ER, X-ray and Dental
The walls and terrace pillars of the ER and X-ray Building are up and the roof is going on this week. George W., Al B., Al W., and Dan K., all of whom worked with us before, are leaving on May 27 for three weeks to install the plumbing and electrical work. They have many other projects also on their list. Our container arrived in Conakry on April 25th with all of the necessary materials, more hospital supplies and the new John Deere Gator Utility Vehicle recently donated. We are processing the customs and importation papers this week as well. Pray for all of this. The funding for this project was completed by generous gifting from Autumn Ridge Church in Minnesota. The funds were also used to purchase the Basic X-ray and Developer Machine. These will be shipped to Guinea in our next container from Minnesota late summer.
One room in the ER and X-ray Building will be dedicated as the temporary dental office. Dr. Joel M. DDS, a new member on the CEH board, will help launch dental care at CEH along with a Guinean Christian dentist. We hope to offer this health service in the fall of 2013. Dental care in this part of the world is generally very limited and we hope to make a significant contribution in this area.
Dr. Bob S. and CRNA Mike H., both from MAYO Clinic, served at CEH for one week March 15-23. They set up the general anesthesia machine to be used by other visiting medical teams (surgical/anesthesia) when they perform more serious general surgical cases. Our African staff is limited to spinal anesthesia, Ketalar, local and regional blocks. That was the scope of anesthesia with which I operated in 99% of the cases that came to Ferke in the past and with which Lacina is very familiar. Dr. Jean Paul assisted and learned several new procedures through Dr. Bob's excellent teaching. Two patients who could not be operated on elsewhere in the country were successfully cared for. The African staff is averaging four major and eight minor cases per week. They feel they can increase this by 100% as the year progresses and the needs grow.
|ER and X-ray Building ready for roof|
| Staff Growth, Training and Housing
In our last update we asked you to pray for more nurses and a dentist, as well as several other positions. God gave us eight new nurses. They will go through our own nursing refresher training with Job and Lacina over the next six months as we incorporate them into our team. God also led a Guinean dentist to us who is willing to come when the dental office is set up in the fall. These new hires are believers and we seek to help them grow in their faith as they use their skills to care for and witness to patients.
We are grateful for the several donors who designated gifts totaling over $3,000 toward the Nurses Scholarship Program. The program is being refined in consultation with the L'AEMEG (the association of evangelical churches and missions). Three students will be selected and hopefully start the government nursing program in the fall of 2013. This should help us meet our continual need to grow our nursing staff as the work load increases. The inpatient services are running 90% occupancy so the need to cover all shifts is evident. An additional ward with eight more beds will be needed soon but will be deferred to early next year.
One of the next urgent priorities is to find a way for the staff to live closer to the hospital. Since CEH is located eight miles from the center of Mamou we are leasing a bus to bring our staff to work in the morning and to return them home in the evening.
We wish to establish a revolving loan program to help our most crucial workers build homes. With $12,000 in initial funds, we would loan four workers $3,000 each at zero percent interest to build a home. Bank mortgage loans in Guinea can have 18% interest rates. Repayment would be made via payroll deduction to reimburse the fund and then be available for others to borrow from. This amount would allow them to buy a small lot and build a very simple home close to the hospital so that they would be closer to the work site for emergencies. Ultimately they will own these homes. We hope this will begin the process of having most of our workers move closer to the hospital.
One national doctor is currently living on the CEH property in the professional home recently completed. We hope to build several more homes like this on the campus for about $15,000 each. The cost of this on-site housing would be deducted from salaries at a rate similar to what it costs to rent a home in town. Gifts may be designated to either of these housing projects.
|Professional Home at CEH|
Training Doctors and Experienced Reinforcements
Dr. Amos from Guinea and Drs. Idris and Mireille from Cameroon, all graduates of the Conakry Medical School, joined us in January to begin an on-the-job apprenticeship/residency. Drs. Idris and Mireille are engaged and will be married this month in Cameroon. We would love to have them return to Guinea after their wedding to continue their training and labor for the Lord with us. Pray for them and for CEH as we seek to work out the contractual details.
Dr. Steve M., a CEH board member and the Assistant Director of the Mayo Clinic Family Practice is working with our staff and the Guinean Medical School to develop a French Family Practice curriculum that would be culturally adapted to West Africa and Guinea. Our visiting US doctors as well as our senior staff would all participate in this training. Again, please pray for this!
|Dr. Bob, CRNA Mike and Dr. Idris|
Dr. Pepper and his wife, Ronda, and family served with us for several one-month stints since CEH openedin 2007. They normally are involved in itinerant evangelism and sharing Bible stories in villages that have never been reached. They recently completed a furlough and returned to share with us that they feel led to spend up to three months a year in the ministry at CEH. Their sending organization has approved this schedule change and we are thrilled with this enhanced partnership. They were a tremendous asset both medically and with evangelism in the past. We thank God for the blessing to have more of their time with us!
One of our strengths is the national missionaries from Cote d'Ivoire (CDI) who faithfully and competently serve with us. Four couples and their families make up this team and have done so for six years. Their board in CDI recently commissioned a pastor/chaplain/evangelist to come alongside them in the work. We welcomed Pastor Oumar, his wife Marietou and daughter Emmanuella to Mamou on April 16th. He wrote several booklets on evangelism over the past decade and pastored a church of about 150 in Youpogon, a suburb of Abidjan. We welcome their gifts and focused vision to our ministry. Please pray for them as they integrate into the MIAPE/CEH team and community.
|Pastor Oumar, his wife Marietou and their daughter, Emmanuella|
The Lord allowed one more patient to accept the gospel personally. He was an influential teacher from the community and had a chronic foot wound from a ten-year-old hunting accident. While hospitalized his sister called and told him that the hospital staff needed to pray for him. He offered money to ask the staff to pray. His nurse said that we did not accept money for praying and we would be glad to pray for him. A group of the staff prayed and the Lord allowed him to be healed. Before leaving the hospital he expressed personal faith in Christ. However, two weeks after his discharge we were informed that he died of causes unrelated to his foot. There are times we do not understand the sovereign ways of God but we believe that God in His grace can save an individual for eternity at any point in life. For this heaven rejoices!