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Light absorbing diagnostics….

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We’re very happy to report back on exciting developments from our partners in Congo. Since our last great event and appeal for funds for diagnostic equipment, we can now report back on the huge impact this support is having.

Lab technicial Musa Chaka calibrating the new spectrophotometer in St Mathieu Hospital, Bukavu

Our partners have used the funds to buy 4 biochemistry machines, one each in hospitals in Aru, Butembo, Kamango and Bukavu. These machines measure many different biochemical parameters, and this marks a very significant uptick in diagnostic capacity in our hospitals. For the last 20+ years they have had to manage complex patients not having these essential tools for diagnosis and patient management.

Ceremony to hand over the spectrophotometer at Masiki hospital, Butembo

The machines are called spectrophotometers, which are instruments that measures the amount of photons (which give light its intensity) absorbed after it passes through sample solution. With the spectrophotometer, the amount of a known chemical substance (concentration) can also be determined by measuring the intensity of light detected. The machine illustrates the range of biochemicals that are being measured:

Different tests that the machine can do

The machines cost around $3,000 each, and follows our event in November when we raised £10,000. This links to other projects we have been doing, to improve the care for people with chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. Last year funds were used to buy blood pressure and glucose testing machines. And each hospital has also been able to buy $500 of drugs to help treat these diseases, so they have a starting stock to keep prices low for patients. Last year 15 doctors and nurses took the virtual course in chronic diseases run by Primary Care International suppported by Red Whale. Each hospital is setting up a chronic disease programme so they can recall patients regularly and ensure people continuously take their medicines and are monitored appropriately.  Quite a spectrum of activities that combined through the prism of chronic disease will lead to many avoided deaths and much less disability and suffering.  Hence why each machine is handed over with official ceremony and prayers, and much appreciation. Thanks to you all for your generous support!

Church leader Bahati handing over the spectrophotometer to med coordinator Bahati in Bukavu

And in further exciting news, we have had the first image sent from the new xray machine we sent to Masiki Hospital in Butembo – stunning image! More on the Xair next time……

calibating the spectrophotometre




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