The patients at Mercy Hospital and five other health facilities in Sierra Leone who received them call it a blessing.
by Yasmine Vaughan
As you may recall from our May newsletter, Project CURE shipped 100 hospital beds to Sierra Leone with the generous support of Rick and Phoebe Peterson. After their long journey from the warehouse in Houston, these beds have finally arrived at Mercy Hospital. Mercy staff have worked diligently to remove some of the older, worn beds and placed 45 new ones in the wards, increasing Mercy’s capacity from 30 to 50 beds.
Upon receipt of the beds, Hospital manager Jinnah Lahai said, “We (at Mercy Hospital) are aware how hard you have worked for the beds that you donated to us. We appreciate it and are thankful. Words are fleeting, and we want you to know that a simple “thank you” doesn’t do justice to how deeply we appreciate your support. With each donation we receive, we become all that much closer to our goal. Thank you for making a difference through your compassion and generosity. I assure you that the leadership of MH will make the best use of these items as best expected. We remain grateful.” Mercy’s Dr. Stevens indicated that the new beds elevate the appearance of the whole hospital and said that the patients are grateful to have these new beds to make their stay more comfortable. The staff at Mercy are also grateful because this means that they can care for more patients and will not have to turn people away.
The arrival of the beds could not be timelier: Sierra Leone is at the height of the rainy season, when diseases like typhoid, malaria, and cholera are more common. In the last month alone, Mercy treated 175 cases of typhoid and almost 200 cases of malaria.
The other 45 beds have been placed in Kissy United Methodist Hospital in Freetown, the Sierra Leone Mission School Clinic in Freetown, Mission of Hope Rotifunk Hospital in Rotifunk, and the Rural Health Care Initiative's birth-waiting home in Bo. The gift of these beds has strengthened our relationships with these other hospitals and clinics who are all part of HCW’s Global Public Health Coalition, and we hope Mercy Hospital and HCW will continue to be blessed by this collaboration in the future.
Kissy used their beds in the new surgical ward and to complete their new patients wards built in 2020. Rotifunk hospital’s beds have been placed in their newly extended children’s ward.
With the arrival of these new beds, Mercy has also begun thinking about what other equipment and supplies need to be updated in order to increase its ability to care for patients in the Bo community. Organizations like Project CURE and Providence Health (who is providing COVID PPE to Mercy this fall) are a huge benefit to us. However, our hope is that Mercy will become more sustainable, and that we will be able to increase the capacity for the hospital to acquire more of their medical equipment and supplies locally.
In addition to brokering the donation of the hospital beds, HCW was able to broker a donation of much-needed respirators for patients in respiratory distress.
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