Friends United Meeting founded its mission in Kaimosi (Tiriki, Western Kenya) in 1902, and began offering medical services in 1903. By 1965 patients came from all over Eastern and Central Africa for treatment at Kaimosi Hospital.
From 1987-94, a Commission of the Government of Kenya operated the hospital, during which time resources were siphoned-off, leaving the hospital in a devastated condition. In 1997, East Africa Yearly Meeting was given total governance responsibility. Lacking the resources to bring the hospital out of a state of disrepair, East Africa Yearly Meeting approached Friends United Meeting with the request to take over the hospital again. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in January 2006 giving total management control of the hospital to Friends United Meeting.
Medical Equipment — The container has shipped!
How exciting for us and for Kaimosi Hospital staff! A 40-foot container of medical equipment was shipped in early March headed for the port in Mombasa, Kenya. Transportation and storage are being arranged for the 14,043 pounds of equipment and supplies. The value of this container is estimated to be about $387,630. The cost to us: just over $18,000 for shipping. The contents were free, a gift from the many hospitals and doctors’ offices in the United States that regularly change out their equipment and send their old, but still very usable, equipment to World Medical Relief, Inc., to be donated for humanitarian aid around the world.
The results are, Kaimosi Hospital will be well stocked with a variety of patient care supplies, surgical instruments and several pieces of medical equipment including a dental chair, emergency gurney, x-ray processor machine, patient hover, lift, examination table, oxygen concentrator, walkers, wheel chairs and crutches, among others.
Another item that is big on the celebration list is the newly furnished ambulance. Delivered in the fall, this ambulance has been used to pick up emergency cases from the surrounding villages, to transfer complicated cases to a more advanced hospital in Eldoret, Kakamega or Kisumu, to carry blood samples to the district lab in Mbale for AIDS CD4 analysis and to conduct mobile community outreach clinics several times a week.
The ambulance came empty, but Friends from Iowa Yearly Meeting funded the interior with oxygen, a fixed stand for Friends Kaimosi Mission Hospital hanging an IV fluid bottle, a stainless steel water tank with tap and basin attached, special ambulance blankets, a hospital quality pillow, stainless steel pedal dust bin, stainless steel resuscitation tray, endotracheal tubes, ambu bags and airways and intubation blades.
The patient rate (both inpatient and outpatient) and deliveries continue to increase, but are not up to where they could be. The mortality rate in patients is lower, with the mortality cases being mostly AIDS-related in adults and Malaria in children. New qualified technicians have been added to replace those who have retired or resigned.
All of this is very encouraging and positive and reminds us of the importance of Kaimosi Hospital to the community, but there are continued needs that we wrestle with each month.