Year established: 2011

Fields of work Other
UK Partner South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Developing Country Partner Nanyuki District Hospital
Contact --

Nanyuki District Hospital in the Laikipia County of central Kenya serves a population of around 160,000 people. It is defined by the Kenyan Government as a Level 4 hospital. The population comes from the town of Nanyuki and the large surrounding rural area. It comprises an outpatient department covering general medical & surgical specialties including Orthopaedics/Trauma, Paediatrics, ENT, Obstetrics/Gynaecology, Ophthalmology and Dental Specialties. It has an Imaging Department with Xray and ultrasound capability. Inpatient facilities support the specialties above, and there is one operating theatre (plus a smaller emergency theatre), laboratories. There is no Accident & Emergency/Emergency Medicine department or ambulance service.

South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (Torbay Hospital) is described as a medium-sized District General Hospital, situated on the SW coast of England. It serves a population of approximately 280,000, rising to >350,000 in the summer months. It covers similar specialties but with a greater degree of subspecialisation. The hospital works very closely with its Primary Care system and is seeking to become the first fully integrated healthcare organisation in England. It is acknowledged nationally as a progressive and innovative organisation with good patient outcomes.

The history of the relationship goes back to 2008, when Dr Ndanya, surgeon at Nanyuki Hospital met Dr Lucy Obolensky, who had been engaged in long term rural community projects in the Laikipia District since 1997. In 2008, she was training in orthopaedic surgery and Dr Ndanya asked if she could find an orthopaedic/trauma team to visit Nanyuki District Hospital as the workload was rising exponentially.  She responded by forming the multidisciplinary Kenya Orthopaedic Project (KOP) team, most of whom worked at South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (Torbay Hospital).

In Feb 2009, the first KOP project went to Nanyuki District Hospital to work with Dr Ndanya. This team brought orthopaedic, anaesthetic and imaging equipment, drugs and expertise in trauma surgery, anaesthesia and peri-operative care, nursing, physiotherapy and radiography.   The team operated on Nanyuki patients and developed ad hoc teaching to meet local requests.  The charity MEAK* provided some support.

In Oct 2009, the Peninsula Medical School (universities of Plymouth & Exeter) granted permission for medical students to accompany each project visit

Feb 2010    2nd KOP visit undertaking trauma surgery and starting to teach on wards.  MEAK provides substantial support as a result of a successful 1st project.

Oct 2010         The British Orthopaedic Association awarded a fellowship to support a trainee orthopaedic surgeon to accompany each visit for 3 years.

Oct 2011         The 3rd KOP visit took place undertaking trauma surgery, with Dr Mathenge now as the principle resident surgeon. Across the hospital, the team introduced and worked on the wider concept of Patient Safety, co-designing our ‘GRASP-Nanyuki’ course for all hospital staff to help with the identification of the sick patients and to improve communication skills.  Pulse oximetry was introduced (WHO Global oximetry project) and the WHO checklist in the Operating theatres.  The team ran the first ever Primary Trauma Course (PTC) in Kenya with PTC staff from S Africa.

Oct 2011       A Memorandum of Understanding was agreed between Nanyuki District Hospital and Torbay Hospital describing the potential for working together in a much broader way to support Nanyuki’s general development and to continue to allow exposure of UK staff to this work.  The exposure that the visits have provided to our NHS Staff has proved to be highly developmental for these individuals.  An ongoing programme of work based on the work just started has been identified if funding to support it can be obtained.

This strong partnership has grown naturally from the excellent relationships enjoyed between Nanyuki and UK staff .  All feel that they have benefitted equally from the visits. Both professional and personal relationships are already well developed. This time, staff from both hospitals successfully summitted Mount Kenya in a challenging 3 day expedition!

Contact persists between visits and Dr Obolenksy makes return visits to follow up patients and continue to build the relationship.  She works also in the rural community health clinics creating the possibility of Primary health links also.

We intend to continue to undertake the orthopaedic /trauma project on an annula basis and to support the patient safety work we have just started. The hospital is undertaking a needs assessment so that we can help to target support appropriately.

*MEAK (Medical & Educational Aid to Kenya) is a registered charity established by a British couple Mike & Dee Belliere who have given long term support to ophthalmology, paediatric cardiac surgical projects as well as to Orthopaedic/Trauma projects in Kenya.

Another registered charity, EGHO (Exploring Global Health Opportunities) supports Orthopaedic/Trauma projects in Kenya and Dr Obolensky’s rural clinic work in Laikipia County (both Dr Lucy Obolensky Dr Kerri Jones who lead the Nanyuki projects established and are trustees of this charity).

Link Requests

Orthopaedic projects are very expensive to run as they are kit-intensive. We are principally operating on complex fractures.
Any operating instruments, drills, plates, nails or other implants, imaging equipment, theatre accessories etc would be very welcome.
We are also helping Nanyuki to establish an Accident & Emergency department and any equipment to support that would be welcome also.

Contact Details

Dr Kerri Jones
Consultant Anaesthetist

The Horizon Centre
Torbay Hospital

Tel: 07725 071441








Dr David Njoroge
Medical Superintendent & ENT Surgeon

Nanyuki Hospital
PO BOX 1444
10400 Nanyuki
10400 Nanyuki

Tel: 062-31806

Additional Information

2nd UK contact

Dr Lucy Obolensky
GP Trainee South West Peninsula Deanery and Kenya Orthopaedic Project Lead

+44 7545 971972 (personal)