By Jepkemei Kibet
Gynocare Women’s and Fistula Hospital physical appearance gives an impression of an expensive health facility. The assumption by many is however far from true. The hospital, located a few kilometers from Eldoret town at Mti Moja area, offers both in-patient and out-patient services at very affordable prices.
“People think we are expensive but we are not, we offer quality services at affordable rates,” said Gynocare Nursing Chief in Charge Rastus Evayo. While Gynocare was in the past known to mainly offer free corrective surgery for Fistula patients, it has in a short time grown to a hospital that offers a variety of treatment procedures.
Other services currently offered at the hospital include cancer screening, fibroid management, maternity services, laboratory tests, and mother and child health care. Where surgical procedures are involved, the hospital is equipped with state of the art equipment to carry out the surgeries. The facility was founded in 2009 by Dr. Hillary Mabeya as an outpatient clinic for women suffering from Fistula.
Two years later it grew to a hospital and conducted its first surgery. The current location was opened in 2016 paving way for more patients. It was Dr. Mabeya’s encounter with women with fistula during his internship period at West Pokot that encouraged him to venture into the specialty for his further studies.
The surgeon’s passion and commitment in helping the women prompted his wife’s interest who was by then a teacher. Carolyn Mabeya enrolled for a Masters degree in counseling and has been by her husband since then.
“You see them once and you cannot turn away,” said Carolyn. The Fistula patients get a comprehensive package including pre and post care and reintegration services depending on the assistance needed.
These include education and economic empowerment with support from Fistula Foundation and Beyond Fistula from the United States. According to Mrs. Mabeya, there is need to create more awareness on the condition to ensure all those affected get the necessary help. If the patients were to cover their corrective surgeries for Fistula it would range between Sh120,000 to Sh150,000.
Lucy Muthoni from Nyeri, who has been at the hospital for over a month says the hospital has good staff members. She has already undergone two corrective surgeries and is undergoing assessment to ensure she has fully recovered before being discharged. Other patients full of praise for the reception and care offered by the hospital include Christine Awinja and Linda Awuor.
Ms Awinja was brought in the hospital with severe stomach upsets and after various tests she was diagnosed with stage two cervical cancer. Awinja, 61, resides in Cherengani Hills and said she was terrified following the diagnosis but the staff at the hospital has been helpful in the acceptance process.
“After talking to a nurse who encouraged me that treatment at the current stage is possible, I feel better. They are all very friendly including the cleaners and those who serve us food,” she noted. Mrs. Awinja says she now has the will to fight the disease.
Ms Awuor who is recovering in the wards has already undergone surgery to remove multiple fibroids and is recovering in the wards. She had previously engaged with Dr. Mabeya when she had a cyst, sac-like pocket of membranous tissue that contains fluid, air, or other substances, hence her trust in his services.
“I located him here and would recommend anyone for his services,” said Ms Awinja. Linda Mama program has also being helpful to the community around the hospital. The National Hospital Insurance Fund program provides a package of basic health services accessible to all in the targeted population on the basis of need and not ability to pay.
Some of the specialized laboratory services currently being offered at the hospital include Human papillomaviruses (PVR), Voral Load, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), histology and cytology and Pap smear among others. Gynocare receives an average of 30 outpatients a day and carries out about 60 surgeries a month.