Children's Services


The Sally Test Pædiatric Centre

The Sally Test Pædiatric Centre (STPC) has four primary goals:

  1. To prepare hospitalized children and their caregivers for medical procedures by explaining WHY and HOW they will take place and provide a variety of positions for comfort and other coping techniques.
  2. To be a catalyst for a positive change in attitude toward children, women, and families as important participants in medical decision-making within the local and national medical communities.
  3. To provide a safe place for children to play, grow, and develop while they are hospitalized.
  4. To give the highest quality care for abandoned infants, toddlers and all children, providing stimulation and love that ensure each child reaches his or her developmental potential while awaiting placement.


To accomplish these goals the STPC in the following settings:

  1. Sick Child Clinic (ED), hospital wards, and AMPATH pediatric clinic -where age appropriate medical play, film, pictures, procedural counseling and distraction are given.
  2. The Sally Test Playroom - the Sally Test playroom where white coats, injections, and medical procedures are banned, and developmentally appropriate activities are available for each child which include stories, singing, dancing, parachute play, outdoor activities, puzzles, games, and medical play.
  3. Baby Centre - attentive, loving individual attention from 8 AM to 5 PM daily before abandoned children are returned to the wards for the night.
  4. Sally Test Centre and throughout the hospital - twice weekly medical discussions for parents; a weekly oncology support group session; training medical staff on ways to talk to children to enlist the cooperation of children during examinations and procedures.
  5. Telephone - teaming with the pediatric oncology staff, calls are made to remind patients of return visits and, utilizing an oncology grant, providing transportation costs when a return visit is financially impossible.
  6. Wards Activities - crafts, stories, school work, puzzles are provided by trusted ward workers.
  7. Outreach to Rural Clinics - Teams go one day a week to each of five rural pediatric HIV clinics to provide parent education and attention-diverting activities for children. A remote clinic has partnered with STPC to experience and learn how to work with children and teens.
  8. Children's Library - our lending library is a resource for the Sally Test Center and is open to the entire AMPATH and hospital staff.

**Read articles on STPC written by IU School of Journalism students: Article 1, Article 2, Article 3.

The Facts

  • Child Life Health Workers provide intense counseling, medical play and procedural preparation for 60-100 children and families daily from among 200 children on the wards or visiting clinics.
  • The Centre creates a variety of activities for between 20-30 ambulatory children daily.
  • Annually between 25 and 50 abandoned children receive loving attention.
  • Five times a week the STPC Outreach Team reaches 25-50 children and 25 parents in each of 5 rural settings.
  • Parent classes are presented twice weekly to approximately 25 parents by visiting medical students, residents, faculty and MTRH staff.

Your Support Can Provide:

  • $25 - Disposable diapers for 1 week
  • $25 - Procedural distraction toys
  • $100 - Juice and biscuits for Outreach Clinic kids for one quarter
  • $100 - 20 stuffed dolls for medical play made by Imani Workshops

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