Adopt a Children’s Hospital in Kenya

  • Where: MATIRI, KENYA
  • For whom: 700 CHILDREN
  • What you can do: SUPPORT US WITH 10€ A MONTH

Title of the project

Adopt a Children’s Hospital in Kenya

Place of the action

Matiri, Tharaka County, Kenya

Description of the context

In Matiri, a village located on the hills of Tharaka Nithy, 200 km north of Nairobi and 600 meters above sea level, there is a small hospital called “St. Orsola Catholic Hospital”. The hospital was built by some Italian associations in the Tharaka County, Nithy (500,000 inhabitants in 2,638 km²) since it was one of the poorest areas of Kenya and since it was present a Consolata mission (an Italian Roman Catholic missionary congregation for men and women) with a small clinic. The hospital, inaugurated in 2004, was donated to the Diocese of Meru in 2008 by effectively assuming the management in 2010.
The main activities consisted in managing the clinic, the admission and the clinical control, and the immunisation of the children living in the neighbouring villages. Unfortunately, from 2010 onwards, the hospital had progressively declined the activities: therefore, in December 2014 it was practically closed. In June 2015, the Diocese of Meru and the local government of Tharaka Nithy, intervened, allowing the reopening of the hospital. In less than 3 years, thanks also to the Italian intervention, the Hospital resumed its activities by providing the basic and postnatal services to the villages of the surrounding area

The project

The project aims at supporting the St. Orsola Catholic Hospital in providing Paediatrics and Neonatology services through the partnership of three Italian associations: Annulliamo la Distanza from Florence, “A Hospital for Tharaka” from Ferrara and the “Volunteering Together Association (AVI)” from Montebelluna, Verona.
In 2016 AnlaDi and “A Hospital for TARAKA” signed a 3-year memorandum of understanding.
In 2017, an AnlaDi team went on mission to Kenya to assess the hospital situation and the health and social context. The mission realised that there were the preconditions for supporting financially the hospital in providing Paediatrics services.
Therefore, in 2018, AnlaDi, A Hospital for TARAKA and AVI, signed a new 3-year memorandum of understanding.
Taking into consideration that at the St. Orsola Catholic Hospital of Matiri the health activities related to childbirth are in continuous and progressive growth, we realised that the equipment related to the neonatology area is insufficient and obsolete: we realised that the assistance to new-borns is particularly critical for the survival of the child and the prevention of future disabilities, particularly serious and disabling in the context of African reality.
Therefore, the overall objective of the project is to improve the health services in the paediatric and neonatal fields. To this end, Annulliamo la Distanza will contribute by sending professional volunteers to the hospital and by committing some funds. The specific objectives are:
1. Training the local medical and nurse staff
2. Purchasing paediatric and medical-surgical equipment and devices
3. Sending medical volunteers and specialized nursing staff to assist the local medical doctors and nurses

We believe that training is the tool for optimizing assistance to the new-borns. Using the methodology indicated by the American Academy of Paediatric Association (2016), a first course will be carried out by two paediatricians, one of whom is a neonatologist, with the aim of training staff on basic and new-born care, including neonatal resuscitation. Participants of the course will be the ones directly involved in childbirth and new-born care services at the Hospital (10 people have been already selected). We will purchase necessary basic equipment in order to properly train them.

Achieved results

In September 2018, 2 AnlaDi volunteer/pediatricians visited Matiri hospital. The two pediatricians supported Kenyan medical doctors in the daily pediatric activity of the hospital. Furtnermore, thy organised a training targetting the health staff working in the obstetrician/neonatology departments. Finally, AnlaDi volunteers set up a neonatology unit in a dedicated room by purchasing an examination table, oxygen supply devices and 3 incubators.