UK missionary based in Migori to return after a bout of malaria

Elaine Waterfield, a Briton working with the local NGO to provide moon cap at a function in Migori County Stadium

Elaine Waterfield, a Briton working with the local NGO to provide moon cap at a function in Migori County Stadium

By Daily Echo

A MISSIONARY who fought back to health when she developed deadly cerebral malaria after four years in Kenya hopes to return to Africa soon.

When Elaine Waterfield collapsed in February after returning to her Upton home the previous month, doctors at Poole’s Critical Care Unit warned she had only a 30 per cent chance of surviving.

But now she’s fighting fit and looking ahead to getting back to her adopted village, Chungi, in Migori County, Kenya – where she’s known as Nya Suna – and works to help residents from all walks of life.

“One man, Challis, was a drunkard and a murderer,” said Elaine. “He’d spent many years in prison for chopping the head off a witch doctor.”

But after Elaine intervened he began attending church and now he’s sober, married, has a child and works as a farmer.

Elaine agreed to travel to the East African nation following the death of her husband, Nigel, who passed away from muscular dystrophy.

After teaming-up with teacher and social worker George Okoth, the pair helped build a clinic and labour ward, raised funds for school fees, constructed a church and worked to empower young girls.

“Most girls had to prostitute themselves to pay for sanitary towels, school fees and uniforms as well as books,” explained Elaine. “This meant many girls became pregnant and aborted babies.”

Elaine said during her stay the crime rate plummeted and increasing numbers of children took their first steps towards education.

“One of the main things we want to do is build a school for the vulnerable orphans who are normally sex trafficked to towns or used for child labour,” she told the Echo.

“This way the children will be guaranteed education and have medical help too. We have built three classrooms, but we need another £70,000 plus to do a good job.

“The school will also offer help and education to the visually impaired, as the disabled are seen as a curse and kept in mud huts. We want to empower them with education and their parents with information.

“I am hoping to go back soon and carry on with this work.