Life-Changing Medical Care for the Hurting & Forgotten
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By Scott Marcello, President, African Mission Healthcare 

 

“AMH has worked with us to procure urgently needed PPE and oxygen in a matter of days. This has provided significant encouragement for our team as we just experienced our first confirmed COVID case within walking distance of Maua Hospital.”

 – Justus Marete, Maua Methodist Hospital CEO 

Established in 1928, Maua Methodist Hospital (“Maua”) is a 200-bed referral hospital that provides essential care for a community of over 600,000 people in central Kenya. Maua hosts a nursing school, trains physician interns, and is a teaching hospital of Kenya Methodist University’s physician assistant program. With your support, AMH’s relationship with Maua began in 2013 and initially focused on clinical training to care for patients suffering with HIV and tuberculosis. Over the years, AMH’s investments grew. 

Together, we have helped support surgeries, improve hospital operations, acquire equipment and complete infrastructure projects. 

What makes our work with Maua particularly special is the close working relationship we have developed with the Friends of Maua Methodist Hospital (the FOMH). FOMH is a group of donors based in the U.S. with a passion for helping the hospital serve the people in its local community. Like AMH, members of the FOMH also spend time on the ground gaining an understanding of what the hospital and its patients need most. Of the support highlighted below totaling $1,240,000, the FOMH has or is committed to raising $405,000, which is managed by AMH to ensure effective on-the-ground implementation. 

Together, donors like you and FOMH have contributed significantly to the development of the hospital and its preparation for local crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With the gifts of generous partners, many critical projects at Maua Methodist Hospital have been made possible:

In addition to the investments highlighted above, AMH’s Chief Executive, Dr. Jon Fielder, serves as a volunteer part-time physician and teaches at the hospital. AMH has also contributed the services of its senior engineer to advise and oversee the various equipment and infrastructure projects.  

 Thanks to the faithful support of donors like you, Maua is much stronger than it was before, providing quality, compassionate care to the surrounding community. It has expanded its range of services and its capacity for training the next generations of African health workers.

All these investments have helped to prepare Maua Methodist Hospital for such a time as this – Hospital leaders are currently working hard and have developed robust plans for caring for COVID-19 patients. And thanks to the proactive support of the FOMH, AMH has already invested more than $20,000 to acquire Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect Maua’s health workers and six oxygen concentrators for patient care. We are arranging to purchase substantially more PPE, sources of oxygen and other supplies as these items become available. 

“AMH has worked with us to procure urgently needed PPE and oxygen in a matter of days. This has provided significant encouragement for our team as we just experienced our first confirmed COVID case within walking distance of Maua Hospital. But it is not just about having materials and equipment.
Dr. Jon Fielder has provided our team with timely, valuable advice on how to improve our preparations. If we deal with this threat successfully it will be the result of our valuable partnerships with AMH, Friends of Maua, churches, and others.”

 – Justus Marete, Maua Methodist Hospital CEO

But Will It Be Enough? 

Although African countries locked down early and still have seen relatively few cases, there are growing concerns that infection rates will accelerate. We are heeding public health experts warning of a prolonged threat to Africa from the coronavirus.

Of course, we can’t predict what the future holds for Africa, but we do know that: 

  • Severe cash flow challenges are already being experienced as hospitals which traditionally serve the poor and disadvantaged invest in preparations and lose revenue. Non-emergency operations have been suspended. Patients are avoiding hospitals due to fear of COVID.  
  • Nurses and other health workers are being recruited away to work in government hospitals. This development is particularly troubling as Maua and many of our other mission hospital partners will be trusted by infected patients as they seek help. 
  • If cases of COVID do expand exponentially, the capacity of health systems across Africa is only a small fraction of similar capacity in the Western world. Their resources and reserves are much lower.

We are working to help each hospital survive and thrive for the current crisis and the next. 

While Maua, Kijabe and our other mission hospital partners are working hard to prepare and solve many of these problems, they need your help. 

What Can You Do? 

  • Support our AMH COVID Response Fund. Your gift will help missionary doctors and mission hospitals battle COVID, save lives, and to recover after the pandemic subsides. 
  • Join us in lifting Africa, its leaders, its health workers, and its people up in prayer. 
  • Continue your ongoing support for AMH’s critical programs. We are investing in the long-term future of Africa by building quality medical institutions and training health workers. Your support of these efforts will save lives today AND prepare the continent for whatever crisis is next. 

 Thank you for your faithful support and continued prayers for our hospital teams and their patients during this time. We are grateful to be partners in ministry with you.