International Awareness and Involvement
Nothing is more precious than the gift of life. And, there is nothing more miraculous than the birthing of a child, bringing new life into being. Prenatal care and safe birth deliveries are practices often taken for granted in America. Yet, adequate prenatal and maternity care is seldom experienced by women in our ancestral homeland of Africa.
Realizing this critical health issue, in 1955, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. began making plans and laying the groundwork to establish a maternity hospital in the east African country of Kenya. The plans for a facility came to fruition in the early 1960s when Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. made a major donation to help finance the construction of the Thika Maternity Hospital in Thika, Kenya, which is now named Mary Help of the Sick Mission Hospital. The first hospital to open after Kenya gained its independence, Mary Help of the Sick Mission Hospital continues to be operated by the missionary sisters of the Holy Rosary.
In 1985 members of the Sorority visited the hospital and saw first- hand, an increased population and infant mortality rate in and around Thika. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. responded by donating over $20,000 in 1985 which was used to establish two additional maternity wards and an administrative office.
Mary Help of the Sick Mission Hospital has grown to 120 beds. It provides affordable prenatal and postnatal care, nutritional education, child immunization, and family planning. The hospital gives prenatal care, including lab work, blood tests, and examinations to more than 200 women daily. The facility also has a special care nursery for babies after delivery. The hospital also serves as an educational institution for nurses and midwives. Over 66 students are trained each year.