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At the Center of an Epidemic


Nazareth Hospital, near Nairobi, Kenya, is a basic, full-service hospital with 210 beds. Its mission is to provide medical care for the poor. Currently under the direction of Catholic sisters from south India, Nazareth Hospital employs 250 men and women, including eight doctors.

Under the direction of missionaries Drs. Richard and Judith Brown, who had served in Africa for decades, Nazareth Hospital began to provide AIDS services in 2001.

Dr. Richard Brown

Dr. Richard Brown

The Browns were introduced to Sister Dr. Alfonse, a gynecologist who was also the administrator of Nazareth Hospital at the time. The Browns offered to help start an AIDS clinic and Sister Dr. Alfonse agreed to provide housing for Richard and Judith on the Hospital grounds.

Dr. Judith Brown

Dr. judith Brown

For six months, Dr. Brown provided treatment to people with AIDS who had been patients at Nazareth Hospital, inviting them to come back to the Hospital for treatment with antiretroviral medicine, which was funded through various sources. What began as a half-day-a-week service slowly grew until the hospital provided Dr. Brown a separate room for his services. A year later, the Holy Family Center, a stand-alone HIV/AIDS clinic on the grounds of Nazareth Hospital, was constructed.

Nazareth Hospital

Nazareth Hospital

In the spring of 2003,
First Presbyterian Church of Norfolk, Virginia became intimately involved in the Browns’ work in Kenya and helped expand opportunities at Nazareth Hospital and the Holy Family Center. Since that time, many programs have been added to serve the sick and poverty-stricken citizens of Kenya. In 2010, Tree of Lives and Nazareth Hospital pooled their resources to open Joy Children's Village, a family-modeled orphanage to care for abandoned, abused and neglected children of Kenya.

The first donations raised by Tree of Lives in 2003 totaled $6,500. As of January 1, 2016, in excess of $1,500,000 has been sent to Kenya to fight the AIDS epidemic, poverty and abandonment.