Coca Cola Africa Foundation/ Medshare sends 40 ft Container to Marsabit!!
Sometimes people in Marsabit feel forgotten. Marsabit is in the far northeastern part of Kenya. It isn’t just the distance – hundreds of kilometers from Nairobi, but the drive takes you through the dessert. And, for the last several hours of the trip there is no pavement. In fact, there are no paved roads in all of Marsabit. Few people go to Marsabit.
There is a government hospital in Marsabit that provides care for all the people in this area – Marsabit Town as well as all the surrounding villages over 200,000 people. I have been to this hospital many times over the last 5 years of going to Marsabit.
The doctors, nurses and administrative staff care for the patients but the equipment and supplies are lacking or in poor condition. Beds are broken, rusty and some lack mattresses. The one incubator they have is broken. The last time I was there they had two tiny premature twins laying in this broken incubator. Even simple equipment and supplies are lacking – blood pressure machines, gloves, etc.
It isn’t that the government or the health professionals don’t care – they do. But, as in most developing nations it is a matter of limited resources. Fortunately, Nell Diallo, vice president of MedShare, has remembered Marsabit.
Last year MedShare launched a program called ShareHope funded by CocaCola Africa Foundation where they selected hospitals in 5 African Nations to receive 40 foot containers of medical supplies and equipment. One container has 12,000 pounds of equipment and supplies! Nell had heard me talk about Marsabit and the desperate conditions there – she had seen the photos of the children with jiggers. She asked CocaCola if Marsabit Hospital could be one of the recipient hospitals!
We spent all last year getting the necessary import and custom approvals. Meantime, Nell helped find equipment for the hospital. She sent Eben from MedShare to the hospital to see what they needed. He was brought to tears when he went for the pre-assessment witnessing healthcare with equipment equivalent to the early 20s in US. Eben also became a passionate advocate for the hospital.
I am very excited to tell you that the container is on its way to the hospital!!! Pastor Hirbo tells me the nurses and doctors are so excited! They have cleaned the hospital even painting where they could. Pastor Hirbo plans to have all the pastors, government officials and his church meet the container when it arrives. Imagine there are 20 brand new Hill-Rom electric beds plus hundreds of boxes of supplies! Nell even managed to arrange for a donation from Carter’s Children’s Clothes of children clothes for the children of Marsabit. And, for those who have been there…you know the children need clothes.
And, I can’t believe it but our board chair Gary Willis, his wife Cris (one of our board members) and a small team that they are bringing, Sammy and I will be in Marsabit on Tuesday to witness the excitement of the staff and patients at the hospital. Truly this is a blessing!
As a bonus we had some very special donors who donated the funds to purchase the container so it will be staying in Marsabit and will become Pastor Hirbo’s computer school.
I will keep you updated as the truck moves from Mombasa to Nairobi to Isiolo and through the dessert to Marsabit…
Thank you Nell, Eben and CocaCola Foundation for remembering Marsabit.