Tonight it is raining hard in the middle of dry season. Nothing like a
rainstorm on a tin roof in a tropical country.
Another eventful and productive day. We spent most of day at the
hospital here in Koidu. Met with the only two doctors , the hospital
administrator and head nurse. Also visited with the midwife team,
pharmacist , lab tech, HIV team and head of TB and leprosy clinic.
With each person I asked as many questions as possible to try to
understand what they are doing and what they need. Everyone is
welcoming us with open arms.
Here is what I learned. This district of Sierra Leone is called Kono.
There are 538,000 people in this, the poorest and most rural district
of this country. There is only one hospital for the whole district and
this hospital has only two doctors! For 538,000 people. Western New
York has more than 700 doctors and Jericho Road has 5. Also no
dentists or eye doctors. I will never complain about not having enough
doctors at Jericho Road again.
The hospital does not have an X-ray machine, ultrasound or EKG. They
have one working microscope that is 20 yrs old. The generator
regularly runs out of fuel. My heart broke when time after time when I
asked the various leaders what they needed most they mentioned things
that we take for granted like suture material, gauze , IV antibiotics
and IV poles and electricity and a working refrigerator.
What they do have at this hospital are committed faithful people who
in spite of the lack of resources are providing incredible care. They
seem to keep excellent records and especially are doing well with HIV
care, tx of TB, maternity care and general surgery.
We also met with the district medical officer who is in charge of the
82 village clinics in Kono District. He is supportive of our mission.
I came away from today's meetings with a real sense that a big part of
our mission needs to be to strengthen, support and partner with this
hospital and clinic system. If we do so successfully we could improve
the health care of whole district of 500,000 people. It will take
years of commitment . We have an incredible opportunity to make a
Because this is Phebian’s home we are welcomed every where we go. This
town that was at the epicenter of a brutal civil war, has been
exploited by diamond mines( see the movie Blood Diamonds filmed here)
and is incredibly poor is welcoming us.
This evening I had the opportunity to play soccer with a bunch of guys
on the same school field where Phebian went to school and played.
Surrounded by buildings still gutted by the war. And I was reminded
again of how God can work. Phebian from her humble beginnings here in
Koidu , flees for her life during the war vowing never to return but
somehow finds her way at Jericho Road and now is leading us back to
her home to bring restoration and healing to this broken community. It
is an amazing story. Is a powerful example of what God can do if just
a few people are faithful.
Tomorrow we will do the first of 4 clinic days in 4 different
villages. Keep us in your prayers.
God Bless. Myron