It started when Dr. Freddy told Tom Christy that Wasolo hospital was running out of medicines. Dr. Freddy Bale is the medical director there, and Tom is a good friend of the hospital and village of Wasolo. After spending two years there as a short-term missionary, back in the eighties, Tom just couldn’t get Wasolo out of his head, or his heart. He has continued helping out in a number of ways ever since then, sometimes together with the Paul Carlson Partnership, sometimes on his own.
In March Dr. Freddy told Tom that they were running low on meds. Tom calculated that he would need $14,000 to provide $10,000 worth of medicines, with the cost of shipping. He contacted PCP to ask if we could give $5,000, saying that the Kejr Foundation of Salina, Kansas, would contribute $9,000. Byron brought the matter to our Medical Steering Team, and, with Dr. Aimé’s approval (the medical director of the CEUM system), the team said yes.
So Dr. Freddy gave Tom a list of the needed pharmaceuticals, and an associate of Tom’s purchased them in Kinshasa. From there it was air freight to Bumba, then by truck from Bumba up to Wasolo–the most isolated of the CEUM hospitals. (See the maps on our Facebook page.) On April 16 the truck arrived, and the boxes of medicine were unloaded at the pharmacy.
And the moral of this story? Well, there are three: (1) the CEUM hospitals need more medicines than we are able to provide right now; we’ve set a goal of doubling the amount; (2) strategic partnerships can make a lot of good happen; and (3) never underestimate a committed volunteer! Hats off to Tom for making this happen, and to the Kejr Foundation for their generosity.
SAJ 7 May 2012