Tenwek Hospital

Bomet, Kenya

Hospital Website
Mission Organization
World Gospel Mission (WGM)
Tenwek Hospital is a 361-bed hospital with a wide range of surgical, medical, maternity, and pediatric services. It is one of the largest mission hospitals in Africa. Tenwek provides primary healthcare to 600,000 Kipsigis people within a 32 kilometer radius and serves as a referral center for a much larger region. General wards range from 6 to 17 beds each. Semiprivate rooms with private baths are available. Private isolation rooms, an eye ward, and an orthopedic ward were added in 1997. Six operating rooms along with a recovery room provide facilities for a wide range of surgical services. The maternity unit contains 72 beds, three delivery tables, and an operating room. The neonatal nursery cares for infants who are sick or premature. All other infants stay with their mothers. A wound and burn unit opened in 2012, and an eye and dental clinic building opened in 2017. The Outpatient Department includes maternal child health, surgical, orthopedic, eye, dental, endoscopy, diabetic, HIV, and tuberculosis clinics, in addition to the general outpatient clinic. Laboratory, X-ray, physiotherapy, ultrasound, and a 64 slice Siemens CT scanner provide diagnostic and rehabilitative services. The Tenwek Hospital College of Health Sciences started as a nursing school in 1987 and continues to train scores of Kenyan Registered Community Nurses each year. Tenwek Hospital has internship training, for both Medical and Clinical Officer interns, and chaplaincy training continues at the Tenwek Hospital International School of Chaplaincy. Family Practice, General Surgery, and Orthopedic Surgery residents are also trained at Tenwek Hospital. The sign at Tenwek's front gate speaks for mission hospitals everywhere by boldly proclaiming to all, “We treat, Jesus heals.”
Ground transportation from Nairobi is approximately four hours.
Time Difference
+7 hours Daylight Savings Time (EST), U.S.A.; +8 hours Eastern Standard Time (EST), U.S.A.
Tenwek Hospital is located 150 miles northwest of Nairobi and five miles east of Bomet.
The largest group of people served by Tenwek Hospital is the Kipsigis whose livelihood is based on an agricultural economy.
Although English and Swahili are the official languages of Kenya, Swahili and local tribal dialects are spoken most of the time. Charts are written in English.
Christianity was first brought to Kenya in the 15th century by the Portuguese, and spread rapidly during the nineteenth century, when it experienced a revival. Today, the main Christian denominations in Kenya are Protestant, which make up 45 percent of the country's religious composition. The Roman Catholic Church represents 28 percent of the population. The Sunni path of Islam is the religion of approximately 10 percent of the Kenyan population. The North Eastern Province is predominantly ethnic Somali and Muslim. The Coast Province also has a significant Muslim population.
Because Tenwek is situated in the highlands at 6,800 feet, the climate is very moderate and pleasant. September–May is the driest and hottest season; June–August is more moderate and cool in the evenings. Temperatures average between 51–70F in the cool season and between 52–79F degrees in the warm season. There are two rainy seasons: March–May and October–December. The average rainfall at Tenwek is 55 inches.
Many short-term volunteers stay in the guesthouse, while families and long-term volunteers may be housed in a vacant missionary home as available. Room and board charges generally cover food, water, cooking gas, electricity, and upkeep. Those traveling to Tenwek may want to hire household help. This is a national who has been screened by the hospital and is always very helpful with cleaning and light cooking. This is very inexpensive.
The first meals for volunteers are provided in missionaries’ homes. Single visitors will usually be on the hospital meal plan. Long-term missionary families and nationals may invite you to their home for lunch or dinner. After the first few days, married couples normally prepare their own meals. A grocery trip is made twice a month for items that are not already stocked in the pantry. There are also a number of shops at Tenwek. A short drive from Tenwek, there is a weekly market which sells local items and vegetables. Nationals come to the guesthouse area with fresh vegetables and various food items to sell.
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