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Legio Maria defies anti-modern medicine stance, builds hospital

Members of Legio Maria during a prayer session at Kona Lejo in Manyatta slums in Kisumu on December 31, 2019.  [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Legio Maria, which was once thought to have no faith in modern medicine, has finally broken the cycle by commissioning the construction of its Sh200 million health care centre in Kisumu.

Director Paul Opondo of Cilneod Kenya Limited, the construction firm in charge of the project, said it will take three years to complete.

The first phase of the Level IV hospital project in Daraja Mbili, Kisumu West constituency, will see the construction of a community clinic with an examination room, a consultation room, a lobby, and a pharmacy.

The church, led by Archbishop Raphael Otieno, said the decision was made due to pressure from the new generation of church members who discovered the importance of medical services even after prayers. The Archbishop urged churches to make it a habit of constructing health centres so that members can access medical services close to home.

“There are diseases that, no matter how much we pray, require the intervention of physicians.” Most people are unaware that the Legion Maria Church encouraged people to visit hospitals, according to Arch Bishop Joseph Abuto, the church’s Administration Secretary.

“This was a challenge that forced the government to closely monitor the church,” he added. “People were concerned that patients would be removed from the hospital in order to attend church and be healed through prayer.”

At the time of laying the foundation stone, the church had raised Sh8 million for the project.