Arts in Medicine (AiM)

MATER HOSPITAL MOVES A FIRST IN THE COUNTRY AND CONTINENT (THE STANDARD, THURSDAY OCTOBER 12, 2006)

Cultural and traditional songs have been used to entertain, but Nairobi's Mater Hospital's has gone further and is using them to heal the sick and ease the pain of the sick.

The hospital has introduced a programme called Arts in Medicine (AiM), where artistes use dance, music, drama, creative writing and visual arts to boost patients' com­fort and well-being. Creative arts will also be used to enhance the visual appeal of the Hospital’s physical setting

The launch of AiM comes at a time when hospitals are waking up to the demand for high-quality medical care from increasingly so­phisticated patients, a significant number who have experienced first-world care.

The programme will incorporate an exchange component of artistes and caregivers from the US. Re­search has shown that the arts can boost patients' physical and emo­tional health and improve the medi­cal experience for families.

With musicians such as Suzanna Owiyo engaged in the programme, things can only get better for pa­tients. Owiyo is an exciting artiste whose popular music is steeped in tradition. Her work is based on so­cial concerns. Her services at Mater Hospital will not only heal the body and soothe the pain, but also help patients learn about African music and other forms of art.

Local Authorities will work with pa­tients, their families and staff in dance, drama, music and the visual arts.