Pumwani

Beautiful Delivery – Making Pumwani Hospital a place of Healing and Joy

 A Call to Visual Artists to give to a coming generation of Kenyans

Background

Pumwani Hospital is an Obstetric and Referral Hospital for delivery of expectant mothers in Nairobi, and adjoining districts. Pumwani also caters to HIV+ mothers through its PMTCT program.  Daily normal deliveries are 50 – 100, and Cesarean Sections are 10 – 15.

It is the largest maternity hospital in Kenya and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Artwork in hospitals can serve as a positive distraction for what the patient is experiencing. It is the ultimate way to demonstrate the healing power of art and its utility beyond aesthetics.

In 2004, a clinical study* showed that placing original artworks within the healthcare environment had the following benefits:

  • Reduction in levels of anxiety, stress and depression
  • Reduction in patients’ length of stay within the hospital
  • Reduction in the use of some medications
  • Increase in staff morale

*Public Art in Health Spaces: http://www.publicartonline.org.uk/resources/research/healthcare_research_evaluation.php

The Situation

Pumwani’s hospital walls are stark and drab, with images from posters of dying and deformed babies, mostly information NGOs that still practice shock advertisement to push mothers to bring children for immunization etc.

  •  The walls at the Antenatal Clinic were recently repainted by Google. The new walls remain empty and for the women who bring the children there, the clinic is dreary and uninspiring.
  • The garden where relatives of women in labour (often husbands) and mothers-to-be await the arrival of their babies, is also devoid of any benches or works to both heal and inspire.
  • The mothers who attend the PMTCT program come with young children who have nowhere to play.

It is not right that only hospitals that have a budget to commission artists should access art.  Four artists from Kuona have come together to create scultpures for the garden, a stained glass window panel, a see-saw for the children and art pieces for the antenatal clinic.

There are still alot more opportunities to push the healing properties of art within this public space – to a population that might not otherwise have access to contemporary art.

Where do you come in:

Do you have any art pieces that you would like to donate to Pumwani Hospital?

All the artwork must be for the benefit of the community; images that inspire and uplift – around the themes of both or one of the following:

  • giving life through birth
  • children

Deadline is February 21st 2014.

If you are interested and would like to participate in this loving gesture, please contact Wambui Kamiru at: wambui.kamiru@gmail.com

Pumwani

 

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