Ontario in Action: KBNF Makes History

ONTARIO BEDS.5On April 15th, 50 beds were loaded in Burlington, Ontario, home of the Crossroads Communications warehouse. Another 100 beds are awaiting transport as soon as KBNF has the shipping funds. These beds were donated by Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Toronto General Hospital.
CROSSROADS COMMUNICATIONS APRIL 15, 2015Canadians across the land have risen to the charge of supporting Liberia in their grave time of need. Dell Wergeland, President of Compassionate Resource Warehouse, worked with David Shelley’s warehouse volunteers, men that have left their busy farms for a few precious hours, to get these 400 pound beds loaded.
ONTARIO BEDS.3Donations received and shipped from Ontario is a first for KBNF. Avi D’Souza of Not Just Tourists – Toronto Chapter took this desperate need to heart and took action. Receiving the support of the University Health Network meant quality donations will be in full use for many many years to come, in the heart of Africa.
And much appreciation goes to 100 Huntley St. for their generous support in housing these beds and providing the volunteers, several farmers that left their chores during their busy farming season to manually load these beds. THAT is a miracle!


A note from Francis Kateh: March 18

Liberia has gone 26 days without a single new case. Jackson F. Doe Hospital has been the only hospital that has not shut its doors during the entire crisis. The hospital is fully functional and the need for the supplies on the containers can’t be over emphasized. I am in Ganta doing border surveillance training to help in maintaining Zero in the country. . . . Thanks a million.

Brief Report from Dr. Kateh

The first container to Liberia was received at Jackson F. Doe Referral Hospital in Tappita, Liberia after their rainy season. During the rainy season, the trucking route to Tappita from the port in Monrovia was washed out in places and not able to support heavy truck traffic. Consequently, there was a delay in receiving the container’s contents. Jackson F. Doe Hospital, a 250 bed facility, is the major referral hospital for Liberia. It houses the only CT scanner in the country as well as other imaging services not available elsewhere. Consequently, in spite of the fact that it is 6 – 7 hours east of Monrovia by vehicle in the eastern rural district, it is their leading centre. They also accommodate a 6 bed Ebola unit on the outer perimeter of their hospital.

Dr. Francis Kateh, CEO of Jackson F. Doe Hospital, states that the donated “beds have changed the total outlook of the hospital.” They have transformed the character of the hospital. He explains that the replaced beds were improvised structures, not suitable for patient care. They were making do with what they have been given, very inadequate bed frames. A comprehensive report and photos will be provided shortly. Hospital supplies and furnishings are being distributed. The hospitalized children have been so very excited as they receive clothing and toys and the soccer balls and equipment and jerseys are being distributed to the local schools in the adjacent district.

Dr. Francis Kateh is leading the Ebola crisis medical intervention program for Liberia since being appointed by the President of Liberia, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, last August. He reports that during his extensive travels throughout Liberia and Liberia’s health care facilities over the past 8 months, he has had the opportunity to visit and evaluate every hospital, community clinic and Ebola treatment centre. He describes how these facilities are in heartbreaking condition, while depression with hopelessness and helplessness amongst the patients, their families and staff, is evident at the helm. Patients are lying, at best, on iron frames with or without mattresses or lying on carpets on the floor. Resources are scant at best.

The 2nd and 3rd containers are to be released from port in Monrovia next week as final paperwork is now complete. As the Ebola crisis winds down, the established community centres are expected to remain open to support patient care. Dr. Kateh reports that he is earmarking which clinics and hospitals around the country will receive KBNF / Compassionate Resource Warehouse hospital beds. One hospital already confirmed is James Davis Hospital, a maternity hospital in Monrovia, dearly in need.
Dr. Kateh believes that these beds arriving and yet to be shipped will transform these vulnerable centres and bring hope and healing to a hurting nation. His gratitude is palpable. He is anxious to return to Canada and share the stories and photos of the impact our container shipments are making in Liberia.

Dr. Kateh

A Letter from Jackson F. Doe Hospital, Dr. Kolee

Dear Marj:

The shipment has had a huge positive impact on the Ebola
response in Tappita in particular and Liberia. You will recollect that
when Ebola struck in March, KBNF was in Liberia on a surgical mission.
With the help of Dr. John Sampson and some of your staff we
put together the first ever Ebola related lecture in Liberia and
started community mobilization and the construction of the first ever
Ebola Isolation in Liberia.

When the epidemic resurfaced in Monrovia, (the first time an Ebola
Epidemic occurred in a city), the poor healthcare infrastructure in
Monrovia/Liberia crumbled leading to closure of all hospitals around
the country leaving Jackson Doe Hospital as the only haven for persons
seeking care.

Consequently, Jackson Doe Memorial Hospital became inundated with
patients from all over the country. This led to a serious shortage of
bed space. The arrival of your container was God sent and very timely
as it occurred during the period of great need for us. The quantity of beds
did not just increase at the hospital but the quality of beds became better.
Almost all the beds that we had at the Hospital prior to your donation
lack side rail. This meant that patient relatives sat by their sick relatives
all day and night to prevent them from falling. In the midst of the Ebola Epidemic,
this was very dangerous as no one should touch another person
(health workers who did touch patient wore light or heavy PPE
depending on the risk level of the patient); even hand-shake and
hugging are currently not permitted in Liberia. In fact, even
surgeries are done wearing full PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).

The donated beddings have also being very helpful because soil linens
sometimes get incinerated if they were thought to pose risk to our
cleaners and laundry staff.

Even the clothes that came in as “load stabilizers” were given to
discharged patients whose clothes got burnt because they were thought
to be infectious at admission.

The overall impact of your donation on our response to this ongoing
Ebola Epidemic has being enormous. To date we are the only Hospital in
Liberia that never shut down while at the same time maintaining zero
infection among all level of workers at the Hospital. We will forever
remain grateful.

Warm regards,

Dr. Benedict B. Kolee
For Dr. Francis N. Kateh

A Young girl on one of our beds

An amputee patient

With Love from Canada