Dr. Albert Willicor
GLOBAL MINISTRIES MISSIONARY NEWSLETTER
GANTA UNITED METHODIST HOSPITAL
Advance # 15151Z
January 6, 2014
Dear Ministry Partners,
Warm greetings to you from Liberia where I serve as a Global Ministries missionary assigned as Medical Director for Ganta United Methodist Hospital. In this hour of great distress in Liberia, it is our humble duty to acknowledge and appreciate those who responded with kindness, favor, sympathy and encouragement. In the name of our Lord, from whom all things come, we extend profound gratitude for your prayers, and letters of hope. Your emotional and material support truly helped to fill a great void and strengthen our resolve. I cannot end but mention a great gift that came at a most opportune time – a handy camera from Global Ministries’ Missionary Support Unit in New York! I am using it to share about my ministry!
The Ebola crisis quickly exposed the weaknesses of Liberia’s health care delivery system. As soon as the crisis began, there was a virtual collapse of the system. Hospitals and clinics closed as soon as health care workers, who were at greatest risk, began to die. They included nurses, medical students and doctors. Nobody was spared. Families and whole communities were wiped out. Foreign doctors left the country. This included doctors that worked with us here at Ganta Hospital. The situation was bleak. This presented a dilemma. To also leave would have signaled the closure of our hospital, and all things that followed.
Ganta Hospital has remained open (throughout the crisis) providing general and surgical services. Ours is the only hospital in a region serving 450,000+ subsistence farming families that remained open to the public throughout the crisis. Safety measures put in place were religiously followed. Suspected cases were quickly picked up, isolated and referred. Though we encountered two confirmed cases, there has been no death – yet – from Ebola of hospital workers in Ganta Hospital; even while we remain open through the crisis! Our vigilance and your timely prayerful and ongoing partnership efforts, no doubt, helped to shield our workers from the deadly Ebola.
Sporadic cases continue to breakout in isolated pockets. This is a clear sign that the crisis is not yet over, even though it is now at its lowest ebb. This situation has understandably generated natural fear in countries not affected by the Ebola virus disease, and have instituted measures restricting entry or movement in their countries. In my case where itineration will require me to live with families and mingle with congregations, and my presence here being still necessary because of the flight of doctors, I think it is prudent to postpone itineration until the region is declared free of Ebola.
Our ethical and moral mandate is to provide quality, affordable health services for subsistence farming families. In our ongoing efforts to provide affordable healthcare, we cannot charge realistic fees to a public too poor to afford such fees. Until Liberia’s economy improves and the annual income for subsistence farming families (70% of the population are subsistence farmers earning less than $900.00 annually), we are thankful to all of you who help in our efforts to prayerfully discern diversified and creative ways to subsidize our operational budget while remaining true to our moral mandate.
Please see below a table indicating statistics for services we rendered during 2013 and 2014. A ripple effect of the Ebola crisis is a drop in our annual service in-take :
Data Summaries for 2013 – 2014 (January – December)
|#||Data Description||2013 Total||2014 Total|
|1.||OPD visits including Eye clinic||32,577||24,107|
|2.||Total in-patient bed admission||6,016||4,077|
|4.||Total births (babies delivered)||1,533||1,152|
|9||HIV tests done||2,560||1,898|
|10||HIV test positive||103||60|
|11||Total persons that accessed lab||23,618||17,729|
|14||Total Guineans served||1,874||769|
|15||Total Ivoirians served||86||35|
I warmly invite you to support my missionary salary Advance Special which strengthens Global Ministries’ ability to sustain missionaries’ service in more than sixty countries around the world.
For financial contributions, you may:
- Use Global Ministries’ website: www.umcmission.org to electronically send a donation for my salary support. At the bottom of the page, click on “Missionaries”. Scroll to my name on the missionaries page and my profile will appear. At the bottom of my profile is a link to make an online donation.
- Mail a check to your local United Methodist Church or conference office; or directly to Global Ministries. Write “Albert Willicor, Advance # 15151Z” on the memo line of your check. Or you may assist with my project support through Ganta Hospital Advance # 15080N and mail to:
P.O. Box 9068
New York, NY 10087-9068
Pray that the Lord will protect all of us. Pray for my own health, strength, and wisdom to make the right choices to keep me safe while providing services. It is our hope and prayer that the Lord will help us eradicate this deadly disease soon.
Yours in Christ service,
Albert Willicor, MD