A little over a week ago, we received an ocean freight container comprising very essential hospital equipment and supplies from our partners in Germany. One of the most critically needed items was the incinerator. Waste disposal has been an ongoing challenge for us. With our own resources, we were able to only construct crude, temporary ground based waste disposal pits. These pits are not environmentally friendly nor are they consistent with national and international sanitation standards. But, it was the best we could do.
In recent years, local organizations like Christian Health Association of Liberia (CHAL) and the government of Liberia through its Ministry of Health stepped in to strengthen our efforts by providing funding to improve our waste disposal system. However, even these improved methods aren’t sufficient to accommodate the volume of waste produced on a daily basis in our struggle to provide health care in a resource poor setting among a rapidly increasing population. Given our financial constraints, we found ourselves again using crude, temporary measures by creating additional ground dug pits. The provision of the modern incinerator from our German partners assures us that together, with the help and support of partners, resource challenged facilities like Ganta Hospital can meet international safety and sanitation standards!
We have a moral and ethical mandate to provide Christ-centered, quality (but affordable) health care for a population of over 450,000; mostly consisting of subsistence farming families in rural, northeastern Liberia and along the borders of Guinea and Ivory Coast. We are a regional referral hospital. Access to health care in Liberia is challenged by poverty, poor or non-existent roads, low levels of literacy, and dramatically insufficient numbers of health facilities to meet the needs of a growing population. Discerning creative and resourceful methods to address ongoing healthcare needs in a resource challenged setting can be stressful and daunting. Our strength is this: We know our efforts are guided by Christ and with the prayers of the faithful, and support from all our partners, we will humbly fulfill our mandate. We believe this.
During the past four months, we have focused on improving the overall sanitation and safety in our hospital buildings and campus. We want people who access our hospital services to experience our compassionate care in a safe and sanitary environment. Our recent efforts have involved provision of effective waste disposal sites, physical plant improvements such as re-screening all windows, provision of screen doors, roof repairs, painting strategic parts of the hospital, repairs and renovations of bathrooms, masonry repairs, replacement of rotted wood and timbers, removal of excessive foliage on hospital grounds to prevent conditions conducive for breeding mosquitoes (to control malaria). Also, we trained our janitors and general staff on infection control and prevention methods. Creating a safe work environment is our primary goal in improving our service delivery. The ripple effect is a beautiful face-lift to the hospital which restores confidence among our public, thus encouraging greater client access. We heavily rely upon fee-for-service to operate the hospital.
With our own resources, coupled with local and external partners support, we will do all we can towards achievement of our goal for renovation and sanitation improvement. We still have a ways to go. Our most prioritized needs now are to replace ceramic floor tiles on our various wards and modernize our Labor and Delivery Ward to prevent cross infections among our new born and their mothers.
We invite you to support our efforts with your prayers, notes of encouragement, material and supplies contributions, volunteering and financial support. Please support our Ganta Hospital Advance Special #15080N. Consider coming as a volunteer and share your presence and expertise. You may use Global Ministries’ website: www.umcmission.org to electronically send a donation for our project support- Ganta Hospital Advance Special #15080N. You may also mail a check directly to Global Ministries. Write “Ganta Hospital Advance #15080N” on the memo line of your check and mail to:
Advance GCFA ; P.O. Box 9068 ; New York, NY 10087-9068.
Thank you so much! A comprehensive newsletter covering the current quarter (July-Sept) will be sent in October.
Patrick Mantor, Administrator, (firstname.lastname@example.org
Ganta United Methodist Hospital