but sadly couldn’t be operated on in November.

Thank you..

MEAK would like to thank the team, the hospitals involved and all our supporters in Kenya and the UK, including the Lions Clubs of Peponi and Runda whose ‘Heart babies project’ significantly contributed to funding the children’s surgery and the generosity of Prime Bank Kenya who donated the accommodation to the Heart Team whilst they were in Nairobi.


Jan 2014
MEAK has completed another successful eye mission, this time in the Amboseli region

Together with the Lions First Sight Hospital and the Kenya Wildlife Trust (KWT) Lion Guardians Project, MEAK has completed another successful eye mission, this time in the Amboseli region of the Masai Mara.

Over 1200 people in the local community were screened, including all the children at the local Esiteti and Olgulului schools. Free eye drops and medication was distributed to treat eye infections. Community members with trachoma and cataracts were referred to a surgical suite set up at Esiteti school where eyesight was restored in 50 people, thanks to the dedication and expertise of the medical team from Lions First Sight Hospital.

This mission marks the first in promoting collaboration between the local community and health services utilising community engagement, which has resulted from the KWT Lion Guardians Project.

We are delighted to be involved in our first project in conjunction with the KWT and would like to thank all the donors who made this possible, including Cheli and Peacock for providing accommodation and Ker and Downey and Gamewatchers safaris for donating vehicles to mobilise patients.


Dec 2013
Congenital Heart Disease Video

8 in every 1000 babies are born with Congenital Heart Disease. Athough the diagnostic facilities are excellent in Kenya the problem is a lack of capacity to be able to operate on all of these children with Congenital Heart Disease.

This short video shows how MEAK have been regularly going to Kenya since 1996 helping children with this disease.

Watch the video...


Feb 2013
Heart Surgery Mission At Mombasa Hospital

Mombasa Hospital, working closely with the Medical and Educational Aid to Kenya (MEAK), has just completed another successful heart mission for a number of children from disadvantaged families.

The team was led by Professor David Anderson, Consultant Paediatric Surgeon, who performed open and closed heart surgeries. Two hundred and two patients aged from a few days old to 18 years were screened during the ten days that the team was in Mombasa. During the free screening process, the patients first underwent an echocardiogram which identified the patients that required urgent surgeries. An average of almost 250 children are screened at these heart missions, of which about 20-25 can benefit from surgery.

Twenty children underwent heart surgeries.

So far MEAK have carried out 18 heart missions in both Nairobi and Mombasa.

Find out about TropicalAirKenya


May 2012
Three countries – countless medics and many more volunteers save the life of Purity Magongo – by pulling together

Thanks to a massive team effort on behalf of Chain of Hope and MEAK– the miracles keep happening. Purity Magongo is a tiny 11 year old orphaned girl who was badly in need of open heart surgery for a large hole in the heart and an obstruction in her ventricular outflow tract.

Purity lives in Kambe village in the Kaloleni District of rural Kenya. These life-threatening health problems had caused her to fail to thrive, be very short of breath and suffer from constantly recurring chest infections.

MEAK approached their partner organisation the Chain of Hope to assist with finding a surgical slot for Purity in Europe, Purity had been identified as needing urgent open heart surgery during a MEAK mission to Mombassa and where the doctors had run out of time to operate on this very needy child. The Chain of Hope agreed to step in to sponsor her emergency surgery at the Leipzig Heart Centre Germany. The mighty MEAK machine mobilised and from a distance of 4500 miles, after many, many, phone calls and utilising all our contacts in Kenya, we managed to get Purity, and her aunt, cleared and on the flight to Leipzig in Germany where on May 10th 2012 she received life-saving surgery.

Purity is one child, who without the combined intervention of Chain of Hope, MEAK and Dr. Michael Weidenbach of the Liepzieg Heart Center, had no future.

UPDATE: Purity has now recovered from surgery in Germany and will be returning to Kenya at the beginning of June.


July 2012
Dr. Robert J. McCabe

It is with great sadness that we have to report the death of Dr McCabe.

Father Robert J. McCabe, a Carmelite priest and doctor specialised in diseases of the desert nomads. He worked in the Lokitaung Region for thirty five years and was revered by the tribespeople for his dedication and commitment to their welfare.

Read more...



New Outpatients Department under construction – June 2012
April 2012
Nanyuki District Hospital awarded grant

Working closely with MEAK and the orthopaedic training team, Nanyuki District Hospital improved their standard of patient care so dramatically that the Kenyan Government awarded a financial grant to raise the Hospital to Primary Trauma Centre status. We are all very proud of this recognition of our combined efforts.


March 2012
Gratitude and thanks

MEAK would like to thank Helen Douglas-Dufresne and Pete Ilsley for their continued support, help and collaboration on MEAK missions. Their dedication to MEAK is changing peoples' lives in so many positive ways.

Find out more about the Milgis Trust


January 2012
Eye mission saved by Safarilink

MEAK's planned eye mission to Samburu in November 2011 came very close to being cancelled due to circumstances out of our control. Thankfully Nairobi based charter airline Safarilink helped us out at the last minute and enabled MEAK to continue with another eye mission.

MEAK would like to thank Safarilink owner John Buckley and staff member Anu Vohora for their help. Without their support this mission would not have turned out the success it did.


August 2011
Martin Nighy's Turkana Report

Martin Nighy's report from his trip to Turkana with MEAK.

Find out more about the Milgis Trust page from the menu to download this and see our other reports.


July 2011
Ramping up the educational element

MEAK is ramping up the educational element of their charity by organizing and funding courses in PTC (Primary Trauma Course) and GRASP-IT (Global Recognition and Assessment of the Sick Patient – Initial Treatment) in Nanyuki, Mombasa and Malindi. The GRASP-IT course was primarily designed and prepared by MEAK volunteer Hazel Robinson and other members from the South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and are scheduled for delivery during our trips planned for October and November 2011


May 2011
Kenya’s second arterial switch open heart operation

Having performed Kenya’s first arterial switch open heart surgery in 2009, MEAK had a very sick 2 month old infant presented during this May mission who required the same operation. Professor David Anderson completed the operation successfully and the child was discharged from hospital five days later.


Nov 2009
60 Million KSH Donated

Two Image Intensifier machines, two heart and lung pumps and two blood heater/cooler units collectively valued at 60 Million KSH were donated to hospitals in Nairobi Mombasa and Nanyuki