Diagnostic Radiology Department

Introduction & General Information

Aerial viewTenwek Hospital is a 300-bed Christian Mission Hospital located in the rural highlands of Kenya, 150 miles NW of Nairobi. It was founded by American nurses in the 1950s and its first physician, Dr. Ernest Steury, arrived in 1959. (The book, Miracle at Tenwek, tells his inspiring life story.)

Today, Tenwek serves 600,000 Kipsigis people in the region and receives referrals from throughout Kenya and surrounding East African countries. Learn more at the Tenwek Hospital website.


Tenwek is a major training center with residencies for African physicians in Family Practice and General and Orthopedic surgery through the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS). About sixteen interns do their first year of training at Tenwek each year; approximately 22-25 residents serve at Tenwek in Surgery, Orthopedics, and Family Practice. There is a large Nursing School on campus as well as a Chaplaincy School. Tenwek has a large, active Community Health department impacting a wide geographic area and serving as a model program for developing countries.


Diagnostic Radiology Department

CT Scan facilityThe Diagnostic Radiology Department at Tenwek Hospital has grown and steadily improved over the past six years, playing a vital role in patient care. A multi-slice CT scanner was installed in 2011, ushering in a new era at Tenwek. In 2012 a long range plan (A.R.T. – Advancing Radiology at Tenwek) was launched to purchase new equipment and remodel the Radiology department. Since 2012, $400,000 has been raised to replace Xray  and Ultrasound machines and transform the department. During that same time, a coalition of over 90 USA and Canadian radiologists has developed to provide support and staff the department through a combination of on-site and teleradiology services.

The Radiologist’s Role at Tenwek

Tenwek does not have a full-time or Kenyan radiologist on staff. Over the last six years, over 35 different Christian Radiologists have served on-site at Tenwek for periods of two to seven weeks and roughly 28-32 weeks per year are covered on site. When there is not a Radiologists at Tenwek,  CT scans are sent daily to the USA where 30 volunteer Radiologists work in teams to interpret the scans and send back reports.

Volunteering to serve at Tenwek is a very gratifying and humbling experience. You have a real opportunity to make an impact with your skills and knowledge – both in direct patient care and in teaching Kenyan medical staff. Educating Kenyan Christian medical professionals is an important goal at Tenwek. There are residency programs in General Surgery,  Orthopedic Surgery and Family Practice with hopes of initiating an OB-GYN residency in the future. Sixteen “Interns” spend their first year of practice working and learning at Tenwek, and there is also a large Nursing school on-site. Four Radiology Tech students spend three to four months at Tenwek as their “Clinical Attachment” each year.



During a typical work day, a radiologist would attend the morning Grand Rounds and teaching session, followed by interpreting CT scans and various Xrays. Consulting with referring physicians and helping assess patients with the Ultrasound technologists occur throughout the day.






If so inclined or skilled, basic interventional procedures such as fluid or abscess drainage and US-guided biopsies may be performed. This is often an opportunity to help teach the Surgical and family Practice residents about basic ultrasound and procedure skills.




USA-Based Teleradiology


We encourage Radiologists to serve on-site at Tenwek because of the impact you can make with your presence and how you will be impacted by the experience of living and working among the Christian community there. However, when there is no radiologist on site, “teams” of four to six radiologists here in the U.s. and Canada interpret the CT scans daily for a one-week time block. This is done through an image sharing company named Radconnect who donates their services to Tenwek. Scans are easily brought up and viewed  and a typed report sent back via Radconnect. The powerful impact of this process at Tenwek is shown in this three-minute World News broadcast.

Stan Cheng is the teleradiology coordinator at Tenwek.


Tenwek has gone entirely digital. Currently Xrays are taken using a CR system and all Xrays, CT scans and Ultrasounds are stored and viewed on a PACS system named Clear Canvas. There is a computer and viewing station in the Radiologist office and others throughout the hospital. Reports are typed and entered into a hospital HMIS called “Kranium.” English is used throughout the hospital for all records and personal interactions and approximately 20% of patients speak English.

Radiology Equipment


> CT Scanner: Toshiba Aquillon 4-slice (6-14 scans/day)
> Ultrasound: 2 Sonosite Turbo’s including small parts and TV tranducers (30-50 scans/day)
> Xray: Two new Quantum Xray machines  processed via CR (60 – 120 Xrays/day)
> Portable Xray: 2 AMX portable machines and 1 C-Arm for Surgery

OB/GYN and ER also have portable US machines for bedside assessment.

Radiology Staff



There are eight to nine Radiology Technologists, one receptionist and assistants-janitorial staff. The staff in Radiology and throughout the hospital are welcoming, engaging and willing to help. Training and retaining quality techs, particularly in Ultrasound and CT, is an ongoing challenge at Tenwek.



Travel and Housing

Most physicians who serve at Tenwek do so under the auspices of World Medical Mission, a branch of Samaritans Purse (SP) It is a long journey to Kenya but once there, SP has staff who meet you at the airport and arrange a night at a guesthouse in Nairobi if necessary.

Tenwek Guesthouse

SP drivers will drive you four hours to Tenwek through the Rift Valley and center of Maasai land. There is a comfortable guesthouse on campus with private apartments. There is also a  common area with a cooking staff (or you can cook yourself). Tenwek is in a rural mountainous area surrounded by small farms and tea plantations. It is a family-friendly environment and a safe area. Elevation is 6,000 ft so although you are near the equator the climate is moderate and changes with the rhythm of “dry” and “rainy” seasons.


 African Safari Opportunity



The world famous Maasai Mara game preserve is just two hours south of Tenwek. Many visitors work with the hospital staff to arrange a short visit to “The Mara.” Hospital volunteers receive significantly discounted rates for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Learn more about the Fairmont Mara Safari Club in this video.



Where do I go from here?

If you are interested in serving at Tenwek or being part of our Teleradiology team contact Read Vaughan (tenwekradfriend@gmail.com)  or Dayna Wright who oversees volunteer physicians for Tenwek at World Medical Missions  (dwright@samaritan.org /828-278-1168).