Connectivity in Kenya: Supporting Kijabe’s KRNA Program

Kijabe Hospital’s Kenya Registered Nurse Anesthetist (KRNA) Program is an intensive 18-month competency based training in anesthesia, currently educating nurses from Kenya, South Sudan and Somaliland. Upon their graduation, many of these individuals will return to their home countries as some of the first and only trained anesthetists in their communities. During our visit last year, we were able to actually see how students were using Health eVillages’ tablets as part of their curriculum and how they were even referencing vital content during a live surgery.

In this short video interview, Francis, a student of the KRNA Program, explains why these devices and resources are so invaluable.

The most striking comment is that, “back where we come from, we wouldn’t have this…” which leads to the crucial question – what happens to these nurse anesthetists once they are back in their home countries? According to Head of Anesthesiology, Dr. Mark Newton, “having access to any device that will save the lives of the women and children of South Sudan is well worth a small amount of money.”

It’s with that thought that Kijabe Hospital and Health eVillages have made it a goal to provide tablets loaded with relevant Anesthesiology texts to the graduates of this program so that they will be able to continue to have access to this information beyond the classroom in some of the most remote corners of East Africa. Of course, as with any digitized book – especially medical books – there is a significant cost. However, thanks to the generosity of our partners at Skyscape, Health eVillages has been able to purchase the digital textbooks at very affordable rates so that upwards of 70+ tablets with 20+ books may be gifted to KRNA graduates. Some of the earliest reports we’ve received back indicate that since October 2016, 1,110 individual cases have already been cited where the tablets have been utilized in surgical settings.

Knowledge is power and connectivity is critical. The challenges that Health Care Providers in East Africa face and conquer each day are extraordinary. Individuals like Francis deserve access to these technology-enabled tools that can help them carry important information without ever needing to feel the weight of 20 books on their shoulders.

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