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  • Writer's pictureDavid Moore

The transformation of Marsabit Hospital has begun!

I will try my best to describe what has happened over the last two days.

Our team of 21 joined with the hospital staff on Tuesday morning to begin the process of transforming the hospital. We worked with every department in the hospital – administration, medical, nursing, maintenance, housekeeping, therapy, medical records, etc.

Our plans were to ensure:

1. That all 22 pieces of equipment received from MedShare were put in.

2.  All supplies were inventoried and staff knew what was available.

3. To refurbish the maternity and the pediatric wards. We had 20 beds – enough to transform both of these wards.

We started in the delivery room – a fitting place to start what we hope will be a total transformation of the hospital. MedShare had sent two pieces of equipment that could replace the two tables they were using for delivery. Everything was removed from the small delivery room. Nursing administration designed a plan to place the 2 new delivery tables and the baby warmer using the small space efficiently. The room was cleaned and the equipment placed. The change was dramatic.

Next everything was removed from the maternity ward. All the rusty, broken beds and the rusty night stands  were removed. We helped the staff clean the floors, walls, etc.  Now it was time to place the new beds. The beds are very heavy and it wasn’t easy to move them. They had prisoners come and help us . At first we were leary of them but found them to be more than willing to help us. They were very excited about all the changes at the hospital – they invited us to the prison.

We found some of the rusty equipment could be sanded and painted. We bought paint, brushes, sanding paper and began painting night stands, IV poles, carts, etc.  We painted 35 pieces – the equipment looked very good. We left the rest of the rusted equipment for them to paint and use in the other units. The Director of Health has declared “no rusty equipment should be used in the hospital”.

All the new beds were finally placed in the maternity ward and the newly painted night stands placed next to the beds. The hospital staff cleaned out drug cabinets, closets etc. putting the ward in order. The change was dramatic.

Next we repeated the process for the pediatric ward. We set up a small nursery with the 2 cribs MedShare had sent.  We had a ceremony and cut the ribbon to officially open the “new” pediatric ward. Two members of the hospital board came to cut the ribbon.

While some of the team members were doing all this work Dr. Mark one of our clinic doctors began checking and placing the 22 pieces of equipment. The doctors worked with the hospital staff checking all the equipment to ensure they functioned, that there was the necessary supplies available for each piece of equipment.  They also checked to see that staff needed the equipment, knew how to use them and would use the equipment.  All the equipment functioned, was needed and staff can use the equipment!  That is Medshare’s policy so I wasn’t surprised.

At the end of two days we were all very happy at the transformation of the hospital. Here are some of the reactions of the staff:

1. They told us the therapy department has been revitalized!  It was a non functioning department as they had no equipment. Now they have walkers, crutches, braces, etc.  The County Health Director said they are going to open a county wide therapy out-patient department.

2. The first baby to be placed in the baby warmer was born Wednesday night. Our team and the hospital staff nick-named the baby “Baby Coke” as it was a boy. The second baby placed in the baby warmer was a girl and the team said she shall be known as “Baby Fanta”. The moms and nurses were very happy about the baby warmer!

3. One of the pieces of equipment was a monitor that continuously monitors the vital signs during surgery. The one they were using would stop working half-way through surgery. The surgeons were more than happy about the new monitor – they were relieved that they could safely monitor their patients during surgery.

4. The doctors told us that the capacity for surgery doubled from one to two patients because of the surgery cart MedShare sent.

5. Hospital staff told us how they were so discouraged as they didn’t have the necessary equipment to treat their patients. They told us they went to school to learn how to be doctors, physical and occupational therapists, dietitians, etc. but couldn’t help people like they wanted to because they didn’t have the necessary equipment.  Now they have the equipment and are very grateful.

6. The hospital staff told us they had never received anything like they were receiving. They told us NGOs would promise to help but didn’t. Or, they would receive equipment they couldn’t use or expired drugs They have really appreciated how MedShare works.

7. We brought the hospital 2 computers and our staff set them up for the staff. The hospital administration wanted them given to medical records and the dietitian. These computers came from one of our partners ITT-Tech.

The local radio station came to tell the community the story of the transformation.  They interviewed the County Director of Health. He told the interviewer to tell the people of Marsabit to come back to hospital – it had been transformed.

The Partners for Care team felt this was one of the best missions they have ever done. Everyone worked together as a team and they worked very hard – but they all felt good about what they were doing!  The hospital staff told us at the end of the week that they couldn’t figure out who the “boss” of the team was because everyone worked – no one “bossed”. They also felt the team worked very well together.

The doctors from MKU loved the experience!  And we loved them. They never stopped working. And, they did anything that needed to be done from cleaning to moving beds to checking equipment.  We hope to serve with them again.

As we were leaving the hospital on Thursday people from the community were still coming to see the transformation. I went back into the pediatric ward before I left. I saw a nurse sitting at the nurses’ desk. I recognized her as a nurse who works on the male ward. I asked her if she was assigned the pediatric ward that night. She told me no – she just wanted to sit and look at the new, clean, organized beautiful transformed pediatric ward for awhile. She is praying her ward will be the next ward transformed when the next container arrives.

Grateful to be a part of the transformation of Marsabit Hospital,


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