On the 2nd February we flew to Kenya for the twelfth time to work at the Maua Methodist Hospital. We landed at Nairobi and our first stop was to visit a school situated in the capital’s biggest slum. The headmaster George Jarona leads a team of dedicated teachers who with very limited resources feed the children twice a day as well as teaching them to the age of seven. As you see from the picture the one big class room has three classes in it. Not the easiest situation for teaching the children at different levels particularly when one class has a singing lesson.
The following day we were driven to the hospital. We quickly unpacked our possessions some of which we leave in a locked cupboard, ready for work two days later. On the 6th February we were officially welcomed in the hospital chapel. Initially the work was slow and relatively unrewarding. This was partly the result of the drought and subsequent failure of harvest the country has suffered making it
impossible for patients to pay even the hospitals modest fees.
Being relatively under used I was able to help Mary in the medical store in sorting donations which is a very time consuming business. Life started to get much busier when I undertook to teach the junior intern doctors and clinical officers [ just below doctors in knowledge] on a course to treat badly injured people. The course started with 18 candidates and I expected the number to fall away but by the end of the 9 sessions the number had grown to 22. This kept me very occupied as it involved a great deal of work organising it. However, it was great fun and I enjoyed every minute of it ably assisted by Mary who registered everyone.
Suddenly the pace became much busier as the surgeon decided to take his leave, the next most senior was called away by the government and the intern who was working on the ward left as his contract finished. So I was in charge helped by a very good medical officer intern. So I finished in my time much busier managing the surgical department.
At times the job was difficult as we see many cases of violence usually with knives but we also had at least six patients with bullet wounds. Accidents of many sorts are common especially involving motor cycles. As the price of fuel escalates motorcycles have become very popular. They are used as taxis and often carry four or five people, some of whom fall off. Many more are injured in collisions, for example, at least three children died of injuries sustained by accidents in this three month period
At the end of our time we had made many new friends as well as renewing old ones. We had so many people saying how sad that we were leaving and pressing us to return. It is a very rewarding experience to be part of a Christian team helping the patients the hospital treats. Probably even more satisfying is taking part in the training of Kenyan doctors and clinical officers. One of the junior doctors [Dr mutinda, “the patient”] I helped to train is now in sole charge of a government hospital . A great responsibility on such young shoulders.