In 1995, a group of thirteen medical students from Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-COM) and Ohio State University, traveled to western Kenya as part of the SHARE (Student Health Assistance Rural Experience) Kenya program. The program was started by Dr. Bonyo Bonyo, who was a medical student at the time. Dr. Bonyo was later joined in 1997 by his then attending, Dr. Daniel Marazon. They shared a common dream: to improve the health care for those in need - specifically in the poverty stricken area near Ahero, where Dr. Bonyo grew up.
Over the years, SHARE Kenya has provided medical treatment to thousands of patients in this underserved area where 70% of the population lacks access to healthcare. The spirit of the journey lives on as the need for healthcare continues to grow. Chronic malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS, malnutrition, parasitic illness, and other tropical diseases are just a few of the many life threatening diseases experienced by the residents of Ahero. Unfortunately, this two week healthcare program is the only means of medical treatment for the people in this rural village of western Kenya.
Up until 2005, patients were seen in make shift clinics with supplies being trucked in daily. In 2005, through private donations, construction of a clinic building was started and a clean water well was dug for the village of Masara and surrounding areas.
In December of 2006 the Mama Pilista Bonyo Memorial Health Centre was officially dedicated, offering hope for a sustainable health care model to the many residents of the area. Bonyo's Kenya Mission grew out of this loving project in order to raise funds and in kind donations to complete and maintain the building and train the necessary staff thereby offering year round health care. As suggested by the government officials in attendance at the dedication ceremony - the completion of the Mama Pilista Bonyo Memorial Health Centre provides an opportunity for HIV/AIDS and TB treatment centers to become more of a reality.
We also became acutely aware of the many children who were denied an opportunity to attend school due to lack of funds. Many participants in the medical care program have sponsored individual children, providing the mandatory uniforms, books and supplies. Our goal is to provide these essential items to all the children and teachers. We believe education and health care are vitally important to their well-being.