ABOUT US
ABOUT US
HEALTH & OUTREACH SERVICES
HEALTH & OUTREACH SERVICES


Health is defined by the World Health Organisation as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity".  This is what we do. Even though we are predominately a Speech and Language Therapy service provider, our services work towards the definition of "health" provided by the WHO.

Health is defined by the World Health Organisation as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity".  This is what we do. Even though we are predominately a Speech and Language Therapy service provider, our services work towards the definition of "health" provided by the WHO.

Outreach looks at the work we do at both a community and government level. We strive to assist those persons with communication disabilities in accessing critical and fundamental services and we are also advocating strongly for government recognition of the profession to enable the much needed funding of these services.

Outreach looks at the work we do at both a community and government level. We strive to assist those persons with communication disabilities in accessing critical and fundamental services and we are also advocating strongly for government recognition of the profession to enable the much needed funding of these services.

ABOUT SPEECH & LANGUAGE THERAPY

ABOUT SPEECH & LANGUAGE THERAPY



"Speech and language therapists provide life-improving treatment, support and care for children and adults who have difficulties with communication, eating, drinking or swallowing" (Definition: RCSLT).

 

The role of a Speech and Language Therapist

Speech and language therapists (SLTs) assess and treat speech, language and communication problems in people of all ages to help them communicate better. They also assess, treat and develop personalised plans to support people who have eating and swallowing problems. Using specialist skills, SLTs work directly with clients and their carers and provide them with tailored support. They also work closely with teachers and other health professionals, such as doctors, nurses, other allied health professionals and psychologists to develop individual treatment programmes.

Speech and Language Therapy in Kenya

There has been a slow growth over the past 5 years of SLTs practising in Kenya, and there are now between 12-15 qualified SLTs working in Kenya. Apart from the therapists at Yellow House, all the others work predominately for private patients and institutions and are based mainly in Nairobi. The majority of the SLTs are members of the ‘Association of Speech & Language Therapists in Kenya’. The Association is working towards being the governing body of SLTs in the country and spent a lot of 2016 developing a Scheme of Service which is currently under review by the government. This implementation of the Scheme of Service would bring us a step closer to Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) being a recognised profession in Kenya.

Benefits of Speech Therapy

The benefits of receiving SLT input (as well as consistently following the advice of an SLT) are life-changing, and in some cases when we’re managing people with swallowing difficulties – life saving! To be able to communicate and speak feels like the most natural thing in the world to so many people, and we often don’t even have to think about it. Having a communication disability can put you at a disadvantage for so many reasons: social exclusion, poor performance in school/work, difficulty maintaining relationships. In countries like Kenya, due to the unknown about this need, people with speech and language needs are often forgotten about – and when you think about it, it’s obvious as to why – they don’t have a voice. They have a communication disability which may prevent them from shouting about their needs. SLT can change all of that and open up so many doors of opportunity for children and adults with communication disabilities.

Diagnosis of Communication Disability 

The process of a diagnosis of a communication disability involves lots of elements and specialist knowledge. Due to a lack of standardised assessment tools in Kenya and East Africa, the YH team uses informal means to assess and diagnose if a person requires SLT input – the most important information always comes from the person and their family and this enables the team to deliver a person-centred therapy programme.

OUR BRIEF HISTORY

OUR BRIEF HISTORY



Since 2007 there has been a stable contingent of five to twelve speech therapists in Kenya, based mainly in Nairobi and predominately offering private therapy services. Prior to this, there were very few speech therapists in Kenya. Since 2010 there has been a small speech therapy presence in Mombasa (2-3 foreign trained, Kenyan resident clinicians). Outside of these two urban settings however, there is a very limited availability of speech and language related services.

It is in this context that Yellow House Children’s Services was founded by Bea Staley in 2009, to provide a measure of therapy services, as well as training and support for educators around communication disability, particularly in rural districts.

David Rochus was recruited in 2011 as a newly qualified SLT from the University Programme in Kampala, Uganda and Rachael Gibson moved to Kenya as a volunteer to support David in his first year as a clinician to together start developing SLT services in Vihiga County.

Since then David and Rachael have developed and grown partnerships with education and health sites across Western Kenya – Vihiga, Mumias, Kakamega and Kisumu.

Yellow House has grown over the past couple of years thanks to the continued dedication of its team on the ground, as well as the remarkable support of people all over the world who share the belief that communication is a basic human right.