Sunday, 22 August 2010

African Reportage

I couldn't resist a rare invitation to produce some reportage which found me shooting in rural Kenya, well away from the usual tourist trail.

KEMRI (Kenyan Medical Research Institute) was researching rural health centres, and we spent the day photographing day to day life in a range of small health clinics. Some had only one health worker and a handful of patients, others had a full and hectic workload.

Patients sometimes had a round trip of 20 kms to attend a clinic from their home, with no transport available; bad enough when you’re fit and well, quite awful when you are unwell. In the west, we are forever being made aware of the problems of HIV/Aids in sub-Saharan Africa, though the ‘old’ problems of TB and malaria are still a major health threat.

In each location, we were welcomed with much generosity, and good humour. When I told people I had come from England, almost all them brought up the name of Wayne Rooney. That is what ‘England’ means to many in the country, where English football is followed closely. These schoolboys were appalled that I didn't know which club he played for.

For those attending health centres much of the time is spent waiting, and waiting and waiting.

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