Many have asked how they can help us during this trying time of living through a nationwide health care crisis. Giving to the Children’s Needy Fund is one way you can really help. Please read this letter written by one of Nate’s pediatric colleagues here at the hospital explaining the ways the Children’s Needy Fund has helped families over the last 3 months. Due to the doctor’s strike, the Fund has been depleted. If you can, please give.
Most of you know that on December 5, every doctor working in a government hospital in Kenya went on strike. This shut down all inpatient care all over the country, dropping the country’s inadequate capacity by over 50% – and access for poor people by 70% as the private hospitals don’t care for the poor. Today is day 79 of the strike.
So the sickest mothers & kids in the country have all been referred to the mission hospitals – Kijabe disproportionately so, as no other mission hospitals have our pediatric and neonatal capacity.
In November I sent out an appeal, and we were overwhelmed and humbled by your generosity – between you and your networks, you donated over $16,000 to help needy kids. We have carefully, with our social work team, tried to spend this money wisely – here are a couple of kids you helped:
Isaac came to us paralysed from Guillain Barre (a post-viral paralysis). He couldn’t breathe without a ventilator, and he would absolutely have died if we weren’t here, not demanding a $5000 deposit for ICU admission like the private hospitals. We also gave him drugs that cost 2 months’ salary for a rural family to reverse his paralysis more quickly. And after a month in hospital, he is home. Because of you.
ISAAC BEFORE: ISAAC AFTER:
George was hit by a car on November 25 and brought in by a good Samaritan. We didn’t know who he was for 3 days – until his frantic parents had called every hospital in Nairobi before someone suggested they call here. For 2 weeks he was on a ventilator with a head injury – we thought he may be too injured to recover – bit he breathed alone, and after 6 weeks of physiotherapy he can run and laugh. His speech is still coming back – but the family has a son who would have been turned away from every other ICU in Kenya with no hope of survival. Our needy fund is that buffer of hope.
Baby Abed came to us a 10 day old skeleton – not feeding, with a fever and 30% weight loss. A rural health center had done tests that showed his kidneys had shut down, and without dialysis he’d die (sodium 207 / creatinine 7.9). Mum went to two other private hospitals, who each demanded $3000 and $6000 before accepting him – so out of desperation, she came here. We don’t have dialysis – but we have an ICU that accepts any critical patient without funds, and the only experience we know of of babies surviving this condition with careful IV fluids and lab monitoring. He would have died within 12 hours if we hadn’t taken him – but he has a second chance at life, and is now home because of our needy fund
So firstly, thank you. Words cannot express the impact of what you’ve done – these are 3 stories of many dozens of babies and mothers who want to thank you, through us, for life.You’ve probably also heard that on Sunday, our own nurses went on strike. Emergency negotiations are happening, but in the meantime we have sent all the most stable children home, and paid many of their bills. We expect that solutions will be found by the end of the week and the nurses will be back – and the floodgates of desperate families will again open.The needy kids fund, as of today though, is now empty. Would you be able to help us by sending out this email to anyone who has been asking “what can we do?”. This needy children’s fund helps real families with whom we celebrate and grieve every day. Could you help us spread the word? We love any help, large or small – and if there are recurring small donations they help us the most, with the knowledge that each month there will be more families we can help.Would you again help us share this link to help us get in the black and have more money available for the unavoidable upcoming needs?With sincere thanks for each of you,Mardi and the Kijabe Pediatrics team.”
We echo each of Dr. Mardi’s words and are so very grateful for the love and support we have felt and are able to pass on to these children and their families. Thank you for praying, for caring, for giving. Here’s one last photo of yet another baby helped during the strike at Kijabe Hospital…