Special offering on Thursday of AC for Kenya


During Thursday’s commissioning service at Boise First UMC during Annual Conference, a special offering will be taken to support the work the Oregon-Idaho Conference has engaged in with partners in health in Kenya.

This offering will go to the Maua Methodist Hospital, where a number of Oregon-Idaho United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) teams have visited in there past.

The specific program being supporting through this special offering for Maua is a new program called Surgical Access for Everyone (S.A.F.E.) Through a partner in Kenya and the hospital, potential needy patients are qualified to enter the program. The patient is tracked through pre and post-surgery and their progress, once out of the hospital, is tracked as well. The hospital is partnering with the African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF) to work together during the pre and post-operative time with patients to improve care.

Friends of Maua Hospital has a partnership with AMHF to have them act as the “Sponsor” as a qualified 501(c) (3) in the US and a non-governmental organization in Kenya. The Maua Methodist Hospital is the only private hospital serving a community of about 600,000 Kenyan; predominately subsistence farmers and their families.

Louise Kienzle, UMVIM coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho Conference, said this program provides access to critically needed surgical procedures for people in Kenya who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford the health care they need. For example, a Caesarean-section costs $485 and a curative laparotomy (used to diagnose and address conditions such as ovarian tumors and liver cancers) costs $778.

“These are costs that small-scale farmers, herders, casual laborers, and orphans caring for their siblings cannot afford,” Kienzle said.

Not only can the small-scale farmers and laborers afford access to health care when things are going well, but the country has been blanketed by rains recently which have severely damaged and destroyed crops there.

“Massive floods have washed away homes, crops, people, livestock and properties across the country. Lives have been lost. All hope of crops for another season is gone,” Kienzle said.

While not a project of the overall Annual Conference, Kienzle said Hermiston United Methodist Church is working to provide emergency food supplies and hygiene kits to people who are facing starvation within the next three months because of flooding. Contact Hermiston UMC for more information on supporting that effort.