Excitement is palpable in the village of Bogose Nubea. Through our partnership with the Covenant Church of Congo (CEUM), and with generous gifts and a long-term commitment from Crossview Covenant Church in North Mankato, Minnesota, changes at the Bogose Nubea Hospital are visible. A new staff house has been built, and solar lighting is up and running in the office, staff house, pharmacy, and throughout the hospital. A new pharmacy has been established and a nutrition center is helping families fight malnutrition. Developing clean water solutions is also underway.
But amid this excitement and activity, the doctors didn’t forget about the women and children.
The doctors at the small Bogose Nubea Hospital told us of their difficult situation. There is only one delivery room to serve more than 177,000 people. In a single room, there are thirteen in-patient beds, where women and men with all sorts of sickness must be treated together. There is one ward that has two beds for emergency care. There is one operating room, a laboratory, and a small ICU that is used for isolation and complicated cases. The top five most seen diseases are malaria, respiratory infection, diarrhea, anemia, and malnutrition. The number of patients admitted to this hospital has increased so dramatically that patients outnumber the available beds each day.
The doctors determined that the need to separate mothers, children, and infants from other diseases is one of their top priorities. When PCP received the application for funding the construction of a new Maternity and Childcare Ward, we worked closely with the CEUM on their plans. The objective is to reduce maternity mortality, infant mortality, and deaths for children through age five. The new ward will be built behind the main hospital, and will include twenty-five beds, several rooms, and supplies necessary for a functioning facility.
Waiting in Expectation
In recent months, a foundation has been laid to the new maternity and children’s ward. The walls are going up. Women are watching and waiting for a new addition at the hospital. Change is visible.
Initial construction of the maternity ward began in late February 2017 with the purchase of supplies. In May Dr. Gigal Ngombe, medical director of the Bogose Nubea Health Zone, and Dr. José Aputaka, director of Bogose Nubea Hospital, gave the PCP staff a tour of the hospital and reviewed the construction work. At that time, wall construction was approximately 25 percent complete and more than 7,700 mud bricks had been made! The community was excited and proud of the progress, and so are we.
But like every project, obstacles are likely to arise! Weather has been a partial obstacle as the rainy season began in April. Of greater concern was the limited amount of donations of gravel and stone from the community, which required the CEUM to purchase supplies elsewhere and transport them by truck. Transition of in-country project managers slowed the progress over the past few months. But with the current agreement of mangers between CEUM and PCP, we believe progress will continue.
Looking Toward Celebration
After the walls, a tin roof and the floors are finished, the crew will complete the construction by smoothing the walls inside and out, install doors, and screened windows. The facility is expected to open later this year with existing beds and furnishings on hand. As funds become available the remaining needed furnishings will be purchased.
We are thrilled with the accomplishments of the Bogose Nubea medical staff and the partnership of CEUM to further develop the hospital and provide care for the people in that region. Change is visible!
If you would like to contribute toward this effort, please donate to the Congo Hospital Initiative.