Hospital-based Spiritual Care for Mothers of Neonates at RMBH in Eldoret, Kenya

A Situational Analysis


  • Eunice Karanja Kamaara Moi University
  • Paul Nyongesa Moi University
  • Hazel O. Ayanga Moi University
  • Emily J. Choge-Kerama Moi University
  • Dinah Chelagat Moi University
  • Joseph K. Koech Moi University
  • Mohamed Mraja Moi University
  • Edith K. Chemorion Moi University
  • Joseph Mothaly Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital
  • Lucy Kiyiapi Moi University
  • Joseph Katwa Moi University
  • Jack Odunga Moi University
  • James Lemons Indiana University



Spirituality, maternity care, hospital-based, clinical pastoral care


Although the World Health Organization defines health holistically (WHO 2016), and although a positive relationship exists between spirituality and health, maternity care globally focuses on physical and psychological care while excluding spiritual care. In Kenya, spiritual care in hospital settings has received little attention. Yet, cross-culturally, childbearing and motherhood are perceived to be highly spiritual events, but which may be traumatic especially if obstetric complications, postpartum depression, and death occur. Spiritual care is positively associated with patients’ ability to cope with negative experiences but also with a healthy birth process with optimal outcomes. Towards improving obstetric care by integrating professional clinical pastoral care in hospital settings in Kenya, we carried out a baseline study to explore the birthing physical, psychological and spiritual experiences of mothers of neonates admitted at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Riley Mother and Baby Hospital (RMBH) in Eldoret, Kenya. This article presents the results of the study.

Author Biographies

  • Eunice Karanja Kamaara, Moi University

    Eunice Kamaara is Professor of Religion. She holds a PhD in African Christian Ethics and a Master of Science degree in International Health Research Ethics. She currently serves as a member of the Ethics Review Board of Médecins Sans Frontières. She is interested in research on religion/spirtuality and health.

  • Paul Nyongesa, Moi University

    Dr. Paul Nyongesa is a Senior Lecturer and Tutor in the Dept. of Reproductive Health at Moi University, Eldoret Kenya and also a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist with Clinical Duties in the Division of Reproductive Health, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret, Kenya.

  • Hazel O. Ayanga, Moi University

    Hazel O. Ayanga is Associate Professor of Religion. She obtained her Bachelor’s and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Nairobi. Her PhD is from Moi University and her post-doctoral is from Yale University, New Haven, US. Her current research interests include religion, culture and social change; science and religion dialogue and Clinical Pastoral Education.

  • Emily J. Choge-Kerama, Moi University

    Emily J. Choge-Kerama (PhD) is Associate Professor. She teaches Old Testament studies and Christian Ethics. She also prepares pastors and leaders in the ministry through the work of Africa International University, is co-chair of the Uasin Gishu Children’s FORUM and founder member of African Christian Initiation Program (ACIP).

  • Dinah Chelagat, Moi University

    Dinah Chelagat is Senior Lecturer in Nursing and the current Dean of the School of Nursing at Moi University. She holds a PhD in Midwifery from University of the Free State, South Africa. Her research interest is in religion/ spirituality and beginning/end of life healthcare.

  • Joseph K. Koech, Moi University

    Joseph Koech is the current Chair of the Department of Philosophy, Religion and Theology at Moi University. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Religion from Moi University. His research interest is in New Testament Studies, Contemporary Theology, and also Religion and Science.

  • Mohamed Mraja, Moi University

    Mohammed Mraja is Senior Lecturer in Islamic Studies and the current Dean of the School of Social Studies and Education at Bomet University College of Moi University. He received his PhD from Albert Ludwigs University, in Freiburg, Germany.

  • Edith K. Chemorion, Moi University

    Edith K. Chemorion is a Lecturer of Religion, Science and Society, and a Clinical Pastoral Educator. She holds a Master of Theology degree in Clinical Pastoral Counselling from Stellenbosch University and is currently a PhD Candidate.

  • Joseph Mothaly, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital

    Joseph Mothaly holds a Bachelor of Theology degree from the Presbyterian University of Eastern Africa, Kikuyu, Kenya. He is a Clinical Pastoral Educator. He received his CPE training at Harris Methodist Health System, Fort Worth Texas.

  • Joseph Katwa, Moi University

    Joseph Katwa is the Chaplain in the School of Medicine. He holds a Master of Science in International Health Research Ethics and a Master of Theology in HIV Counselling. He is a PhD candidate in Medical Education.

  • Jack Odunga, Moi University

    Jack Odunga holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Nairobi and a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He works in the Department of Reproductive Health.

  • James Lemons, Indiana University

    James Lemons is Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine and a consultant neonatologist at Riley Children Hospital in Indianapolis. Previously he served as Director, Section of Neonatal- Perinatal Medicine, Department of Paediatrics, Indiana University.


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How to Cite

Kamaara, E. K., Nyongesa, P., Ayanga, H. O., Choge-Kerama, E. J., Chelagat, D., Koech, J. K., Mraja, M., Chemorion, E. K., Mothaly, J., Kiyiapi, L., Katwa, J., Odunga, J., & Lemons, J. (2020). Hospital-based Spiritual Care for Mothers of Neonates at RMBH in Eldoret, Kenya: A Situational Analysis. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 7(2), 145-167.