A Special Message About COVID-19 from FOT President David Hoover, M.D.

Dear Friend of Tenwek,
In the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic, we are experiencing a Kairos moment – a singular and opportune time to decide and act in ways that fulfill the purposes of God. Surrounded by a heartbreaking loss of human life and economic turbulence worldwide, God’s people choose to declare, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

In that spirit, FOT’s Board of Directors – most of whom are front-line physicians – has decided to act without delay to provide Tenwek Hospital with the critical resources it needs to be a beacon of hope and healing for the over one million people living in the greater South Rift region.

As of this writing, while more than 50 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Kenya, none have been diagnosed in Tenwek Hospital’s Bomet County. However, given the pace at which the virus is spreading worldwide, some epidemiology models have estimated that Bomet County eventually could see over 300 COVID-19 new admissions per day, with about 85 of those patients needing ICU resources each day.

In recent weeks, Tenwek has moved swiftly to prepare for this new potential challenge. (You can read more about their actions here.) The costs to prepare the dedicated COVID-19 holding and care units and secure the needed Personal Protective Equipment far exceed the hospital’s budget resources. The most significant expense is related to acquiring and installing a new Oxygen Generator that will double the existing capacity of oxygen supply.

FOT has committed to raise $250,000 USD to support Tenwek’s COVID-19 response. In faith, we are advancing $110,000 in funds for the immediate purchase of the one large Oxygen Generator still currently available in Kenya.

This will urgently assist in COVID-19 patient care and it will remain as a needed provision for Tenwek’s service for years to come. In this Kairos moment, please consider a gift that will bless, encourage, and equip the Tenwek Hospital community as they face an unprecedented challenge.

Over the years, we have watched with awe and gratitude as faithful Friends of Tenwek generously support the urgent needs at Tenwek Hospital. At a time when so many are in need worldwide, we deeply appreciate your prayers and any gift you are able to make.

With gratitude,
J. David Hoover, M.D.
President, Friends of Tenwek

Tenwek Prepares for COVID-19

Tenwek CARES. We are not Scared. We are Prepared.

That’s the message Tenwek Hospital is proclaiming to its community – within the hospital and beyond. In consultation with Bomet County health officials, Tenwek Hospital leaders:

  • Constructed a dedicated, 6-bed isolation unit in an existing building (former Mortuary Chapel)
  • Are developing a 22-bed holding and care area adjacent to the hospital’s main entrance (former Maternal Child Health)
  • Mandated health screening for all persons entering the hospital
  • Conducted specialized training for staff
  • Are seeking additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including gowns, masks, gloves, and goggles; medications; hand sanitizers; and cleaning supplies
  • Suspended all on-site classes at the College of Health Sciences and the School of Chaplaincy and launched some online medical and spiritual education and worship opportunities
  • Cancelled all elective surgeries (with 46% of patients still presenting with emergency needs)
  • Are holding soap-making workshops for local residents, providing materials and training (through the Tenwek Community Health & Development hygiene and sanitation program)
  • Plan to use 1,000 cloth face masks produced by students in the Threads of Hope program (a vocational sewing program for marginalized women) to be worn over surgical masks in an attempt to prolong the use of scarce surgical masks
  • Have Tenwek Hospital’s own Tailoring Department sewing PPE surgical gowns with hoods

In addition, medical mission visits to Tenwek have been suspended and the missionary doctors and staff at Tenwek are working without the outside professional assistance they rely on for coverage and education.

How You Can Help

  • Pray for the health and strength of Tenwek’s staff as they continue to deliver life-saving care to their patients.
  • Pray for Tenwek’s leaders to continue to plan and act with great faith, wisdom, and compassion.
  • Pray for the nursing students and chaplaincy students who have been sent home – that they will continue to learn and serve during the hiatus.
  • Pray for the health and salvation of Tenwek patients and their families.
  • Make a gift to help Tenwek acquire and install an Oxygen Generator, develop two isolation wards, and purchase PPEs, cleaning supplies, and other equipment. 

Send checks to:
1132 Greenbridge Drive
Matthews, NC 28105

We praise God that His Spirit is not bound by travel bans or temperature screening! He extends his compassion and care through His people everywhere.