Story — Equipping hospitals

June 18, 2021Appeal, Aru, Aru Cité Hospital, Butembo, Masiki Hospital Butembo, Medical Aid International, Olongba, Primary Care International, Prosper Isingoma, Purchasing supplies, Raymond Gbombo, Red Whale Charitable Foundation, Story, Tim Beacon

Our Semiliki partners are all busy developing their health centres and hospitals. This year we plan to support two major projects: 1. Construction and 2. Equipment. This blog is about equipment.

This year, with the support of the Red Whale Charitable Foundation, Semiliki is supporting our partners to run training in chronic disease. We are delighted that Primary Care International (PCI) are developing the guidelines and doing the teaching. Phase I planned for this summer as had to go virtual with the pandemic, but with the hope that phase II can be face to face. We hope this will lead to at least 12 health centres and hospitals running chronic disease programmes (diagnosing and following up people with the right medicines and preventive advice about lifestyle).

Chronic diseases are very poorly diagnosed and treated across sub-Saharan Africa. If you’re aged 50 and have diabetes and high blood pressure, the chance of you getting the regular and affordable treatment you need is very low. Most likely you’ll be prescribed an expensive brand medication for a fortnight, and then stop taking it. This is the worst thing to do for chronic diseases that need long term daily, evidence-based generic drugs.

We would like to equip the 12 chronic disease centres with blood sugar testing machines and strips, urine dipsticks, peak flow meters (for looking at lung capacity in asthma and chronic bronchitis). We’d like to equip two of the hospitals with automated biochemistry and haematology machines for their labs to greatly improve diagnosis and management of chronic and acute diseases.

The laboratory in Aru Cité Hospital – the well trained lab assistants have no automated machines for biochemistry testing.

We’d also like to equip the operating theatre at Olongba. They have very poor quality equipment, but did 316 Caesarian sections in 2020 using this ward bed as an operating table:

Old ward bed used as operating table at Olongba Hospital

We’ll buy the blood sugar testing machines in neighbouring Uganda (so that the test strips are always available) but we’d buy operating kit from our turn-to partner Tim Beacon and the Medaid team, who have been so brilliant at getting top quality equipment to Congo with our previous purchases.

Do support us, either with regular or one off giving! We’ll be announcing fundraising events later in the year, but will get going with some of these projects as resources come in.

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