Dr. August Hein, who played a large role in the acquisition of Kijabe’s new CT scanner, described it as being like Moses seeing the promised land from afar. Dr. Hein worked in Outpatient/Casualty for the past two years and also served as administrator for the radiology department. He ensured that the new digital radiology system was implemented, helped to manage construction/installation casualty expansion, and all the while searched for a way we could obtain a new CT machine.
The previous CT scanner was a difficult but valuable lesson for the hospital. The machines are very, very costly, so one would think it would be best for a mission hospital to obtain a donated machine in good condition. Which is exactly what happened, and it was installed several years ago, and all went well for several months. Then the machine broke, then came very costly attempted repairs, and suddenly the free machine turned from blessing to a curse.
The valuable part of that failure has greatly impacted Kijabe Hospital’s approach to purchasing and acquisition. The fact is that while we are serving the most needy and vulnerable patients of Kenya, and while we seek to keep costs as low as possible for our patients – we are offering world class health care, and this is only possible with quality equipment. So while we do still consider equipment donations, it is only for items that we can easily replace or that are designed for short term use. Larger machines are either obtained new through grants or purchased with long-term maintenance contracts.
Another blessing that came from the first failure is that a lead-lined CT room was already installed at the hospital and had been previously approved by government authorities. This is not a quick or simple process, so it was fantastic that the work had been completed years earlier.
Several months before the end of his term at Kijabe, Dr. Hein received an email from a company called JAMU, wondering if they could place a CT scanner at Kijabe hospital. They would own and operate, the hospital would receive a portion of the revenue created. Thus a new partnership was formed and the machine sailed across the Atlantic just as Dr. Hein was returning to America. Installation happened several weeks ago, and we are thrilled that our patients are able to obtain scans quickly rather than making the bumpy trek to Nairobi.
Watching from afar (via Facebook), Dr. Hein sent us a note: “Awesomeness! Thanks to all who kept up the momentum and brought this to reality. Praise God!”