Project Description

Equip an isolation unit for outborn babies in need of surgical care at Kijabe Hospital for conditions that pose infection risk to other patients.

Thanks to the Lutheran Church of Vestavia Hills for generous support.

Equipment was purchased in 2017, and project was fully launched early 2018 when full ICU nursing staffing was achieved.


Full Project Description
  1. Project Details


Name of Project:  Surgical NICU


Please describe the project.


We would like to transform the K ward into a surgical NICU appropriate for the admission of outborn neonates with urgent surgical or ICU level care



What needs will your project meet? 


Currently, for infection control, we do not feel like it is appropriate to admit outborn babies to our NBU/NICU. Because of that, babies admitted to the general ward lack the benefit of specialized nursing care, 24 hour monitoring, and close monitoring of intake and output so critical to survival in this vulnerable population.  A surgical NICU will allow care for babies in this vulnerable population (gastroschisis, omphalocele, anorectal malformation, tracheoesophageal fistula, encephalocele, myelomeningocele and shunted hydrocephalus ) that previously had limited survival in Kenya and now are approaching 80% in Kijabe.





What amount of funding in USD do you require for this project? (please include itemized breakdown)


We need approximately $30,000 USD


Equipment Cost (USD) Number Total
Monitor $1500 4 $6000
Cot warmers $500 4 $2000
Infusion Pumps $1350 8 $10,800
Room Heater $1500 2 $3000
Baby cots $50 4 $200
Nursing Desk $150 1 $150
Bilirubin Lights $1500 2 $3000
Resuscitation trolley $500 1 $500
Oxygen Regulators $200 4 $800
Suction Regulators $500 2 $1000
Vinyl wall decoration $200 1 $200
Maintenance/Replacement $5000 $5000




Do you have quotes from purchasing/engineering departments? (please attach)


Emai sent to Jane Mwangi 14/4 and 30/5.  Quotations based on her estimates and previously nursing budget with quotations from engineering.



Is this project new or existing program?


This project is an expansion of the Pediatric ICU move in conjunction with BKCC


Are there similar projects that have happened in the past at Kijabe that we could use to evaluate or learn from? 


The Newborn Unit and PICU have both been done in similar fashion, but have been more piece-meal. We will be able to use the portable xray and take advantage of nurse training that has already been done in both of these places as we open it up.



  1. Stakeholders

Who is the project manager?   Arianna Shirk, Sarah Muma, Agnes Jeruto and Erik Hansen It will be managed by the ICU in charge.



Which departments/stakeholders are involved?


Pediatrics, Pediatric Neurosurgery, and Pediatric Surgery. BKCC is providing the space.


Whose input and permission do we need before starting the project? 


We have received input from Agnes Jeruto, BK nurse manager, Erik Hansen, head of pediatric surgery and BKKH representative and the Pediatrics consultant team.


Who is responsible for ongoing success/maintenance? 


The PICU nurse in charge will also oversee the equipment in the Surgical NICU along with Agnes Jeruto, BKCC nurse manager.  Arianna Shirk/Erik Hansen will oversee ongoing equipment needs and update



  1. Obstacles

What are potential pitfalls?


Need for equipment replacement, nurse training, and staffing – all currently being addressed



How do we determine if the project has been successful? 


We will monitor numbers admitted, clinical outcomes, and vulnerable patients reach. Opening and operation of the NICU with improving outcomes will determine success.



  1. Friends of Kijabe Involvement


How do you need help from Friends of Kijabe?  (highlight those that apply)




Donation button on site


Storytelling assistance


Donor follow-up


Marketing assistance




  1. Partner Building

How can we best tell the story of your project? 

Our patients are our best stories – follow up with previous gastroschisis survivors, thriving hydrocephalus patients, both through home visits and at weekly follow up clinics in BK OPD.


Who do you envision as potential donors? 


Project HOPE  (an outreach of Lutheran Church of Vestavia Hills in Birmingham Alabama) will be approached for funding and receive ongoing updates.



What would you plan for donor follow-up? 


Quarterly update with patient stories and hosting of visitors from LCVH


  1. Sell the Need:

Why should this project be done a) at all, b) in Kijabe Hospital, c) at this time, and d) with Friends of Kijabe involvement


As our outcomes in the NICU and our surgical capability have increased, the need to provide for patients not only born in Kijabe but in our surrounding community has dramatically increased. BKCC has been a beacon of hope for surgical and neurosurgical care, but is only beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible.


With the expansion of the pediatric, surgical, and neurosurgical capacity at Kijabe, we are in the fortunate place of needing the equipment to catch up with personnel skill. With the opening of the PICU, the surgical NICU would act as a natural extension and we could transfer nursery nurses while upskilling with ICU skills and surgery specific training.


Gastroschisis and myelomeningocele survival used to be 0% in Kijabe until we dared to care for these babies and we have the potential of reaching US survival numbers with proper nursing care and monitoring equipment. Extended stays for these children as they grow and heal allow beautiful periods of time to extend God’s grace and share the love of Jesus with this incredibly vulnerable population.


Friends of Kijabe will provide an avenue to facilitate and oversee the donation, follow up with donors with photos and stories, and continue follow up past opening of the project.

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