By Godfrey K. Sang
Godfrey K. Sang is a historical researcher and writer with an interest in Adventist history. He holds a B.A. in History from the University of Eastern Africa Baraton and a number of qualifications from other universities. He is a published author. He is the co-author of the book On the Wings of a Sparrow: How the Seventh-day Adventist Church Came to Western Kenya.
First Published: January 29, 2020
Segero Dispensary is an Adventist health facility in Western Kenya that opened in 1975.
In 1969 at a camp meeting at Kapcheplanget in Ziwa, north of Uasin Gishu County, the elders there learned that a farm, which once belonged to the settler farmer Cecil Hoey, was up for sale. Adventism was new in the area, and the elders were keen to deepen the work of the church and considered acquiring the property to expand the church. There was no medical facility in the area, and this was felt to be the greatest need at that time. The elders approached Pastor Jackson Maiyo, who was in charge of the Nandi Station, with the idea to secure the farm and its facilities. Pastor Maiyo agreed and immediately contacted the East African Union for assistance. The East African Union responded and gave Sh. 60,000 (equivalent to US$7,500 in the 1970s)1 to secure the land and facilities. One of the Adventist elders in the area, Benjamin Mutai, approached the Eldoret North member of Parliament, Hon. William Saina, about securing the land for the Adventists to set up a medical facility. It so happened that Hon. William Saina, who was Mutai’s cousin, had been treated at the Kaigat Dispensary by Jackson Masinde. He readily agreed and promised to secure the land for the Adventists. Soon enough, the property was secured and paid for, including some of the facilities on it. The facilities on the expansive farm were still in good condition, and so one of the buildings was identified to be used as a dispensary.
Work Commences at Segero
The main Adventist health facility was the Kendu Mission Hospital in Gendia. The medical officer in charge, Dr. E. C. Kraft, visited Segero in 1973 to inspect the suitability of the facilities to run a dispensary. He was impressed by the designated buildings and decided that he would support it. However, disagreements with the local community almost threatened the establishment of the facility.2 Some of the elders felt that the dispensary would have been better situated at Kaigat, the traditional home of Adventism in Western Kenya, and a school established at Segero instead. However, a fire razed down a portion of the buildings that had been earmarked for a school, and so the idea of the health facility was accepted.
In 1975, the Segero Dispensary was opened to the public. Samuel Malel was posted there as the nurse in charge.3 In 1982 Samuel Kiprouo was sent in to assist Samuel Malel.4 In 1984 Michael Sum came in to replace Samuel Kiprouo. He remained there for close to 30 years. Another who came to work there was Hosea Wasike, who came from Chebwai.
Segero Dispensary Today
The Segero Dispensary continues to serve the community in the greater Ziwa area north of Uasin Gishu. By 2019, a large and vibrant Adventist community was in the area, including the Segero Adventist Secondary School, which was established in 1976. The dispensary serves the large student community and takes care of whatever emergencies may arise from there.
Maiyo, Isaac. Unpublished paper, May 2019. Greater Rift Valley Conference archives, Eldoret, Kenya.
Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1976.
Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 1982.
Kenya Exchange Rate against USD, 1973, CEIC, https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/kenya/exchange-rate-against-usd.↩
From a writeup by Isaac Maiyo of the Greater Rift Valley Conference, May 2019, Greater Rift Valley Conference archives, Eldoret, Kenya.↩
“Segero Dispensary,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1976), 439.↩
“Segero Dispensary,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 1982), 497.↩