Kenya: ACK to Revive St Luke's Hospital in Kilifi Ahead of Centenary

The Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) is planning to revive St Luke's Mission Hospital in Giriama, Kaloleni Constituency, in collaboration with the Equity Foundation.

The hospital opened in 1927 and collapsed in 2016 due to financial difficulties.

Before the hospital closed, it served more than 300,000 people in Kaloleni, Rabai, Ganze, Kauma, and Chonyi sub-counties.

Speaking when he handed over personal protective equipment to the hospital, Equity Group Foundation chairman James Mwangi said the church has played a big role in improving health in the communities.

"We learned from the church that we can use pending good infrastructure for good to the society. The church was meant to bring spirituality but used the infrastructure to establish health and education," he said.

St Luke's will become the first hospital to sign a collaboration agreement with the foundation, he said.

"We will not just be working together to equip the facility and renovate buildings, but we are also thinking strategically about the human capital and the patient, then join the board in working together to transform the hospital because of the work it has done in transforming the community in this area," he said.

St Luke will celebrate 100 years of its founding in 2026.

Mission hospitals, Mr Mwangi said, need to stop relying on missionaries for financial support and find ways of sustaining themselves through partnerships.

The hospital received a donation of PPEs worth Sh1.9million. It will receive support for the next one and half years.

Bishop Alphonse Baya of the ACK Mombasa Diocese said the hospital is expected to be revived at a cost of Sh40 million.

However, he said the hospital will not be handed over to the Kilifi County government as officials have always demanded.

"The county government cannot take over the management of St Luke's Mission Hospital. It is a private entity that belongs to the ACK Diocese of Mombasa and we cannot give it to another person," he said.

In 2016, Kilifi allocated Sh10 million for the renovation of the outpatient block at the hospital.

"We already have a partnership with the county government. We used to have doctors and nurses seconded to us by them and we still want to maintain that cooperation, and we are interested in having them doing more in this hospital as much as the law can allow."

Bishop Baya said he and Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi are discussing how to forge proper and lasting partnerships.

He said the School of Nursing at the hospital will reopen once inpatient services resume.

The hospital was started by the Church Missionary Society in 1927. The ACK Diocese of Mombasa took it over from the missionaries in 1983.

In 2013, ACK handed over management of the hospital to the Anglican Development Services (ADS Pwani) in a bid to improve its operational efficiency.

Those plans failed as the hospital had huge debts, Bishop Baya said.

The ACK Mombasa Diocese agreed to take over the hospital in 2020 and the facility was registered under ACK St Luke's Mission Hospital Ltd.

The company will oversee the revitalization of the hospital.

"The board of directors for the new company is already in place and has begun the work in earnest," he added.

The process will include renovations of buildings and perimeter walls.

Bishop Baya said that the hospital is seeking to partner with insurer NHIF to boost its sources of revenue.

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