Kenyan Catholic Mission Hospitals “straining” to Contain Pandemic amid Government Neglect

Bishop Joseph Mbatia (right) receiving a donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from Equity bank, a Kenya-based financial institution/ Credit: Courtesy Photo

Catholic Mission Hospitals are over-stretching their resources while attending to COVID-19 cases in the country, the Bishop at the helm of the Health Commission of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has said.

In an interview with ACI Africa, the Bishop Joseph Mbatia said that since cases of COVID-19 started spiking in the country, Catholic-sponsored health facilities have been recording a continuous rise in coronavirus patients.

“We are straining because we had not prepared enough for such huge numbers of COVID-19 patients in our hospitals. The situation has been made worse by inability of government run health facilities to fully manage patients who have tested positive for the virus,” the Local Ordinary of Kenya’s Nyahururu Diocese said.

The 32 Catholic Mission Hospitals in the country, says the Bishop, have been buying supplies to manage COVID-19 on top of donations from well-wishers.

On Thursday, June 17, Equity bank, a Kenya-based financial institution donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worth Ksh. 33 million to all mission hospitals in the country.


Bishop Mbatia told ACI Africa the donation which will be shared between catholic and protestant run mission hospitals in the country will help in the management of the many referrals they are getting from government hospitals.

“One key mandate of the Catholic Health Commission of Kenya is to facilitate the national coordination and management of Catholic health facilities across Kenya. We are humbled that Equity Group Foundation and Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board have put consideration into supporting our health facilities with PPEs,” said Bishop Mbatia.

He further explained the Catholic church’s contribution to healthcare in the East African nation saying the mission hospitals doubled their efforts in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Catholic Church runs close to 30% of all healthcare facilities in Kenya and this boost will go a long way in protecting our frontline healthcare workers which will trickle down to benefit communities at the grassroots level,” Bishop Mbatia whose episcopal see covers two Counties.

The Bishop also said that his Diocese has one of the biggest Catholic Mission Hospitals in the country; North Kinagop Catholic Mission hospital, a level five hospital which serves as the main referral hospital in Laikipa and Nyandarua Counties in the central part of the country.

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