Saturday, September 29, 2012


We hit a milestone a few weeks ago for the pediatric surgical service at Kijabe.  We had our first survivor of a condition called “esophageal atresia and tracheo-esophageal fistula” (EA/TEF).   This is a congenital anomaly where the esophagus (food pipe) is not intact and part of it connects to the trachea (windpipe).  If not corrected within the first few days of life, the child will die.  We’ve cared for a few children with this problem, but for a variety of reasons, have not had any survivors.  “Moses” (alias) had been born at home and had some problems with bleeding from his umbilical cord.  His mother took him to the local hospital and there it was noticed also that he was throwing up all his feeds.  By God’s grace, they were able to make the diagnosis of EA/TEF and referred him to Kijabe.  At about 5days old, he and his mother made the 8h bus trip to Kijabe Hospital.  We were able to operate on him and then through the coordinated care of the pediatric and pediatric surgical teams watch him recover and go home. It was such a special blessing to see “Moses” nursing and thriving.  His young mother was all smiles on the day of discharge.    I thank God for how He works through His people to bring His hand of healing and provision to the least of these.  

Friday, September 28, 2012

Mass Casualty

Kijabe Hospital does a lot with relatively limited resources.  The bed capacity is 281 and the hospital operates with a bed-occupancy rate of 98%.  While most hospital administrators in the USA would love to have this occupancy, it makes for difficulties when many patients show up at once in need of care.  There is a doctors’ strike currently in the public sector here in Kenya that has caused the patients to turn to non-governmental hospitals to get care.  This has further stretched the ability of hospitals like Kijabe which shoulder the added healthcare load.  Add onto that a bus crash and you have the makings of a potential disaster.  A few days ago, over 40 patients arrived at once to the emergency room at Kijabe Hospital after a road traffic accident.  This would stretch even the largest of facilities in the well-resourced world, so imagine the strain of a limited resource mission hospital in rural Kenya already stretched to capacity when such a patient load alights at once.  Our small, 6-bed emergency room teems with patients and caregivers.  The scene is nothing less than controlled chaos.  Nurses, staff, and physicians from throughout the hospital, including many not on duty but coming in from home, pitch in to care for the wounded.  This “all hands on deck” response is a picture of teamwork and commitment that amidst the tragedy is wonderful to see.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Prayer Request

Please pray for the doctors, hospital staff and patients here at Kijabe Hospital.  The government doctors have been on strike so the mission hospitals are the only affordable healthcare option available for most Kenyans.  Our hospital is beyond capacity and its resources are being stretched.  Just this evening, we received patients from a mass casualty and reports are there are more than 50 patients involved.  This will be a long night for our very tired physicians as well as for these patients and their families.  We pray that in all things, Christ will be glorified.