Our history in Kenya
Medical Mission Sisters have been present in Kenya since 1963 - initially, taking over Nangina Hospital. This included working in Nairobi's largest slum, Korogocho.
Now at Angiya Dispensary, Homa Bay, MMS is a well-recognised primary healthcare service provider, delivering a range of quality reproductive, maternal and child care services, including antenatal check-ups, TB and HIV/AIDS management and vaccinations across a wide catchment area. A project for young people living with HIV is important; they are given antiretroviral treatment, regular medical checks and share struggles and stories. The newly built Early Childhood Development Centre, named after Anna Dengel, is designed to benefit many children, including girls, currently missing out on educational opportunities - as you will read below.
Focus of our mission in Kenya
In Kenya today, we provide:
Nursing care in Kaplong Hospital;
Healthcare through the Ang'iya Good Shepherd Dispensary;
Support services for children and young people living with HIV; and
Have opened an early childhood development centre in Ang'iya.
Angi’ya Good Shepherd Dispensary
Medical Mission Sisters opened the Angi’ya Good Shepherd Dispensary in 2006 to deliver quality, preventive healthcare services, including a far-reaching HIV/AIDS programme, within an impoverished catchment population of 6,457. It has a flourishing maternity unit, where as many 50 mothers come to deliver their babies every month. Homa Bay, where the dispensary is located. has the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Kenya; 19.6% compared to the national average 4.9%.
Out patients come to the dispensary for treatment for amongst other things: malaria; respiratory infections; typhoid fever; diarrhoeal diseases; and skin diseases. There is also a maternity ward, which has seen a dramatic number of women using its facility, to assist safe delivery of their infants. Antenatal services are also reaching more women, whether through providing: all pregnant women with tetanus toxoid vaccination and malaria prophylaxis; a focused antenatal clinic which includes providing mosquito treated nets for pregnant women and children under five years as a means of malaria prevention; and a well organised Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) programme with a designated nurse allocated to care for those mothers who are HIV positive. We also run an expanded programme immunisation as part of a flourishing child health programme.
Cynthia receives a new wheelchair
The Angi'iya Dispensary works with a number of persons living with HIV and additional disabilities - like Cynthia.
When Cynthia's old wheelchair broke, she lost her independence until a donor in the UK kindly helped the Medical Mission Sisters to acquire a new one for her. Now Cynthia is all smiles and is keeping well and busy despite the fact that Ang'iya is a COVID-19 hotspot.
Anna Dengel Early Education Centre
The construction of the Early Child Development Centre on the sisters’ land in Ang’iya is now complete. Named after the Society’s foundress, it has become the Anna Dengel Education Centre designed to offer education to vulnerable children in the vicinity, aged from 4 to 7, for whom no similar service is currently available.
This group of children find themselves marginalised or excluded from mainstream education services because they are living with HIV or have a disability or are girls or cannot cross a river to go to school. They miss out on the ‘eat, play, and love’ necessary for their young brains to develop. They need to be prepared - cognitively, physically, socially and emotionally - if they are to develop and thrive in primary schools later.
To prepare them to enjoy inclusive education services alongside their peers at a later age, through our new education centre, disadvantaged children are receiving a basic foundation in learning, formally and through play and child friendly interventions, facilitated by a team of professionally trained teaching staff.
Children living with HIV care for rabbits
We continue to run a monthly support programme for around 150 children living with HIV, who are full or partial orphans, now in their teens. In a caring, relaxed atmosphere, they are given antiretroviral treatment, regular medical checks and share struggles and stories. The sisters provide a lifeline at significant moments in their lives, such as loss of a parent or carer. Some children need ongoing one-to-one or group counselling to offer them additional psychological support. Otherwise, at Ang'iya, they enjoy sports activities together and involvement in a project caring for rabbits, later given to their households and cooked to supplement their nutrition. They also participate in regular camps, designed to be fun.
A big thank you to our donors
We are grateful to our donors for helping to us to construct and equip the new educational centre and fund our other activities - in particular:
- Mission Development Center, Philadelphia, USA;
- Stichting Vrienden Medische Missiezusters, The Netherlands (also known as Vrienden);
- Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops - Kenya AIDS Response Programme (KCCB-KARP); and
- Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters
You are helping to make a big difference to young lives!
Every child matters
In what we do, we reflect our commitment to the child’s right to develop to “the maximum extent possible” as defined in UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
All of our activities are designed to ensure that no child is ‘left behind’, reflecting our strong pledge to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) because every child matters.