You are the ones who stepped in for the people of Kiambu during the doctors strike and we appreciate you so much. You helped us so much and now we want to help you. Henceforth be assured you have a close friend by the name of Kiambu county government. – Ferdinand Watitu “Babayao” 27 October, 2017
Governor of Kiambu country, Ferdinand Watitu “Babayao” recently visited AIC Kijabe Hospital to bring a brand new, fully equipped ambulance.
What does an ambulance mean for Kijabe and patients?
Emergency services are a bit different in Kenya than in developed countries. Sending an ambulance out into our cachement area that stretches around Kenya and even into neighboring countries in order to retrieve patients is impractical. Patients will largely continue to arrive by private vehicle or public transport (matatus) because they are readily available.
But Kijabe is a referral and surgical center with 10% of the ICU beds in the country, has a very capable NICU, advanced obstetric treatment capabilities for high risk pregnancy, and many other specialized services. The ambulance will provide transport to Kijabe for critical patients from smaller facilities in the county.
The ambulance will also provide outbound transport for critical patients from Kijabe to Nairobi hospitals in the event our facility, particularly the IcU, is full or to obtain advanced diagnostics like MRI care. The ambulance is equipped with oxygen tanks, monitors, sinks, and the necessary medical equipment to keep a critical patient stable during transport.
Imagine a nurse trying to breathe for an incubated patient using an ambu-bag during the hour+ ride to Nairobi on one of the top ten most dangerous highways in the world. Potholes, donkeys, not to mention matatus. Each bump puts the precious air flow at risk.
By comparison, an intubated patient in this ambulance can be connected to a constant oxygen supply and regulated perfectly.
This gift will save lives.
But more important than the gift is what it means: that the Kiambu government views mission facilities as partners in patient care rather than adversaries and competitors with government facilities. During the long months of strikes this year, Kijabe staff have continued to work tirelessly on behalf of patients. It is a wonderful thing to be recognized as being a significant part of the team caring for the patients of our county and region.
We believe that AIC Kijabe is a good partner and steward of resources that can benefit our neighbors. Whether training nurses, clinical officers, interns, providing consults or referrals, we hope the culture of service and excellence at Kijabe is common to all Kiambu – and Kenyan – healthcare facilities. We hope to be a significant partner in the coming years as we strive toward a goal of having universal health coverage for all Kenyans by year 2030.
The fate of Kijabe is inextricably linked to the effectiveness of management in the government health system. NHIF, national health insurance fund, is by far the largest insurance provider for Kijabe patients. As more patients have the ability to pay with insurance, we have ability to continue a policy of not requiring admission deposits for emergency and trauma patients. We will serve indiscriminately.
AIC Kijabe exists to glorify God by serving patients, day in and day out with the best care available. As we remember the stories of Esther and Nehemiah in scripture, we know that the government can play a significant role in advancing the kingdom of God.
So we bless the Kiambu government for this gift of favor and pledge to use the ambulance to care well for citizens and glorify our Heavenly Father.