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World Among First Responders In Nairobi: Satpal Singh & Guru Nanak Ramgharia Sikh Hospital

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
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Jun 17, 2004
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Image of Sikh first responder, Satpal Singh Shipra,

from https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=572208986172428&id=451090341617627& set=a.451278254932169.103020.451090341617627&sourc e=46&refid=17


Satpal Singh Shipra was among first responders at Whitegate Mall. Service to humanity was also found in the speedy response of Guru Nanak Ramgharia Sikh Hospital.


When Aga Khan and MP Khan Hospitals found themselves full to overflowing with casualties in the recent terrorist attack on Whitegate Mall, Nairobi, Guru Nanak Ramgharia Sikh Hospital stepped in to fill a gap.

Here is a short video clip of their response. You may have to wait for the first video to clear before going to the hospital video. Baumra Surinder, Hospital Matron, speaks of the tragedy.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraphtv/10326191/Nairobi-attack-Its-a-very-sad-day-for-the-Kenyans.htm


A little background on Guru Nanak Ramgharia Sikh Hospital
Tales of hospitals sending away patients who cannot foot their medical bills are galore. In fact, many private hospitals operate on a pay first principle despite their high cost of treatment.

But there is a story of hope at the Guru Nanak Ramgarhia Sikh Hospital, a private facility located in Nairobi's Ngara area. The hospital has restored hopes of the many otherwise disillusioned patients and given them a reason to smile even in times of sickness.

The hospital is motivated by service to humanity. And it is for this devotion that it continues to receive numerous accolades for their exemplary and quality services.

In 2008, National Hospital Insurance Fund awarded them a certificate as the best faith-based private hospital in the region.

Last week, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka toured the facility to encourage the doctors and the management to continue with their enviable work.

The inspiring story of Penina Nekesa, who underwent a successful heart surgery at the facility, is their most recent success story.

The story "How Penina got her heart's desire" was highlighted by The Standard last week and touched the hearts of many.

Free treatment

The 29-year-old was plagued by financial difficulty but was operated at the hospital for free, thanks to collaboration between Guru Nanak and Pan Africa Heart Foundation.

Open-heart surgery is a complicated operation that is expensive even in developed countries. But the hospital has now invested in cutting-edge technology to provide subsidised open-heart surgery and post-operative care that has in the past been a dream in Kenya.

And their investment in state-of-the-art equipment is motivated by the need for effective diagnosis and treatment.

"The heart surgery machine alone cost the hospital Sh4.5 million. We have invested a lot in equipment because it's the success to effective diagnosis and treatment," said Ravi Kaul, the hospital CEO.

In their 15-year partnership, Guru Nanak and the Foundation have brought hope to patients who had given up due to high cost of treatment. The team recently screened 1,500 students from Jamhuri High School in Nairobi. Six of 12 patients identified during the exercise require immediate medical attention.

"Many people die in Kenya from the killer disease because of the high cost of treatment. Our desire is to provide the treatment at a more subsidised cost," says Jaswinder Virdi, the hospital chairman.

Medical camps

As part of their social corporate responsibility, the hospital has conducted numerous medical camps to the community around the hospital free of charge. And because of their affordable treatment packages, the number of inpatients and outpatients has increased considerably.

The hospital attends to an average of 130 outpatients daily. It has upgraded its operating theatres and equipment and refurbished its maternity and nursery to be mother and child friendly.

Because of the need for emergency services, they have also invested in well-equipped ambulances.

"We have 55 consultants affiliated with the hospital from all disciplines and seven resident medical officers," said the CEO.

The Guru Nanak boss says patients have access to maternity, medical, surgical, gynecological and outpatient services.

The facility, which is fully computerised, is adequately stocked and open 24 hours. They have a general ward, High Dependency Unit and private rooms with a paediatric unit.

The hospital also has casualty, dental, physiotherapy, wellness centre, labour ward, delivery unit and specialised clinics.
http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000046706&pageNo=1
 

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spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
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Jun 17, 2004
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re: Among First Responders in Nairobi: Satpal Singh & Guru Nanak Ramgharia Sikh Hospital

Satpal Singh was a witness and a responder. He was in the mall when the attack began, and was evacuated during the early stages of KDF rescue operations. He remained on the scene, and later participated in the rescue of other remaining hostages.

