Salunia and Dinah had done their homework and knew how much fabric would be required for 90 wraparound gowns, 30 per adult ward. They produced completed samples and then asked for "sponsorship," since the shamba they had planted on the hospital grounds, in the hope of selling sukuma wiki/greens to help purchase the material, was not yet ready for harvest. Dr. Hardison, grateful for an opportunity to more efficiently examine patients on daily rounds, generously donated 46,500 shillings (about $6.50/gown) for the project. Patients routinely wear several layers of their own clothing to bed at Maseno Hospital, creating unnecessary delays in administering care. The clothes might otherwise be stolen, however, if left at home.
Within a remarkably short time (TIA, remember), the ladies of our HIV/AIDS support group had sewn the gowns and earned a few shillings in the process.The seamstresses were pleased. Our nurses were pleased. Dr. Hardison was pleased. Now we just need to coax our patients into being pleased. The current promotion for compliance is, "Everyone at Aga Khan -- a private, exclusive hospital in Kisumu and Nairobi -- wears them." It remains to be seen how effective our "patient education" efforts will be. Meanwhile, though, the project earned Salunia and Dinah kudos in their leadership class. As Nan would say, "You go, Girls!"