Liberia’s First Ambulance: Montreal to Vancouver

What do you get when two buddies team up KBNF, Diamond Delivery, Operation Nicaragua and Compassionate Resource Warehouse? One cold winter's drive, a yellow ambulance, and the first ambulance in Liberian history. David and Rick drove across Canada to deliver the ambulance to British Columbia, for packing and preparing for its' container shipment to Liberia.

Stay tuned for the next part of Patrick the Ambulance's travels to its' new home.

Part 2: Patrick? What's in a name. 


A New Container Delivered for Liberia!

We worked ourselves to the bone to send another container to Liberia, West Africa, and it is so amazing to know that the container has arrived!

Dr. James A. Sobboh, the acting CEO/Medical Director of Jackson F. Doe Hospital (the first hospital in Liberia to offer Neurosurgery, and our first hospital in Liberia with our ground breaking 2014 medical mission) sent us a wonderful letter:

Dear all,

The container from Canada arrived last weekend and was offloaded. I am attaching photos and as items are deployed, I will send more photos. I want to thank Marj and all of our friends in Vancouver for giving their time and finances to make this possible. This is like a Christmas gift to us. Thanks.

James

We are so grateful for these wonderful pictures showing the container in Liberia. Merry Christmas, Jackson F. Doe, and a Merry Christmas to all our donors, Barn Be Volunteers, Compassionate Resource Warehouse and Diamond Delivery for making the container possible! 


Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital Palliative Container

Palliative Care Unit in Tetteh Quarshie

The Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital (T.Q.M.H.) was built and commissioned by the government of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in February 1961 in honour and memory of the late Tetteh Quarshie, a son of Mampong and pioneer of the Cocoa industry in Ghana. The hospital is sited on a hill on the south side of the National N4 highway route from Accra to Koforidua, Nkawkaw and Kumasi. It comprises several buildings with paved roads. A tour revealed the need unit to unit for equipment, stretchers, beds, and supplies. The 123-bed hospital serves a population of over 120,000 people spanning the entire semi-urban Akuapem Ridge, its rural valley and beyond, in Akropong, in the eastern region of Ghana (in the hills north of Accra). The hospital provides Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Surgery, Medicine, Ophthalmology, Ear Nose Throat, Psychiatry and Dentistry. Consequently, the hospital handles general diseases such as malaria, anaemia, respiratory diseases, hernia, fractures, pregnancy and related diseases and gynaecological diseases (Wikipedia).

They launched the first palliative care unit spring 2016, securing the support of KBNF and Share the Care.

Champion: Dr Mawuli Gyakobo is the Medical Director of the hospital while 5 – 7 doctors serve this hospital.

Team Outcomes

We had an enthusiastic visit with the Medical Director, Dr Mawuli Gyakobo, hospital administration and staff. His passion for his people is palpable. Appreciation for the Share the Care committee and KBNF / CRW was very evident. A tour was conducted of the newly renovated palliative care unit. Private rooms + a nursing station + a conference room are ready. The 1 palliative patient hospitalized was stationed on another unit. When more patients are requiring palliative care, the unit would be fully operational.

The container shipment was well received. Having only been received 2 weeks earlier, many of the items were already distributed while many more were housed in storage waiting placement. Our team was actually quite amazed how organized they were. The Chief Administrator held a handover celebration. He shared how grateful they are for our container and how valuable the contents are. So many times, when they receive donations, they are not consulted in advance and the items are not suitable. When the container doors were opened, they knew immediately that this was very different, that the contents were of excellent quality and very necessary for their hospital.
Because of the generous donation by a KBNF Founding Director, whose family has been served by this hospital for over a hundred years, we were able to announce that a large portion of another container has been funded.


Nigerian Neurosurgery Unit Damaged in Fire!

Tragic news, family!

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Our dear friends in Nigeria, Neurosurgeon Dr. David Udoh, his Head Nurse Priscilla and their staff came to us with news that a fire broke out in their unit.

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Years ago, we sent a container of medical equipment and supplies to set up the Neurosurgery unit at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital. Our 2009 Medical Mission had us in that unit conducting surgery and helping the people of Nigeria.

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Dr. Udoh comes on all our Medical Missions, and is an integral part of the KBNF Family. We need to bring them some relief. Help us put the money together to send them a container to replace what was lost.

