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Nazareth Hospital Roots

The Nazareth Hospital, is located 25 Km from Nairobi, at Riara Ridge in Kiambu District. It is surrounded by several villages. There are many tea and coffee farms owned by local people. These estates are a source of employment for many people.

The Nazareth Hospital was started by the Consolata Missionary Sisters in a very humbleSr. Prisca Groppo way in 1964 as a small dispensary to meet the needs of the rural population around Riara Ridge.

Sr. Prisca Groppo, a Consolata Missionary Sister and Medical Doctor, was posted by the General Administration of the Consolata Sisters to Kenya and in 1965 the building for a ''small Hospital" started.

Sr. Prisca wanted the Hospital to be like a home in which the patients could find a heart and a mother, a hospital in which the patients could breath pure air and find hope and joy.

The first patient was admitted in 1966, the beds were 50.

THE RESPONSE TO THE GROWING NEEDS

The number of patients started to increase tremendously and the demand for new facilities troubled the heart of Sr. Prisca, who wanted the best for her patients. New adjustments were made , until the hospital capacity reached hundred beds.

The 30th November of 1971 was a sad day for the Nazareth Hospital. Sr. Prisca was on her way from Mombasa to Nairobi when she was involved in a road accident. She died five days later, at the age of 40. It was a terrible blow for the Hospital. Her body was buried in the Cemetery of the Hospital like a seed. Her grave talks of love, of generosity, of a life given to others. That seed produced many fruits!

In November 1972 a new extension of the Hospital was officially opened by Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Cardinal Maurice Otunga.

In April 1984 an Isolation Block was completed thanks to the generosity of our benefactors.

Reconstructive and plastic surgery was started, using the facilities of Isolation. This programme continues at present and many patients benefit from this service.

In 1991, with the arrival of Dr. S. Galvagno, orthopaedic surgery and traumatology were started. With the departure of Dr. Galvagno these services had to be suspended temporarily, but in March 1994 Dr. Carlo Astini arrived and orthopaedic surgery and traumatology were resumed. Dr. Astini is a general surgeon and specialized in orthopaedics.

This was one of the most needed services, since there were very few centers with specialists in this field in Kenya. The few private Hospitals who offered these services in Nairobi are too expensive to be afforded by poor people.

The Nazareth Hospital has at present a very qualified team of doctors who work tirelessly for the patients together with the other members of the staff.

Another programme that the Hospital gave special attention was the Family Programme that includes Family Planning. This programme started in 1986.

REFUGEE SERVICES

Since December 1994 a programme was started in co-operation with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) to serve refugees in need of surgical and orthopaedic operations. There are currently some 300,000 refugees residing in Kenya. Many of them are referred to Nairobi for specialized medical treatment. JRS, the coordinating agency for this programme, faced many problems to have refugee patients admitted to hospitals in Nairobi. It is for this reason that the Nazareth Hospital opened its doors for this category of patients and we will do so as long as this need exists.

The Hospital tries its best to keep the spirit with which it was started by Sr. Prisca: a hospital for the poor with no privileges for anybody. All are treated equally and have access to the same services.

The Nazareth Hospital has grown as a miracle of faith through the support of generous hearts and the sacrifice of several lives whose names remain in the records of the hospital and in the hearts of all those who have been treated here.

HANDING OVER

The Consolata Sisters, managed the hospital up to the year 1999, before
handing it over to the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (FIHM), to continue with the healing ministry. Today the Hospital is under the management of the FIHM Sisters.

Very Rev. Mother S. Regina Mary - FIHM with Sr. Leonella Sgorbati - Consolata Missionary, Killed in Somalia on 17th Oct 2006.

 

 

 

 

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