Tuesday, February 14, 2012

ECWA Hospital, Egbe

All is quiet in ECWA Hospital compound tonight. It's 2:30 am and I can't sleep. It must have been the tea that Moses made for us after dinner. After more than 20 years in England, he makes a great cup of tea! I've been wanting to get some quiet time to tell you about the hospital so I guess this is as good a time as any.

When we arrived here on Saturday we had been through a 7 hour car ride that pretty much shocked us out of our culture and into this one. After being greeted by Mark and Abby and some local church leaders, we were taken to the guest house to settle in and then Abby took us on tour.

There are 3 parts that make up the ECWA compound. 1 is the housing. It houses the doctors and other full-time staff. There are several houses, some of which are duplexes and all of which are in severe disrepair. One duplex has been renovated and now houses Dr. Laura and the other side will house the new foreman who will be here soon. We will be doing finish work on both sides while we're here. Some of the others are being used by doctors, some with their families. As houses are finished, the staff will move into them and their older houses will be renovated.

The 2nd part of the compound is the school area. This houses a nursing school, mid-wife school and the church. We have enjoyed meeting the students as they walk around outside. They are very open and like to talk to us, as limited as the conversation is. We were out for a walk tonight and many were outside studying with battery operated lights. There was a gathering of them outside one building in particular. We laughed saying it was like our college coffee shops only without the electricity and the coffee!

The 3rd and main part of the compound is the hospital. There is a building that will be torn down and rebuilt because it is so far gone. I believe that hasn't started yet, just because they haven't had the skilled labor to do it and because there are so many other projects on the list. Our tour of the hospital was very difficult for us. It wasn't anything like I expected.

We went through the men's ward first. The beds are very old metal frames with paint peeling and mattresses split apart with age. I shudder when I think about the bathroom and shower area! A church had donated curtains to separate the beds so they looked nice except they had teddy bears on them. I'm sure they were meant for the maternity ward but the men needed them more.

Next was the maternity ward. There were several babies there and it was fun to see them and tell the famlies how beautiful their babies were. There were no wheeled bassinets or beds. The babies were lying on the beds so I assume they sleep with Mom at night. The closest thing they have to a neonatal unit is a separate room with a unit fitted with lamps. There was a jaundiced baby in it when we went through. It made me think about Caleb as he was jaundiced when he was born.

Next was the women's ward. There were no women there that day but sometimes, it's completely full. This room has been painted and fixed up somewhat. More will be done later.

This shows the times that people can bring food for the patients
A side note here is that people in the hospital here are cared for by family members. There is no one who goes around with a menu for them to pick what they want to eat for their 3 meals each day. One of the doctor's here actually started a restaurant. It's about the size of a closet but it serves inexpensive meals to family members.

The labor and delivery area was the hardest to see. The rooms are mostly concrete and have very little that we would think was a neccessity. Every doctor's office I have ever been in was better equipped. The labor beds were old and cracked. There was a table for the baby to be worked on but it was just a regular table. The hospital is run on a generator for a few hours each day. If you are delivering a baby, they don't turn the lights on for you. Everything is done by flashlight!!!

We saw the lab next. About all they can really do there are CBC's. At home, lab tech's have a machine that spits out the blood count. Here, they actually count each blood cell!!! I thought about my friend, Kim N. who is a lab tech and wished she could see it.

 The other part that really stood out to me was the pharmacy. It was in a downtairs room that was like a cave. They get their meds from a town several hours away and it mostly comes from China. Not the best quality, I've been told. When the renovation is complete, it will be moved to a better space. Right now, they can only fill scripts for inpatients. When it moves, it will serve more people.

I can't tell you how hard it was to see all of this. I have had people ask why I don't help people in the US because there are so many who need help. I start by telling them that we have and do help them but I go on to tell them why I have to help these people. I don't think we American's have ANY idea how good even the poorest of American's have it. We can complain all we want about our government and our medical system but when it comes right down to it, we will have medical care whether we can afford it or not. These people don't. Even if they can afford to come to a hospital, they won't have any of the things we think are a neccessity for basic health care. It's a little too much to wrap my brain around at times.

When the renovation is complete, they will be looking for healthcare people to come and train staff on new procedures and equipment. We would love to come back with a team of construction and medical people. Be praying about whether you might be on it.

More Hospital Pics


They could use a little electrical help

Bathroom in the Men's Ward

Men's Shower

Operating Room

Sterile Room

Back up Operating Room

A hot mess

1 comment:

  1. Happy Valentine's Day Kim & John!
    Hope your team enjoyed your pies Kim - you are blessing these folks in many ways. Thanks for your detailed descriptions of the hospital - it broke my heart - we have so much to be thankful for here! I am praying for both of you and the team - for health, strength and joy in the Lord together as you worship through your labors for Him.