• ashirk@gmail.com
  • Kijabe, Kenya
on the Doctor’s Strike

on the Doctor’s Strike

When we arrived back from our 3 weeks in America, the hospital was overflowing with patients. 40 days into the doctor’s strike, we were one of the only affordable hospitals open in the country, and it showed.

In Kenya, the public hospitals can be challenging, and often the physicians have to strike to get basic medicines and supplies and even to get paid. This year, the government holding the posting of all graduated medical students to their mandatory internship started the inevitable strike which led to the closing or crippling of most public hospitals.

In 2017, during the last prolonged strike, the mortality at hospital’s in the hospital tripled because everyone came too late to get care and too sick for intervention. Our PICU has been completely full, most of the time with 4 ventilators. Our NICU has every incubator and every pump full with babies less than 2lbs. I brought 4 monitors with me from America, and by the time I had been in the country 48 hours, all 4 were on our babies. Our mortality has increased, but our resources are more than they were 7 years ago, our nurses are ninjas, our PECCCOs and PECCCO students are bridging the gap, and we are seeing baby after baby improve and go home.  The days are exhausting (I will try to write a day in the life this week), and each death still difficult, but as I was talking to Judy yesterday, I was marvelling at the number of tiny ones feeding and growing and coming off of oxygen in our NICU. 

God is working through our team and we are doing everything we can for each one He sends us. Today, one of my team members in education stopped me in the hallway – “These moms are telling me they feel cared for,” she said, “and that they didn’t know how wonderful Kijabe was. . .”

We are trying, each day, to hold each other up with gentleness and intentionality – we don’t know how long this will be – the last one was 100 days. Pray for us as we take each day, one at a time – and for our patients, that we will have wisdom and listen carefully in days that seem to have an impossible number of variables. And pray that the union and the government can come to an agreement to improve healthcare for everyone in this country.

below see cards the Kids at Titchie made to thank our doctors and nurses for working over and above. . .

(David will write about the flooding and mudslides as well, but needless to say. . .it’s been a month. . .)

1 thought on “on the Doctor’s Strike

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *