Kapsowar Hospital

Missionary Hospital | Marakwet, Kenya

Hospital description

This hospital is currently requesting that students use an interim organisation – World Medical Mission – to organise their placement and advises that placements must be requested well in advance.

Kapsowar is a small mission hospital based in North West Kenya.

Background and History

Kapsowar Hospital was first established by Africa Inland Mission (A.I.M.) in 1933. In 1963, AIM handed over ownership of the hospital to the Africa Inland Church (A.I.C.), and it is currently under the supervision of the A.I.C. Central Health Council. Since the Marakwet District came into existence in 1994, Kapsowar Hospital continues to supply the majority of medical care to the people of the area with a goal to provide excellent healthcare to the glory of God.


The 140 bed multi-building hospital provides facilities for maternity, pediatric, medical and surgical care. The hospital compound is comprised of 12 hospital buildings and 22 staff residences.

A new nursing school was built in 2008 and accepted its first class of students in August 2008. Except for the surgeon, the current full time staff is entirely Kenyan. The number of expatriate staff varies greatly depending on the number of visitors in residence and those are mostly medical students or other visiting doctors or nurses.

Hospital Services

The 140-bed, multi-building hospital provides facilities for maternity, pediatric, medical, and surgical care. There are six adult wards of 18-20 beds each.

  • 36 male beds
  • 33 female beds
  • 38 OB/GYN beds

Inpatients and Maternity

Kapsowar Hospital totals between 4,000-5,000 admissions per year (931 male, 1,052 female, 1,347 maternity, and 738 children). The most common in-patient diagnoses for male patients coming to the hospital are malaria, injuries and fractures and pneumonia. The hospital delivers around 1,200 to 1,300 babies per year with more than 100 by caesarean section

Malaria is still the number one admission diagnosis at Kapsowar Hospital and variations in the altitude of this region tend to affect disease patterns. In the valley below the hospital, malaria is epidemic as well as Leishmaniasis and occassionally Malnutrition. At Kapsowar, malaria occurs chiefly during the rainy season although it continues to be an increasing problem. Even in the highlands it is becoming more common.

Outpatient Department

The Hospital’s outpatient department is staffed five and a half days each week and is in operation a total of 306 days a year. All patients are screend for treatment and referred to one of the two medical doctors for further evaluation or direct admission to a ward if acutely ill. There is an average of around 58 visits per day. URI, malaria and parasites continue to be the most common reasons for attending the OPD.

Eye Programme

The eye programme at Kapsowar is managed with the co-operation of other hospital staff and the communities of East Pokot, Baringo, and Kericho districts.

Hospital Pharmacy

The Hospital pharmacy stocks and dispenses all drugs and medical supplies to the wards, theatre, OPD, and dispensaries. The majority of drugs stocked are those considered essential by the Ministry of Health of Kenya.


The Hospital currently has one operating theatre which is in operation five or six days a week and does both major and minor surgery which includes; thyroidectomies; tonsillectomies; vagotomies; amputations; burns; plastic reconstruction; cleft palette repairs; and numerous other surgeries. In September 2009 a new theatre was built and sited adjacent to the Maternity department; this will bring a huge benefit to the current surgery team, along with the newly trained anaesthestic staff.

Pastoral Care

The hospital also has three chaplains who offer spiritual advice and pastoral care on the wards, as well as running the hospital chapel within the hospital grounds. Services are held on Wednesday mornings for staff from all departments to come together, and again on Sunday morning, for which both staff and patients are welcome to attend.

About Kapsowar

Kapsowar is a small village within the Marakwet District of the North Rift Valley Province. It is situated on the eastern edge of the Cherangani Hills overlooking the Kerio Valley. At an altitude of about 7,800 feet and temperatures daily between 60 to 80 degrees farenheight (16-29 degree centigrade), the climate is quite pleasant.

Days are usually warm but the evening and night temperatures can be chilly. There are heavy rains from April through August, with July and August being the coolest months. Most rain falls at night and the days are sunny.

AIC Kapsowar Hospital is largely responsible for the degree of development presently seen in Kaposwar. The town itself has a number of small shops and a local market which sells a fairly wide selection of local produce as well as basic cooking ingredients. You can also purchase phone cards for both Safaricom and Orange mobiles and exchange US dollars at the local bank, though the nearest ATM machine is in Eldoret, the local town around two hours drive away.

Most of the population of Kapsowar are the Marakwet, a Kalenjin subtribe. The original inhabitants in Kapsowar originate from different clans. Among the most prominent clans are Kapterik, Talai and Kapswahili. The Kapswahili clan were originally immigrants from Tanzania who got more or less absorbed by the Kapterik clan.They still have largely swahili names but have greatly intermarried. The Talai and Kapterik are rivaling clans, with the former being majorly Protestant and the latter Catholic. They also tend to support rival candidates in parliamentary and civic elections.


Hospital type Missionary Hospital
Local language English, Swahili
Funding Status NGO/Charity


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