BethanyKids Children’s Centre
“The new building is so spacious, has enough beds, more examination rooms, and parents are no longer asked to go back home with their children because of lack of space!”
Emily Chelang’at, Parent of a patient
The dedication of the BethanyKids Children’s Centre at Kijabe Hospital in Kenya on Friday April 22, 2016 was characterized by joy and celebration! It was all smiles as approximately 200 friends and supporters from various parts of the world including Norway, Belgium, Canada, the USA and Kenya gathered in the front yard of the 32,000 square foot building.
The new building was completed in mid January and includes 7 inpatient wards with 8 beds per ward plus an 8-bed High Dependency Unit – a step down from an ICU, two isolation rooms and two private rooms for a total of 74 beds. There are multiple treatment rooms, a physiotherapy room, a children’s play room and a spacious outpatient clinic area. The generous space, abundance of natural lighting and child-friendly colors all contribute to the well-being of the patients, their families and clinicians.
Emily Chelang’at, a parent of an eight-old month baby who recently received care at the new centre, emphasized the comprehensive quality of the new facility. “The new building is so spacious, has enough beds, more examination rooms, and parents are no longer asked to go back home with their children because of lack of space!”
Several key people in BethanyKids brought greetings including former Executive Director and Board Chair Dr. Ivan Stewart, our Founder Dr. Dick Bransford, and Clinical Director Dr. Dan Poenaru. A highlight was the testimonials by a Staff Nurse and a parent both of whom have experienced what it was like in the “old” ward and now in the new Children’s Centre.
We were blessed to have the Presiding Bishop of the Africa Inland Church of Kenya, Rev. Silas Yego, offer a prayer of dedication, declare the Centre officially open and unveil the dedication plaque mounted on a large rock in front of the building. He thanked Dr. Bransford for his dedication and vision of caring for children with disabilities. He also acknowledged Mr. Njaal Lovik and his wife Aase from Norway for their generous support towards the construction of the BethanyKids Children’s Centre.
“It is a tremendous gratitude for me to see this new building, a true miracle especially for some of us who had the opportunity to be there at the very humble beginnings of the BethanyKids program,” said Dr. Dan Poenaru, BethanyKids Clinical Director. “We celebrate those who went before us, the founders and the visionaries, and it is out of their dream that this vision has indeed happened.”
AIC Kijabe Hospital’s Executive Director, Dr. Mary Muchendu, also recognized those behind the celebration. “We are celebrating the success, and behind the success we have so many people who have gone through the hands of our Doctors and surgeons at Kijabe.”
Dr. Ivan Stewart, former BethanyKids’ Executive Director and International Board Chair echoed Dr. Poenaru’s sentiments. “Dick’s heart for disabled and marginalized children has inspired many of us! We’ve had the privilege of seeing thousands upon thousands of children receive surgery and care at BethanyKids, and had their lives rescued and changed unbelievably.”
The opening and dedication of this Centre marks a major milestone in the short history of BethanyKids. We praise God for it and pray that we will use the new Centre well for His glory and for the good of children and their families needing healing and hope.