In August and September, I worked at Kijabe Hospital, something I hadn’t done since 2006. Most of the time was spent on the respiratory (COVID-19) ward.

The level of care and the change from a decade and a half ago impressed me. Particularly striking was the clinical competence of a group of physician assistants trained in critical care. Kijabe calls them ECCCOs for “emergency and critical care clinical officers.” And now, even though only Kijabe trains them and there are just 30 graduates, the whole country wants them.

I helped start the ICU back in 2005. (Really, we were doing…


They require systems Africa often lacks

We didn’t know why the 20-year-old woman with extremely low oxygen levels had pneumonia in both her lungs. She wasn’t HIV-infected and didn’t look malnourished. Exposure to indoor air pollution — yet another life hazard for rural African women — was a possible cause.

Regardless of the reason, she required every molecule the recently repaired Maua Hospital plant could generate. A special “non-rebreather” mask (the kind with the bag you see on television shows) helped increase the concentration of oxygen delivered to her starved lungs.

Had she been admitted to the hospital the day…


Three weeks ago at Maua Methodist Hospital in Kenya a one and a half year old baby was admitted with months of fevers. A pediatrician some hours away had been caring for him, so we had little knowledge about what had been done previously. The child developed seizures and then suffered a respiratory arrest.

The team was able to resuscitate him and insert a breathing tube. Although spontaneous breathing had returned, a nurse was augmenting the patient’s efforts through “hand-bagging.” The situation was dire. Maua does not have mechanical ventilators outside the operating theater, nor does it have an ICU…


AMH Announces Selection of First Mission Teaching Hospitals to Receive 10-year, $2.5 Million Award to Bolster Medical Education

AMH is pleased to share that Kibuye Hospital in Burundi and Nkhoma Hospital in Malawi are the first two institutions selected to receive decade-long support under the L’Chaim Initiative’s Mission Hospital Teaching Network. Both institutions were part of the consortium benefiting from the $2 million matching campaign conducted with CBN last year. Kibuye Hospital is home to the first L’Chaim Prize winner, Dr. Jason Fader.

Our aim is to strengthen the capacity of these emerging mission teaching hospitals to educate the next…


Battling disease in Kenya, Malawi, Burundi and South Sudan

When working in Malawi, I used to say the country was two generations behind Kenya medically: fewer hospitals, doctors, nurses, oxygen tanks, labs. Fewer everything.

Visiting South Sudan, my Kenyan colleague surveyed the lack of development and said, “This is Kenya in the 1940s.”

Recently, an article in the magazine Old Africa featured a history of a Catholic mission hospital in Meru, Kenya. A doctor working there in 1969 used an infant warmer heated by a simple 40-watt bulb.

Last month our organization procured two sophisticated and expensive incubators for the…


12 October 2018

African Mission Healthcare announces Dr. Rick Sacra of ELWA Hospital as winner of its annual Gerson L’Chaim Prize for Outstanding Christian Medical Mission Service

Dr. Rick Sacra, Ebola virus survivor, will use the $500,000 award to train health workers and improve hospital infrastructure at ELWA Hospital in Liberia.

African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is excited to announce that the 2018 Gerson L’Chaim Prize Laureate is Dr. Rick Sacra, a long-term medical missionary and family physician serving in Liberia, West Africa.

In 2014, at the height of the Ebola epidemic, Dr. Rick Sacra, serving with the mission SIM…


Catherine Crawford, Family Medicine Specialist at Nkhoma Mission Hospital in Malawi, shares how the funds from the AMH-CBN Matching grant will be used to improve the training of Family Medicine Registrars, and thus, the country at large.

These funds will pay for three additional houses for the new family medicine registrars {residents} in our Christian Training Program. A medical school opened in Malawi in 1991, and now has come the time that medical progress occurs through trained professionals on the post-graduate level. …


May 2018

Dear Friend of Dr. Catena,

She had been pushing against a closed birth canal for a full day. In her remote village in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, only traditional birth attendants were available to assist women in labor — and they do not know how to check the birth canal or the position of the baby. Eventually, all that pushing caused her uterus to rupture and the baby died. At that point, she had only one hope of survival.

Tom is the only surgeon, and has been for the last decade through bombings and war and drought…


Dr. Tom assesses a patient on the ward

May 2018

Dear Friend of Dr. Catena,

She had been pushing against a closed birth canal for a full day. In her remote village in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, only traditional birth attendants were available to assist women in labor — and they do not know how to check the birth canal or the position of the baby. Eventually, all that pushing caused her uterus to rupture and the baby died. At that point, she had only one hope of survival.

Tom is the only surgeon, and has been for the last decade through bombings and war and drought…


“The missionaries were out there early and stayed late.” So begins Berkeley historian David Hollinger’s Protestants Abroad,* a tale of hardy, focused individuals who set out to change the world and instead had an outsized influence back at home, transforming America’s own culture and its relationship with other civilizations.

Hollinger’s observation came back to me while visiting Dr. Rick Sacra last month at ELWA Hospital in Liberia. ELWA was ground zero for the Ebola epidemic. Several missionaries, including Dr. Sacra, became infected with Ebola, and the story has been well told elsewhere.

What struck me about Rick’s journey, and what…

AMHF

We strengthen mission hospitals to aid those in greatest need.

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