Friday, October 8, 2010
Rolling Out The Red Carpet
The Red Carpet was rolled out today for His Excellency the Honorable President of Kenya Mwai Kibaki. President Kibaki arrived at Kijabe at about 11 AM in a motorcade of vehicles.
The President greeting various board members of Kijabe Hospital and Pastors of Africa Inland Church.
The newly designed and expanded (and very clean) recovery room for patients immediately after surgery. We can take some pride that Samaritan's Purse (our sending organization) generously donated over 200,000 USD towards the total 500,000 USD needed for the theatre expansion at Kijabe.
The ever present white dry-erase board to keep track of the anesthetist, patient, surgeon, and procedures for the now expanded Theatre with nine different operating rooms.
Several thousand people gathered to view the presentations and hear President Kibaki speak.
President Kibaki spoke for 15 minutes. The president acknowledged the importance of religious organizations in responding to the great health care needs of Kenya. He commended Kijabe on its response to provide excellent compassionate health care at affordable costs to the poor. The President responded to a request by Kijabe to relieve 2 million KSH debt left by patients who could not pay, "I will deal with it," he said. The President agreed to insure that all supplies and medical equipment imported to Kenya with purpose to be used at Kijabe hospital could now come "Duty Free." The President even address the roads leading to Kijabe--and did not go as far as promising they would be fixed, but was sympathetic to the needs to have the roads repaired for safety and comfort for patient travel. In the end I found President Kibaki to be soft spoken, at times humorous from the podium, and responsive to the needs of Kijabe. He seems like a really decent guy.
The president being escorted away from Kijabe Hospital left with the words, "please let us (the government) know how we can help Kijabe." I want to believe the President was moved, impressed, and maybe surprised by this mission hospital that has grown in a hundred years from a little dispensary to a now a level 5 referral hospital with over 20 doctors/specialists, a nursing school, and a medical training facility. And that the Commander and Chief of a sovereign republic of over 30 million people will support and enable Kijabe to continue to share God's love through medical care.