Kijabe Hospital


From the Samaritan’s Purse website description . . .

 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.


“It is folly to think we can pursue impure lives, while planning to repent at the end, and thus escape hell at the last minute. This is folly because a lifetime of impurity will have clouded the lens of the soul so badly that it is highly unlikely that suddenly Jesus will appear beautiful at the end. On the contrary, he will probably appear terrifying as you die, and a lifetime of impure preferences for other things above him will probably leave you hardened like Esau (Hebrews 12:17), not tender like the thief on the cross (Luke 23:43). The pursuit of purity now, not in the hour of your death, is the mark of a true Christian.” – John Piper

I think you become like what you love and desire. Your thoughts and actions change you into what you will be. “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Culture is Weird

While walking out of the hospital around midnight on Wednesday night, I heard Tejano music coming from the television. Tex-Mex music in the middle of Kenya! It reminded me of another very early morning walking out of the hospital to see a Telenovela being dubbed into Kenyan English on the same waiting area television. It seems that Mexican culture dominates the nighttime airwaves in Kenya.


El guapo y su novia hablan con pasión de su amor

Flexibility and Calling

Below are our esteemed Family Medicine residents. In my humble opinion, a family medicine physician is a great asset for a mission hospital. We are flexible, and we can work in almost any department. Our family medicine residents help in obstetrics, pediatrics, internal medicine, emergency medicine, and outpatient medicine. They rotate through the TB clinic and the HIV clinic, among many unnamed specialty services. Our family medicine missionary volunteers can work in all the same areas. I currently work as an outpatient physician (ER and clinic) and in the obstetric department. Maybe someday I will work in pediatrics or internal medicine depending on the needs of the hospital. For physicians of all specialties in the mission field, flexibility is a key quality for success. Nothing in the hospital is quite as it was in the United States (or Peru), and the challenges are best met by being willing to try your best at what you are presented with. I remember talking about our calling as a Christian when I attended Bible Study Fellowship when we lived in Dallas. I came to the conclusion that God’s calling was to do the good work that you saw in front of you to do. I remind myself of that as I am presented with many choices for good here in Kenya. I remember that I had those same choices in the United States as well. I can walk in the calling of God, or I can go my own way. I am glad to persist in trying to walk out choosing to do the good works God has prepared in advance for me to do. (Ephesians 2:10). I am also glad I am at a teaching institution, because in the practice of missionary medicine, I will always have a lot to learn.


Some of our best residents with the Family Medicine program director.

Medical Education

Kijabe Mission Hospital is a teaching hospital. We have nurses, clinical officers, medical officers, and residents all participating in the care of our patients while we train them in their medical education. This is a good time for us to mentor them through Christian discipleship as well. It is a challenge and a motivation for me to try and demonstrate as well as I am able the fruits of the Holy Spirit being manifested in my life. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self control. Also the idea of Christian excellence and responsibility are part of the message. I am glad we are here. We were fortunate to have Dr. Carena Chai come and volunteer a few days with us at the hospital teaching about obstetric care. She knew her stuff, and she happily shared what she knew with our dedicated Labor and Delivery nurses. We were blessed to have her with us!


Planning the next two days


Dr. Chai teaching our eager nurses


Instructions on how to deliver a baby with a stuck shoulder


Dr. Chai teaching on repairs of birth trauma