Kijabe Hospital in Kenya

Our last stop on this Health eVillages Africa trip for January 2012, Kijabe Hospital is by far the largest institution we have visited. We have spent the last couple of days traveling from Lwala, Kenya through Kisumu and Nairobi to Kijabe. Kijabe Hospital sits just two hours outside of Nairobi in a beautiful town up in the clouds. The hospital has stood for 75 years and functions as a source for clean, consistent healthcare in an area where this is truly hard to find.

While modern and well-equipped in comparison to neighboring clinics, there is still a grave lack of medical reference material and healthcare technology tools. A good deal of the teaching hospital’s resources are donated by generous people. However, professors and medical students there do not even have access to modern textbooks. Health eVillages has started to address this problem by focusing on requested anesthesiology materials for the hospital.

While I was working with the medical students and staff at Kijabe Hospital, I was told about a man who arrived at the hospital the day before with complications from prostate cancer who could not be saved. During our training, another man arrived at the hospital with similar complications. The staff quickly put the Health eVillages devices to use, searching for treatment protocols that might save the second man from the same fate.

Dr. Mark Newton is our contact here, he is the head of anesthesiology at Kijabe and has lived here for the past thirteen years with his wonderful family. He returns tomorrow night, as presently he is in Southern Sudan meeting with medical officials on the future of their healthcare system. I look forward to hearing of his travels and finding out more about the hospital he has helped to grow during the last decade.

Anesthesiology nursing team
Matt trains Anesthesiology nursing team in the Kijabe Hospital

I felt proud that Health eVillages was able to help these dedicated clinicians to at least give this second man a fighting chance. We all know that technology can’t save everyone. It was remarkable to see how Kijabe Hospital embraced this new technology in hopes that every patient could be given a fighting chance.

The sun sets off in the distance over the local volcano (inactive!) as I sit and write this post. The beautiful flowers of Kenya blossom around me and I am left with a feeling of promise with where we have been so far and excitment with where we are to go.