Article published by Mission Network News (www.mnnonline.org)
Kenya (MNN) — To put the phrase “out with the old, in with the new” into practice can feel so good sometimes. Take this story from Tenwek Hospital in Kenya, for example.
Angela Many of World Gospel Mission and her husband have been serving at Tenwek since 2014. But Many has had a longer history with the hospital, which is a joint effort of World Gospel Mission and Africa Gospel Church. She says one of the most basic tools for the maternity department has been severely lacking for far too long.
“The birthing beds have been a need for many years. I actually did a rotation when I was a medical student in 2000 and the same birthing beds were being used then, and they looked old at that time. I think they’ve been in use for over 30 years.”
With time, she explains, the beds had regressed into “terrible” condition. And, there were only three of them — this for a hospital that oversees over 3,000 births a year.
“These beds were metal, they were rusted, they were broken. None of them had foot plates any longer.”
Old birthing bed. (Capture courtesy of Deab Cowles of Tenwek Hospital via Vimeo)
So when Many first stepped into the maternity ward in 2014, her heart sank. There were the exact same beds she saw several years earlier — all in one room, with only curtains between them.
“It just felt so cold, and old, and uncomfortable. So this project has been in the mind and heart of those of us who work in the maternity department for many years.”
Recently, God provided. Beds were donated from hospitals in the United States, and the old beds in Kenya are gone. So far, Tenwek has received three of the eight beds.
“They were met with great joy. There was a dedication ceremony as they were wheeled in. And there was singing and praying over them. Our vision, of course, is to have our Kenyan mamas who come into the hospital to have their babies to be able to be comfortable and have dignity with their delivery.”
There is still a lot of improvement that can happen in the maternity department. Many says they’d like to renovate so there is more privacy in the delivery area. They also want to be able to expand the project.