KIJABE HOSPITAL, KIJABE, KENYA

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Hospital Website: http://www.kijabehospital.org

Mission Organization: Africa Inland Mission (AIM)/Africa Inland Church (AIC)

Specialties Needed: Anesthesia, Dentist, Family Practice, General Surgeon, Internal Medicine, Neurosurgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oncologist, Orthopedic Surgeon, Otolaryngology, Pediatric Oncologist, Pediatrics, Pathology, Radiology, Urology

Profile: Kijabe Mission Station was first established by missionaries from AIM as an outpost in 1903. The first hospital at Kijabe, Theodora Hospital, was established in 1915. This served the medical needs of the area until the present complex was begun. The first building of the present complex was opened in 1961.

Today, Kijabe Hospital is a non-profit, 340-bed hospital owned and operated by AIC of Kenya as part of a network of four hospitals and 45 dispensaries. The hospital offers a broad range of inpatient and outpatients curative services to people from the surrounding farming communities. The hospital includes five inpatient wards (general surgery, medicine for adults and children, obstetrics and gynecology, neonatal care, and rehabilitation), nine operating rooms, an outpatient clinic and 24-hour casualty department, an eye clinic, and a full-service dental facility. Support services include a clinical laboratory, a fully equipped pathology department, X-ray, ultrasound, electrocardiogram, pharmacy, physiotherapy, and central medical supply. Kijabe’s laboratory offers immunohematology, hematology, biochemistry, parasitology, urinalysis, bacteriology, and blood banking services.

The pathology department provides tissue diagnostic services to 37 mission hospitals in East Africa. The OPD provides services for general acute illness as well as specialty clinics in diabetes, orthopedics, rehabilitation, ophthalmology, TB, gynecology, high risk pediatrics, and AIDS. Malaria, pneumonia, TB, tropical diseases, and AIDS are common diagnoses. A Maternal-Child Health Centre (MCH) within the hospital provides antenatal care, family planning, and childhood immunizations. Kijabe also sends mobile health teams to 12 villages each month to provide these same services. Nearby, AIC-Cure International Children’s Hospital provides orthopedic reconstructive surgery for children crippled by polio, cerebral palsy, congenital abnormalities, and other causes.

Kijabe is a general hospital and performs more than 200 operations each month. In past years, the most commonly performed operations have included: C-section, tubal ligation, exploratory laparotomy (non-trauma), skin graft, supra-pubic protatectomy, D&C, hysterectomy, ORIF femur fracture, salpingectomy (ectopic PG), sequestrectomy (osteomyelitis), and removal of various cancerous tumors. A dental department was begun in 1978 as a satellite clinic of the main AIM dental clinic in Nairobi. The hospital also trains nurses and medical students and has Community Health Evangelism (CHE) and chaplaincy programs. Because people know they can receive quality care at Kijabe, many are willing to wait weeks or months for their procedures. Bed occupancy averages 80 percent.

Travel: Fly by commercial airline to Nairobi; drive approximately one hour to Kijabe (6 km down a steep, winding, narrow but paved road off the main Nairobi/Nakuru highway).

Time Difference: +7 hours Daylight Savings Time (EST), U.S.A.; +8 hours Eastern Standard Time, U.S.A.

Location: Kijabe Hospital is located about 60 km north of Nairobi. The altitude is 7,200 feet up on the edge of an escarpment overlooking the Great Rift Valley which extends from the Sea of Galilee to Zimbabwe.

People: The largest group of people served by Kijabe Hospital are the Kikuyus, although the number of Masai patients has recently increased.

Language: Swahili and English are the official languages of Kenya although local tribal dialects are also spoken. All medical staff speak English fluently, and nurses provide translation to Swahili or Kikuyu. Medical records are written in English.

Religion: The population is primarily Christian (Protestant and Catholic), although some of the more remote tribes practice animism and spirit worship. Muslims and Hindus comprise a smaller portion of the religious community.

Climate: Kijabe is a Masai word meaning “Place of the Winds.” Although strong winds are common, there are periods of calm on most days. The high altitude makes for generally pleasant days (about 80 F) and cool, windy nights (about 55 F). There are two rainy seasons in March-June and October-December. June-August can be quite cool and December- March is typically dry and hot. There can be a lot of mud in the rainy seasons. June-August an be quite cool. December-March is the driest and hottest season.

Housing: Housing is in modern, comfortable homes, duplexes, or apartments which have kitchen equipment, hot water, and electricity. The housing is simply furnished, secure, and near the hospital. Daily housing costs cover electricity, water, security, appliances, and furniture. The Pathology Department has its own house for visiting and/or resident pathologists.

Food: Meals are not provided at the hospital so be prepared to buy your own food and prepare your own meals. Most basic items (including fresh foods) that are available in U.S. grocery stores can be found at the local Rift Valley Academy Arcade or in Nairobi. Your first few dinners after arrival will be provided with other staff.

Country Travel Warnings: Visit:http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html

For More Information: Contact Mary Helen Everett by email or by phone at (828) 278-1177.