Friday, September 5, 2008

Luputa General Hospital - Getting better every day!

Last February we reported on the hospital in Luputa which was providing care for many people with very little supplies and a dilapidated facility. The church approved a project to strengthen the hospital and a second project to support a pre-natal program. The closest medical care to Luputa is Muene-Ditu a 2 hour drive by a 4x4. Of course no one has a 4x4 so it actually means a 2 day trip walking or by bicycle

The biggest problem was getting the equipment we had gathered transported out to Luputa. We aren't talking about a few boxes, we are talking about
20 hospital beds with vinyl mattresses

operating table
4 surgical instrument kits (1 birthing kit, 2 cesarean kits and 1 laporatomy kit)
newborn kits

400 Family Health and Hygiene manuals

ultrasound machine for the prenatal program.

We included 10 pair of scissors, nursing and bandage scissors. We were told on our last visit that they only had one pair of scissors in the whole hospital. Every nurse needs a pair of scissors in her pocket, kind of basic equipment. At least that is what I was told in my nursing class.

Dr. Muliele, a member of the church and an OB/GYN physician was instrumental in helping us find quality equipment to purchase and when we found a vendor for the beds we negotiated that they would deliver the beds to Mbuji-Mayi and then we would have to figure out how to get them on out to Luputa, a 4 hour 4x4 drive. We did know of someone who had a large truck in Luputa, our water contractor, Dominique Sowa. We called and asked for his help. He not only committed to transport the hospital beds and the operating table but had his office in Mbuji-Mayi pick up the equipment at the airport go to the mattress factory in Mbuji Mayi and pick up the mattresses and deliver everything to Luputa.

The week before we went to Luputa we got a call from our water site monitor, Daniel, telling us they were delivering the beds to the hospital and the people were dancing and singing in the streets. Wish we had got a picture of that.

Saturday morning was set as the time for a little ceremony and turn over of the equipment.. Elder Parmley, our Area President, consented to represent the church and give the supplies to the hospital. There was much excitement as we arrived Saturday morning.

We arrived early as we wanted to set up the equipment for the ceremony and make sure everything was in good order. A crowd had already started gathering.

Elder Moon unboxed the operating table and proceeded to put it together. He had a lot of help as all the hospital staff wanted to be in on the excitement.

Dignitaries started arriving including the Territorial Health Administrator and several government people who the hospital had invited.

The children gathered at the gate and wanted also to be in on the excitement. We gave them pieces of the bubble wrap from the packing boxes and they had a lot of fun popping the bubbles.

Sister Moon and Sister Parmley kept them busy by teaching them songs and had them singing in English without much difficulty.

The hospital looked much different this trip as they had painted and cleaned and it was looking very good and much improved.

The ceremony was conducted by Daniel Kazadi, our water site manager and by the hospital administrator.

The District Health Administrator spoke at the ceremony and thanked the church for remembering the hospital and their needs. He said that because of the attention of the church to these needs the health department of the province was trying to help the hospital also to upgrade their supplies and improve their system.
Then Elder Parmley spoke and Farrell translated his comments into French.
Elder Parmley told the people about his career as a Cardiologist. During his career he was president of the Cardiology association in the US and head of a large hospital in San Francisco. He praised the hospital staff for their good efforts. He counseled them to take care of the gifts they were given and improve the health care of their community.

I remembered when we first started dreaming about this project. We could see so many needs and wondered how we could strengthen them and help them improve the communities health. The Lord truly inspires us as we do this work. We took their wish list and soon narrowed it down to what we could do in an area initiative and it didn’t seem like much. But when we saw the improvements they were making in anticipation of getting these new supplies and saw that the district health officials were taking note and starting to support the hospital with some help, we realized that what the church provided was a catalyst for the community to help themselves.

The program included a tour of the hospital and this was an experience for those who had not yet seen what this hospital was working with.
We needed to do some training with the ultrasound machine but before we could do the training Elder Moon said he could hear something loose, rattling in the machine. He immediately dismantled the machine and found a screw had come loose and needed to be put back in its place. He also tightened up all other connections. Our driver Alphonse was itching to get his hands on the machine. He told us he was a technician and he could fix it. Elder Moon graciously allowed him to tightenp some of the screws. He was very serious as he worked on the machine and was very proud of his assistance.

Much more is needed here at the hospital but the few things the church has supplied will help considerably, The morale of the hospital has increased and has helped the staff take pride in their work. Just having the church recognize their needs and offering some help gives them hope that things can get better.

This was a shining star experience of our mission. A dream, a lot of work and finally success. And yet again we are reminded how impossible this mission would be without Heavenly Father's influence, opening doors, providing earthly angels to help us and guiding us in the direction we should go. Humanitarian work is working hand in hand with our Savior. We realize we are limited in our ability to see the big picture. We have learned to rely on the promptings of the Spirit to guide and direct us in His work.


Scarehaircare said...

Way to go , Mom and Daddy! I remember your first post about this hospital and just how little the staff had to work with. What a blessing to see it clean on the outside and new bed and tools for the inside. I am sure Luputa is proud of their hospital.

Tandy said...

That is incredible. What a project to see through from beginning to "end."

Emma said...

Great jod/work I know they love it alot I m,iss u guys alot

Emma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tiffany said...

Hooray for shining star experiences! Dad, what an impressive, and fun experience it must be to be an interpreter! Mom, you looked like you were in your element with all the medical equiptment! You are both very loved!