In this BBC interview he gives incredible details, eye-witness details, of the actions of the terrorists. I hope you can still see and hear his comments. The video of the interview is at this link, and is the third one in. His interview is very detailed. Since these tapes change as they are updated, you may need to persist through more than one interview.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24216879

I was impressed by his philosophy: if you run away from a problem, he says, you can make a problem worse. He was about helping other people. He took a club from a security guard who was immobilized. He worked his way throughout the mall. Helped many victims lying in their own blood. Was the target of a Somali terrorist - who missed. Satpal Singh undaunted continued on his hunt for the unfortunate. He would not take any individual praise from the interviewer, and stressed his was part of a joint effort.
 
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spnadmin

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re: Among First Responders in Nairobi: Satpal Singh & Guru Nanak Ramgharia Sikh Hospital

by Satpal Singh

http://www.sikhchic.com/people/heroism_escape_eyewitness_describes_nairobi_attack



I was at the mall for a business meeting - we were upstairs where the Java coffee house is, where the children were doing their cooking competition at the car park.

At about 12:25 we heard lots of gunshots and loud bangs downstairs near the main entrance, so I looked to see what was gong on.

I saw people running in all directions, gunshots being fired everywhere and people falling on the ground. Nobody was going down there to do anything - people were just running away from the scene.

I ran downstairs, and reaching first floor I came across an armed police officer near a pillar and I told him let's go down and see what the situation is and see what we can do.

FACE-TO-FACE

To my surprise, he never came down with me, so I just ran down alone where the jewellery shop is at the main entrance. I saw one man with his face down on the floor and another man was by the staircase bleeding.

As I went to help, I saw a Somali guy running at me from the stairs [and he] fired two shots at me. He was wearing a white shirt, he had a huge bag hanging on his right shoulder, and he was not wearing a mask so I actually saw him face-to-face.

I don't know how he missed. To me it looked like a big gun, so it must be an AK-47, I assume.

I think they were shooting anybody and everyone who came in their way, or was trying to help the people who had fallen down.

When he fired the first shot I just ducked down quickly. He fired the second shot and he missed me, so then I ran back to the first floor to get this cop so we could go down and confront this gentleman.

When I reached the first floor I couldn't find the policeman, so then it was back to the top floor. I rushed up there, then pushed everybody into “Books First“, which is where the cinema hall is, and told the security guard to put the shutters down.

Then we heard the gunshots getting closer so we pushed people up to where the tickets are sold and told everyone to duck down.

We saw two people come up and they were firing in [all directions] and they had bandanas tied on their heads. We couldn't see their faces properly but we did see that they were carrying bags.

Although the shutters were down, the windows were made of glass. We asked the employees from the cinema if there were any fire exits that we could use, so they took us to the movie theatre to show us where the fire exits were.

ESCAPE

After we went through the fire exit, we went onto the top terrace on the top roof, and we blocked the door with construction equipment that was there, because we couldn't lock the door from the outside.

There were gas welding machines, gas cylinders and bricks lying around so we took the gas cylinders and barricaded the door because they were quite heavy.

I think [there were] over 40 people on the roof terrace - there was one policeman who was in his vest who had removed his shirt, I think for safety reasons, so that he couldn't be recognised by the terrorists, although he was carrying an AK-47.

We had pregnant women with us, we had children with us, we had lots of people from different backgrounds with us.

After about 45 minutes we [looked over to the] ... car park where the cooking show was going on, where children were shot, and we saw people [who were] being mobilised toward the Java coffee house fire escape and being taken to safety.

So we all went towards the fire escape on the roof terrace which lead to the Java coffee house, and we started going downstairs, all the way to the basement where deliveries are made.

We could hear gunshots and loud bangs, so as soon as we reached the basement we started pushing people out through the gate onto the streets very fast.

Once we got everybody out, the policeman who was with us went towards the basement to see if there was anybody there, or any terrorists, and he got shot in the leg and he dropped his gun so we had to bring him back out.

RESCUING THE WOUNDED

I met an ex-British soldier who said there were still people trapped on the top floor where we came from - he said he had touched the eyes of four people and they were not moving, they were dead.

But there were others who were wounded and needed help.

The police officers were armed, they had bullet proof vests, so we [asked them to] ... come with us to the top floor and bring these people down. They didn't help us, so we decided to go up there again by ourselves.

We found people with gunshot wounds - that's why blood is on my shoes. We carried them on our shoulders down the fire escape and we took them out - we rescued women and children who were injured and wounded.

What went through my mind was just to save people and do what I could for fellow Kenyans.

At that moment you are in a state where you do not care what happens to you, but you want to get out there, you want to control the situation, you want to do whatever it takes to save people.

In the moment you surrender yourself to God and he encourages you, protects you and guides you and shows you which way to go.
 

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