Thursday, July 27, 2017

Nyankunde Hospital needs your help!

July 30, 2017

It is not our usual practice to ask for money, but I'm going to take a deep breath and do it.  Nyankunde Hospital has faced a financial crisis in the past few months. The causes are complicated, but the results are clear. 

  1. The Hospital workers are paid a fraction of their salary corresponding to the funds received.  For the past several months, workers have been paid about half their salary.  If you make 100$/ a month, and you get half of that, it becomes difficult to make ends meet.  Morale these days is pretty low and we have employees who struggle to feed their families.
  2. The hospital struggles to purchase even basic supplies. At present we are running out of everything in the OR.  I simply don't have appropriate sizes of suture and we run out of basic items like anesthetic supplies and gloves. When the hospital does buy supplies, they buy a tiny amount and it runs out quickly. 
  3. Basic medicines are in short supply. Lindsey has been going crazy because in the heart of malaria season, we ran out of basic malaria medicines. The lab struggles to do blood transfusions because they run of out of reagents. 

The solution is to fix the problem which has caused the current financial crisis, to keep the hospital running and provide essential care.  Nyankunde Hospital is a referral hospital which serves an extremely poor population.  Working within the rubric of the Congolese health structures means that patient fees are dictated at a governmental level. In the meantime the hospital receives very little support.  There are many complicated issues and our current  Administration is working on them. They have strived to manage finances and demonstrate transparency.  In the meantime we are faced with needing to replace expensive pieces of equipment such as an autoclave and imaging equipment with very little local resources to do so.  At this time it kind of seems like everything is breaking and the hospital has no money to fix things.

We are planning a trip to Uganda and we would like to buy some of the basic supplies we need to keep the hospital running.  We also need to buy an autoclave to replace one which has recently developed an irreparable crack. We need to purchase surgical supplies, including suture, gloves, gauze, drapes, anesthetic materials, etc. 

If you would like to help, you can make a contribution under our name by clicking on the Christian Health Service Corps and designate the money for Hospital supplies and equipment. Any amount will help us to keep caring for patients here.  We are trying to raise $10,000 to cover these costs. Your donations will be used to purchase critical supplies and this will help to keep the hospital running. Above all please pray that God will help us here at Nyankunde to share the Gospel of Christ through compassionate health care. 


Warren and Lindsey Cooper

You can contribute here:

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Broken Machines and RAIN

July 19, 2017
Visiting friends in the village of Etindey in the forest (after the rain)

It is time for another installment of life in Congo.  Day after day, there doesn’t seem a lot of new things to write about….but after a month there is usually a theme that has developed.  The theme of this past month is “machines breakdown.”

Broken Machines & Rains
As our son Emmanuel says so's broken, so too are many things in the hospital.  This past week the digital x-ray system stopped functioning, the autoclave has an irreparable crack, and the hospital generator for the operating theater/ICU is out of order!  Yes, that is right.  These are really important resources that allow us to have sterile instruments, have oxygen, and really use anything electronic.  There is a lot of troubleshooting going on, local mechanics consulted, and getting by the best we can.  We have come to depend on these resources heavily.  Warren has been operating on machines more than people lately.  Please pray for the hospital as we do the best we can each day to find solutions and have limited solar power due to the rains.

That leads me to the other theme of the month: RAIN!!!  If you didn’t know, Congo is the second largest rainforest in the world (after the Amazon)… “gorillas in the mist.”  A tropical climate, it rains a lot here.  Everything grows like crazy, including weeds.  We have planted crops this season: corn, soybeans, beans, and peanuts in addition to vegetables.  So far the fields seem to be producing well and our gardener is busy.  It really is a blessing to be able to grow crops.  This is the blessing of rainy season…although we miss the sunny days. 

Family Update
Emmanuel has been catching butterflies in his fingers.  He is really oblivious to where he is going, he just follows them from flower to flower.  I find him all over the place.  I may need to put either a cowbell or a GPS tracker on him.  He is becoming so creative with his drawings and sculptures in clay.  We are amazed at his progress in French these last few months.  It is the most fulfilling thing I have ever done, becoming a mom.
See the bus in the middle?  All our family and friends are inside.

Warren had a near miss with a forest cobra snake last week.  He was cutting up some dry wood from a felled tree for our pizza oven.  He detected the snake about two meters away at the level of his head.  He very quickly backed up, calling for a stick, and the snake slithered away.  I was at the hospital and heard that aftermath.  We rarely see snakes…so glad for that.  This serves as a reminder that they live here.  On a different note, Warren also completed work on a beautiful pizza oven.  You can stoke 
the fire to >700degrees and bake right on the tile floor.  Now our outdoor kitchen is complete.

I (Lindsey) broke a record for writing for the most transfusions in one day.  On Monday I wrote for 14 transfusions…all kids with severe malaria!  Perhaps all the mosquitos came out in large numbers on the same day.  Of the 14 kids, 11 received blood the same day!  Two children died before they could receive blood and the third received blood first thing the next morning.  I am really hoping that the malaria vaccine which is currently undergoing trials will be effective, at least to decrease the number of severe cases.  Until there is an effective vaccine I will continue to take malaria prophylaxis.  I actually convinced my husband to start prophylaxis after his second episode of malaria in a month.  Malaria really does take you “out of commission.”  It is lost work and family time and can be really dangerous (especially virulent here).  In the kitchen Lindsey is experimenting with new recipes for fruit crisps: mango, apple, rhubarb and learning new uses for beans and coconut.

Well that is the news from Nyankunde! 
·      We ask for your prayers as we troubleshoot many challenges on a daily basis.  Pray in particular for all the technical challenges. 
·      For those who are following the story of the long-awaited medication called tacrolimus, continue to pray for Jemima’s healing from nephrotic syndrome as takes this medication.  She seems to be responding well, praise God! 
·      Pray that God would continue to use this hospital to bring healing and wholeness to people’s lives.  Pray for a clear witness of the Gospel.
·      Pray for the safe arrival of our friends visiting for the next month from central Congo.


Lindsey for the Coopers
Our favorite hairdresser, Angel

Emmanuel spraying my hair wanting to "couper les cheveux"