A party of four healthcare professionals from Nanyuki Hospital in Kenya are currently visiting Torbay Hospital in order to share learning and expertise.

The visitors include Dr David Njoroge, Consultant ENT Surgeon, Medical Superintendent and now Minister of Health for Laikipia County, Dr Sammy Kilonzo, Consultant Paediatrician, Edward Kaibiria, Director of Nursing, and Stanley Mwangi Wakomo, Clinical Officer in Anaesthetics.

Each of the Kenya clinicians has objectives for the visit based on their roles in Nanyuki Hospital.  Their Torbay schedule includes attending meetings, looking at facilities and observing practices.

There is also a free public event on Wednesday 22nd May at Torbay Hospital’s TREC lecture theatre at which both Nanyuki and UK project teams will describe their work together.  There will be opportunities for informal discussion, and refreshments.  Call 01803 656700 to book a place or email library.sdhct@nhs.net.

The Nanyuki team will give a brief presentation outlining their work and illustrating wider issues affecting health and wellbeing in Kenya.  For instance the average wage is so low that many patients with traumatic injuries cannot afford treatment and are left with permanent pain and disability, unable to provide for their families. The combination of poor resources and the high burden of traumatic injuries in Africa have led to global inequality, which our healthcare professionals help to tackle. The team will show how developing best practice in theatre techniques, ward care and rehabilitation inspires and motivates sustainable improvements.

The relationship between Torbay and Nanyuki started in 2008 when Dr Lucy Obolensky, who has undertaken charitable work in Kenya for over 15 years and was until recently a GP Trainee at Torbay Hospital, was asked by Nanyuki’s only surgeon at the time, Dr Ndanya, if she could coordinate an orthopaedic project to Nanyuki.

Since then Dr Obolensky has organised several orthopaedic projects to Nanyuki and other hospitals, taking teams of NHS staff, mostly from Torbay but also Derriford and other hospitals in the South West.  The teams include surgeons, anaesthetists, radiographers, Operating Department Practitioners, scrub nurses and medical students.

An excellent relationship has developed between the two hospitals and the Nanyuki-Torbay partnership was formalised in November 2011 with both Chief Executives signing a Memorandum of Understanding, endorsed by the Tropical Health & Education Trust (THET).

The latest projects include helping Nanyuki to establish an Emergency Department, delivering educational courses designed by team members to improve the care of patients before and after surgery and education in the community to raise awareness of the causes of injury, how to prevent it, and basic first aid skills when transferring people to hospital.

To date, the projects have been made possible by the fundraising efforts of individual team members and the charities Exploring Global Health Opportunities (EGHO) and Medical & Educational Aid to Kenya (MEAK).  However, in 2012 the partnership was awarded a major grant of £210,000 by the Department for International Development to extend their work by establishing a better ambulance service and Emergency Department, as well as developing the existing operating theatre, ward and rehabilitation arrangements.

This is the second visit to Torbay Hospital by Nanyuki clinicians, following a similar visit in May 2012, which the visitors found extremely useful and gave them the opportunity to look at their practices and ways in which they could work better to improve patient care.  They were also struck by the generosity of everyone they met in sharing knowledge and information.

Dr Kerri Jones, Consultant Anaesthetist & Associate Medical Director for Torbay Hospital, and one of the project leads, said:  “It is a real pleasure to welcome our Nanyuki friends to Torbay.  We work so well together and our team learns so much when we are in Nanyuki.”

Dr David Njoroge, Consultant ENT Surgeon and Medical Superintendent at Nanyuki Hospital, said:  “We are very pleased to be here – long live the Nanyuki-Torbay partnership!”


Notes for Editors

  • Attendees of the public event on Weds 22nd may park in staff car park B for the evening – this is on the left near the Lowes Bridge entrance.
  • Health Partnership Schemes fund Health Partnerships to carry out training and capacity-building projects in low-income countries.  The programme is funded by the government Department For International Development (DFID) and is managed by the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET).
  • THET (Tropical Health & Education Trust) is a specialist global health organisation that educates, trains and supports health workers through partnerships, strengthening health systems and enabling people in low and middle income countries to access essential healthcare. More information available at
  • Exploring Global Health Opportunities (EGHO: Registered Charity No:1141680)
  • Medical & Educational Aid to Kenya (MEAK: Registered Charity No:1093115)



Left to Right – Edward Kaibiria, Director of Nursing, Stanley Mwangi Wakomo, Clinical Officer in Anaesthetics, Dr Sammy Kilonzo, Consultant Paediatrician, and Dr David Njoroge, Consultant ENT Surgeon, Medical Superintendent and now Minister of Health for Laikipia County


Photo Opportunity

From 6pm Weds 22nd May – TREC Lecture Theatre, Torbay Hospital


For more information, please contact Debbie Lannon, Communications Officer on 01803 656071 or email communicationsmanager.sdhct@nhs.net

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