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Sarah Ng’ang’a: Retired Midwife Who Overcame Medical Complications to Establish The Juja Modern Hospital

Sarah Ng’ang’a is the founder and proprietor of The Juja Modern Hospital in Kiambu County. The former nurse overcame a myriad of life challenges to realise her dream.

Sarah was a nurse at St. Scholastica  Uzima Hospital in Nairobi when she developed slip disk complications. She was forced into early retirement.

From her physiotherapy sessions at the Aga Khan Hospital, she was cautioned against lifting heavy objects during the recovery period. She hatched the idea to set up a medical facility while in recovery.

Devout Christian

Sarah is a woman of faith. She credits Sister Rosa pascal, her boss at St. Scholastica Uzima Hospital, for helping strengthen her belief in God.

FROM L-R: Sarah Ng’ang’a, Ronald Ng’eno (theatre technician), Vincent Odiek (nurse), Vincent Chesire (nurse) and Damaris Muhoro (nurse).
FROM L-R: Sarah Ng’ang’a, Ronald Ng’eno (theatre technician), Vincent Odiek (nurse),
Vincent Chesire (nurse) and Damaris Muhoro (nurse).

During her recovery, the former midwife reveals that she had a vision. She saw chicks that looked lost and required her assistance. In another dream, she would also see a woman carrying a baby and a man holding her hand.

Sarah recalls that a pastor Maina Njagi had told her she would suffer an injury that would transform into an entrepreneurial opportunity. The pastor told her she would open a health facility where children would be born.

“This was a pipedream in so far as I was concerned given that I didn’t have any capital to invest in such an ambitious project,” she further recalls.

Realizing the dream

Sarah woke up one morning and left her Kenyatta Road Estate in Juja Town home and went in search of lease space to set up the hospital. She then stumbled upon an incomplete building and struck an agreement with the caretaker to lease the space once construction was completed.

She had exhausted most of her savings during treatment and thus she approached a friend for a loan to set up the hospital. This was the birth of The Juja Modern Hospital.

Next up, the hospital needed equiping and staffing. Since she had no money left, Sarah pleaded with her family to allow her sell thir plot in Embakasi to fund the project. They agreed.

Sarah faced yet another hurdle. The plot was located within the Embakasi ranch scheme and did not yet have a title deed. They were barred by the directors from selling the plot until the documents had been secured.

Determined to get her project going, Sarah Ng’ang’a accompanied her mother to a meeting with the directors and other members. She confidently prosecuted her case and was allowed to sell the property. By this time, she already had a buyer lined up.

Dr. Hillary Lang’at, the resident doctor, Juja Modern Hospital with his team preparing
Dr. Hillary Lang’at, the resident doctor, Juja Modern Hospital with his team preparing

After selling the plot, she procured equipment from a supplier in Nairobi. She proceeded to recruit five staff members, 2 clinical officers and three nurses.

The first few months were rough, business was slow and three of her employees left.

To grow the business, Sarah Ng’ang’a brought on board two partners, both medical doctors, who injected money into the project, and she acquired more equipment.

Just when things had begun to go right and business was taking off, her partners made demands she found difficult to meet and so they ended their partnership. The two left with the equipment they had financed, and Sarah was back to the drawing board.

Hail Mary

In a last ditch to save the hospital, Sarah Ng’ang’a entered into a deal with Trust Med Suppliers to replace the equipment her former partners had taken. In return, she would compensate them with proceeds from the sale of her residence in Kenyatta Road.

Juja Modern Hospital also got accreditation by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).

Sarah was not yet in the clear. One side of the hospital building was locked by the landlord over rent arrears amounting to Ksh1.6 million. She sought help from the area chief who advised her to go to the Business Premises Rent Tribunal.

She secured a temporary order barring the landlord from evicting her until the case was heard and determined. She was represented in court by Bernard Odero Okello, a lawyer she had met during the hearing.

As if she had not been through enough, Sarah was ambushed by auctioneers at her office who threatened to auction all the equipment should she fail to remit rent arrears. She was in the process of negotiating for a loan facility from a local cooperatives society at the time.

Juja Modern Hospital staff members.
Juja Modern Hospital staff members.

The auctioneers ignored the court order she had earlier obtained from the rent tribunal and seized her equipment and office furniture. They took the property to Juja Police Station.

Armed with a fresh court order, Sarah’s lawyer secured release of the equipment and reached an agreement with the auctioneers on settlement of the arrears.

Twist of Fate

One morning, Sarah Ng’ang’a got a phone call from the United Kingdom, it was a man interested in buying her house. As a show of commitment, he put up a downpayment of Ksh2 million which she used to clear the rent arrears.

The investor upon returning to the UK paid the remaining Ksh11 million balance which she used to clear her debt at Trust Med. She paid rent in advance and acquired another plot within Kenyatta Road Estate close to the one she had sold.

The hospital has since grown in reputation attracting patients from Nairobi, Kiambu, and as far as Uasin Gishu Counties.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the hospital arranged tele-medicine sessions for Kenyans patients with hospitals abroad, including those in India.

“That way, many patients were able to consult their doctors in foreign countries from our facility,” she notes, adding that they were able to buy medicine prescribed to them locally.

Juja Modern Hospital now has corporate clients including Wendani Valley View School, Corner Brook School, ACK St. Mathew School in Juja, Bristar Girls and Precious Blood Children’s Home.

The Juja Modern Hospital.

The facility now has thirty staff members comprising: a resident medical doctor, three clinical officers and nine nurses among others. Additionally, the hospital has engaged consultant doctors in gynaecology, dentistry and orthopaedics.

“My goal is to grow this hospital to a Level five status in the near future,” she says.

Sarah Ng’ang’a has since purchased a plot in Juja town where she will put up   a building to house the new hospital.

“We have already applied for building approvals from the county government and construction will commence soon,” she says.

Sarah attributes her success in the business to the support from Madam Ann Wambui Njoroge, mother to her landlord, Robert Mukundi Njoroge.

“She stood by my side when my rent arrears were very high to the extent of almost disagreeing with her children,” recalls Sarah.

“She is very precious to me,” she adds.

Sarah advises women entrepreneurs to ignore word from neigh sayers and pessimists. She also advocates for proper treatment and relations with employees.

“It is also important for you as an employer to treat your staff members with utmost decorum since they are the backbone of your business and   they should therefore   be   highly motivated and productive,” she adds.

She enjoys listening to gospel music and currently drives a Toyota Harrier.