Three years ago, when asked by the Embassy of the Order of Malta how the Companions of Kenya could do
more for the sick and the poor of Kenya, HE the Nuncio to Kenya, Archbishop Bert van Megen suggested we
helped the Good Samaritan Catholic Mission Hospital in Tangulbei, Baringo County, a remote and troubled
place in the North East of Kenya. The mission hospital is administered by the Holy Ghost Fathers (the Spiritans) and the redoubtable Father Maxwell Atugba, Father Fred, Father Tim and the Kenyan medical team, provide life saving support to mothers and infant children.
Traditional infant mortality rates average 30% in this most austere region of Kenya. The Spiritan Fathers help
remote communities connect with Christianity through the patient and respectful provision of healthcare and
education, and in so doing provide a path to knowledge and faith. The Companions of Kenya raised over £90,000 to construct and equip the clinic, and through tireless negotiation our Hospitaller, Nathalie Houben, has ensured the clinic is integrated with the local health system, and staffed permanently with a Ministry of Health surgeon.
Three years of hard work and negotiations, with numerous challenges being presented to slow the project
down, the grand opening ceremony for the maternity theater in Pokot finally took place on 6 June 2023.
Just when we assumed at the Companions of Kenya journey had come to a natural conclusion with the
construction and equipping of the facility, our Deputy Chairman, Wayne Hennessy-Barrett, as part of his
fundraising efforts, contacted Helen Mordaunt, an old family friend and the daughter of the late Dr Michael
Mackinnon, an eminent Harley Street surgeon and frequent pilgrim to Lourdes with the Order of Malta.
Helen and her family very generously offered to donate her father’s prized surgical equipment, valued at over
So proud were the Mackinnon family that the Good Samaritan Catholic Mission Hospital Tangulbei would give
their family’s medical equipment a new life, Helen and her two sons, Will and Olly, traveled from England to
Kenya for the opening. The Mordaunt boys felt they could do more and bicycled from Nairobi to Mombasa, over 500kms, and raised more than £6000 for the theater. Immediately after their trip, they drove up to Tangulbei to volunteer at the
mission hospital for the week prior to the opening.
This project is emblematic of the Order of Malta’s commitment to serve the sick and the poor in Kenya and
spread the word of God by assisting those in need. The guidance and support of the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Bert van Megen and Ambassador Wilhelm von Trott zu Solz in identifying this project made the subsequent efforts possible.
The work continues as the Companions of Kenya ensure the equipment gets to the right place, securely, and is
part of a sustainable programme to improve the health outcomes where most needed.
L to R: Wayne Hennessy-Barrett, Ambassador Wilhelm von Trott zu Solz, Genevieve Hennessy-Barrett, Fr Maxwell Atuguba, Fr Tim, Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Bert van Megen, Oliver Mordaunt, Bishop of Nakuru Cleophas Tuko, Helen Mordaunt, Will Mordaunt, Fr Fred