BRIEF HISTORY OF WAMBA CATHOLIC HOSPITAL AND
THE SCHOOL OF NURSING
Wamba Catholic Hospital started in 1969 as a small Health Centre, comprising of a Dispensary and two wards for male and female patients, with eight beds capacity. The population very soon utilized this facility. This showed that right from the start the people had a lot of interest in their health. The first physician, Doctor Silvio Prandoni, with the cooperation of the Consolata Missionary Sisters’ innumerable sacrifices and self-giving, they saw the necessity of expanding the facilities in order to meet the needs of the many patients who called for their services.
Very soon, the zealous team was no longer in a position to manage the increased workload by themselves. For this reason, they started to train “on-the-job” capable young women who, little by little, became very precious helpers and motivated staff. As the hospital continued to grow, the need to engage qualified personnel became quite evident. This was also in keeping with the missionary ideal of the team, which is to train staff to become committed to their own people in the name of, and for the love of Jesus Christ.
Plans were drawn to begin a Nursing Training School by Dr. Prandoni, the Sisters and in perfect agreement with the plans of Bishop of Marsabit, Rt. Rev. Bishop Carlo Cavallera (1909 – 1990). He was the one who had the prophetic courage to initiate human promotion in the northern part of Kenya still too remote to benefit from the facilities available down country.
The aims of the Nursing Training School were clearly stated as follows:
- To meet the Hospital’s needs for nurses
- To train local youth to care for their own brothers and sisters
- To equip the trainees with the knowledge and practice necessary to run a hospital
- To uplift the status of the women of the area
- To continue Christ’s work on earth with responsibility, joy and self-giving
The project was presented to the Nursing Council of Kenya for approval. In due time, the Nursing Council visited the Hospital, and found the patient care and the premises very good and therefore gave their approval to begin the training of Kenya Enrolled Nurses. The official opening of the School took place on the 4th March 1973. All the visitors and friends who participated in this event expressed their satisfaction for the courageous and ambitious realization of the plan.
Since 1973, the Hospital and the Nursing Training School have grown and developed. Now, the Hospital is equipped to care for all kinds of diseases and rehabilitation. The official number of beds is about 200. Many highly qualified specialists offer their skilled services at intervals every year, e.g. Orthopaedic Surgeons, Eye Specialists, Dentists, Gynaecologists, Cardiologists, etc. The Hospital for many years remained under the dedicated direction of Dr. Prandoni until his retirement when he handed over the Direction to Dr. Julia Palau who in turn, handed over to Dr. Nassir Lekudere and at the moment the MO incharge is Dr. Nyangaresi. Our Medical Staff has grown and now Dr. Alex Muraguri is working hand – in – hand with 3 other Kenyan Doctors. The position of the Nursing Officer in-charge (the Matron) has been handed over from the Consolata Sisters first to the Nirmala (Mary Immaculate) Sisters in the year 2004 and from them to the first Lay Person, (Teresia Njue) in 2007. Our present Matron is Mrs. Jelisa Lenaigiswa.
As for the Nursing Training School, it has developed from training those few girls at the beginning who had only a primary school education to training both girls and boys who have finished secondary school. In July 1990, the school was up-graded from training Kenyan Enrolled Nurses to training Kenyan Enrolled Community Nurses. In September 2006, the Nursing School took one more step up the ladder and began the In-service programme for up-grading Kenya Enrolled Community Health Nurses to become Kenya Registered Community Health Nurses marking the beginning of a short period of assisting the nurses already holding a Certificate to up-grade to the Diploma level of nursing. In March 2008, we then began the first class of the Kenya Registered Community Health Nurse Pre-service programme, marking the beginning of a new future of training Secondary School leavers to obtain a Diploma in Nursing.
The Consolata sisters have officially added over the school to the diocese in February 2015. The nursing school is now under full management of the diocese through the people. At the moment the school has its first lay person Mrs Mercy Leleruk, she has been acting principal since the sisters left in February.
The year 2015 marks 42 years of training the youth of Kenya and we are proud to state that during these years we have prepared, and are in the process of preparing 1,645 nurses.