Children’s hospital ministry in Kenya sees growth.

By January 31, 2007

Kenya (MNN) — Kijabe, Kenya is home to the AIC-CURE
International
Children's Hospital. CURE's Christine Kithome (kih-TOE-mee) says
they are an orthopedic/pediatrics teaching hospital for physically disabled
children. 

As such, they send out mobile clinic teams to identify kids
who need help.  "We are having several mobile clinics with which we
visit remote areas. We get a team of about 12 people, doctors, the physical
therapists, a spiritual team, because we normally say we do 50/50
ministry." 

The team includes pastors and church leaders who begin
building relationship with the children and their families.   AIC-CURE International Children's Hospital
serves approximately 8,000 children and performs approximately 2,500 surgeries
each year.

Their major programs include clinical care, the clubfoot
program and CURE smiles, to correct cleft lip and cleft palates.   The CURE Clubfoot Program is a non-surgical
treatment and training program for the correction of clubfoot in young children.  They train physicians and physiotherapists in
the Ponseti Method for the correction of clubfeet. This method uses physical
manipulation and plaster casting techniques to correct clubfoot in young
children.

CURE is also developing cleft lip and cleft palate surgical
training programs, in cooperation with Smile Train, in most of CURE's hospitals worldwide. These programs will
train 20 surgeons in the correction of cleft lip/palate surgery each year.

All told, surgeons at the hospital performed more than 2,500
surgeries including surgeries to correct foot, knee and leg problems, to repair
cleft lip, cleft pal­ates and other craniofacial problems, to treat epilepsy,
hydrocephalus and neural tube defects, and to release contractures due to burn
injuries.

But ministry doesn't stop when the clinic moves on or when
the child is released post-surgery.  Kithome says discipleship is a normal
part of the process, much like medical follow-up.  "We normally spend
six weeks and then we go back to the same place. After this, people have been
doing follow-up to see how far the patient is coming along, and even the new
believers, whether they are still getting along with the Christian life."

Their reputation as a Christian ministry continues to grow,
easily outpacing the space in the recovery ward.  Expansion is the next step. A grant from
USAID (US Agency for International Development), CURE Kenya will add
two additional operating rooms and 15 more hospital beds. This will provide
space for additional surgeries and training.

 

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