The transformation of Marsabit District Hospital in Kenya will serve as a reminder to us all how hope can be restored when hearts, hands, and wills come together to achieve a vision.
Marsabit Hospital has long been a forgotten government facility in a remote and harsh area of northeastern Kenya. The hospital had struggled for years to serve the overwhelming needs of the 200,000 people in its district. Equipment was broken, rusty, and inoperable. Beds were few and the mattresses were soiled and torn. Some of the hospital’s surgical equipment would stop working in the middle of a procedure. They didn’t have a baby warmer for newborn babies and the maternity ward consisted of rusty beds.
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Hospital staff – doctors, nurses, therapists, dietitians, and administrators – did their best to care for the patients, but they simply didn’t have the equipment and supplies necessary to do the jobs they had been trained to do.
All that has changed.
With the help and generosity of the Coca Cola Africa Foundation and MedShare’s ShareHope program, Partners for Care staff were privileged and honored to participate in the making of history in Marsabit. A 40-foot container of medical equipment and supplies, funded by Coca Cola Africa Foundation and supplied by MedShare, arrived at Marsabit Hospital last week, marking a new beginning for the hospital and restoring hope for the people it serves. Over the course of two days, dozens of boxes of equipment and supplies were unloaded by a small team of people diligently working together – the PFC staff and two board members and their family members, volunteer doctors from Mount Kenya University, and the hospital’s own staff.
Over the next two days, broken, rusted furniture and equipment in the hospital was replaced, repainted, rebuilt……restored.
Badly needed supplies were stocked, inventoried, and distributed to every department. Hospital staff were trained on how to use and maintain the new equipment. The doctors and nurses were very excited at the realization that they could serve their patients, as they been trained to do. Hope could also be seen on the faces of community members. Finally, they have a place where their children and other loved ones, can receive proper medical care for diseases, illnesses, injuries, pregnancies and births. No longer will precious lives be lost for lack of basic, but necessary, medical equipment and supplies.
A little over a year ago, MedShare sent their Director of Biomedical Engineering Training and Technical Services to assess the needs at Marsabit Hospital. The director was moved to tears at the conditions he witnessed there. Today, he might be moved to tears again, but this time they’d be tears of joy.
Partners for Care wishes to thank Coca Cola Africa Foundation, MedShare, Mount Kenya University, and the many faithful PFC donors for your part in the story.