Kenya Trip Notes from the Field: Angie Fife Engelberger

By Angie Fife Engelberger, MedShare Southeast Regional Council

Sign posted in the Men's Ward of St. Mary's Mission Hospital, Nairobi

My name is Angie Fife Engelberger, and I am currently a member of the Southeast Regional Council. This trip, which was originally scheduled for November, did not fit into my calendar.   As soon as I found out the trip had been rescheduled I jumped at the opportunity to join the traveling group  As a late addition I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to join this trip; I’ve been able to participate in many different phases of the MedShare process, from sorting supplies to sponsoring a container, and this is the perfect opportunity to “complete the picture”.  I have been so excited to see the beneficiaries of many MedShare containers and witness first hand how the supplies are being used.

Medshare-provided supplies

First thing Monday morning our group left the hotel for St. Mary’s Mission Hospital in Nairobi. The hospital was founded by Dr. Father Bill Fryda and opened in June 2001. We arrived at the hospital and were met by Fr. Barati, who took us through a waiting area filled with at least a hundred people, to meet Dr. Walter Konya. St. Mary’s has received 19 containers from MedShare since 2001, and I am so impressed by the number of people this long term relationship has affected. In addition to inpatients in this 325 bed hospital, 250,000 outpatients are seen each year by a staff of 20 doctors. Just do the math – the numbers are staggering!  Dr. Konya took us on a tour of the postpartum ward where encountered a room of premature babies, including this little guy, who has been spending the first days of his life in an incubator provided by MedShare.

Preemie in Medshare-provided incubator

We continued our tour and saw patients using wheelchairs provided by MedShare, boxes of supplies provided by MedShare, and an operating theater with much of the equipment provided by MedShare. I am truly in awe by the long reach a simple box of supplies has, and even more impressed by the gratitude Dr. Konya and the entire staff of St  Mary’s expressed for the supplies sent by MedShare. Believe me, I will not look at latex gloves, masks and gowns the same way again. Many thanks to St. Mary’s for their hospitality.  I look forward to following this well run hospital in the future!

Dr. Konya discussing MedShare-provided supplies

This post is part of a series we’re doing over the coming days while MedShare staff, Board of Trustee and Council members travel through Kenya from February 17 – 27. We invite you to share the experience with them by reading their stories; to access them, click on the “Africa Trip“  icon in the right sidebar. Safe travels, team!

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Kenya Trip Notes from the Field: MedShare CEO

By Meridith Rentz, MedShare CEO and President

We’re on our way……

Lindsey and I are on the flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam.  I want my body to think it’s 6:00 am (Nairobi time) but not much luck.  My mind is racing with anticipation and excitement and last-minute worries.  It’s much too hard to sleep as I consider all that we’re about to see, feel, touch, smell, hear…..experience.  We are going to have the gift of learning about the impact of our MedShare work up-close and personal.  What works?  What doesn’t?  How can we improve?  How can we have sustainable impact?

Once we arrive in Nairobi, Lindsey and I will do final preparations before our wonderful MedShare group arrives.   Bob, Liz, Sandy, Laureen, Ginny, Pat, Charlie, Tina, AB, Angie, Terry, Tom, Ed and Jennifer……hurry on up, we’re ready for you!

This post is the first of a series we’ll host over the coming days. MedShare staff and Board of Trustee members will be in Kenya from February 17 – 27, and they’ll be sharing their stories and first-hand accounts on the MedShare blog. We invite you to share the experience with them by reading their stories; to access them, click on the “Africa Trip”  icon in the right sidebar. Safe travels, team!