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Help Rebuild UBTH's Neurosurgery Ward

Help us send a shipping container of medical equipment and supplies to Dr. Udoh’s Neurosurgery Ward in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. Dr. Udoh and his team are instrumental to KBNF’s success in West Africa. It’s time to help!


Container Sent! Tetteh Quarshie is getting a Palliative Care Unit!

We are over the moon about our last container shipment which was packed and ready to go February 11th 2016, from our Delta barn. Supplies and equipment to support a Palliative Care Unit are en route for the Tetteh Quarshie region of Ghana, thanks to our donors, sponsors and volunteers.

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We had a wonderful, special time loading from Delta with members of the Korle-Bu Neuroscience Team, Ghanaian Community, Church Communities, Compassionate Resource Warehouse & Diamond Delivery volunteers there to help us through.

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What a blessing!

Want to donate? Lend a hand? Join KBNF!


Container Shipment #3 arrived in Tappita!

KBNF friends and family, container #3 has been unloaded, safe and sound, in Liberia!
Our “love in a can” project of a 1,000 beds, medical supplies and equipment is well on its way to realization, as more and more donations continue to come in from across the country.
We loaded container #6 last week in Victoria and an Alberta couple drove out from Red Deer with a truck packed with hospital supplies from their local hospital. There they were, loading a container on their vacation. Healing is oozing out of these containers. It has too! So much love is being packed into it. Hospital staff, administrators, biomedical engineers, hotel and linen industry, delivery services, churches, on and on, I could go. Retirees (totally NOT retired from active duty!) join together week after week, day after day, preparing shipments for humanity.
As container #3 was unloaded, I received a phone call from Dr. Francis Kateh, Deputy Minister of Health and Dr. Ben Kolee, CMO, Jackson F. Doe Hospital, expressing their excitement as they were unloading our container. It brings such enthusiasm to all of our teams to know how much these contents are bringing hope and help.IMG_1131

Thanks Marj; my staff is very enthusiastic and grateful. We feel so blessed to have you in this partnership. This is one reason Jackson Doe Memorial Hospital continues to provide quality medical care in a huge ocean of broken health infrastructure; we are very grateful to you all.

Warm regards,

Sincerely yours.

Dr. Ben Kolee
Chief Medical Officer

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Thanks… and keep it coming!

Thanks . . . and keep it coming!

Morning family and friends! Thank you so very much for your financial support!  Every time Christina informs me that another donation has come in or I receive mail and there’s another cheque, my heart leaps for joy! We are well over half way there now with the funds needed to support the electricity needs for the outgoing hospital equipment to Ghana.  Keep it coming, friends! Every contribution brings us closer to sufficiently fulfilling this need.

For those that may have missed the previous emails, KBNF’s 18th container was fully loaded last Thursday and Friday in Victoria and will leave Vancouver’s harbor for Ghana early this week.

KBNF has been on a mission to provide the suitable power converters to support superb electrical tools, surgery equipment, hospital beds, machines and equipment being shipped over to Dr. Gladstone Kessie’s 100 bed Mt. Olives Hospital in Techiman, Brong Ahafo Region of northeastern Ghana. Ghana’s voltage is 220-240 Volts compared to Canada’s 110-120 Volts. We need a minimum of 20 electric power converters to ensure that the electrical equipment being sent can be effectively put to use. After some considerable team research, the suitable converters chosen have the capability to handle any 2 machines simultaneously.

In partnership with The Compassionate Warehouse, the 40 ft. container was chock-a-block with donated hospital supplies, furnishings and equipment including 20 wonderful electric / manual beds, with nary an inch of air allowed between anything. Brenda, Diane and I stood in awe as we watched Dell’s team pack the container like they were painting a masterpiece. It was a gift of exceptional planning, effort, and execution.

We are preparing a 2nd container for Mt. Olives in May, providing another load of excellent beds, dental equipment, and everything not ready to be loaded this time round including the converters.  I would be remiss if I didn’t express our appreciation to Diamond Delivery for their faithful diligence and promptness in picking up equipment and supplies from around Vancouver and delivering wherever Brenda informs them it has to go.

Sponsor a converter and save lives!

Just one example of how lives can be saved . . . Imagine a child struggling to breathe. Can you picture how desperately helpless the staff and family would feel when their loved one is choking and there’s no access to equipment? Suction machines are critical for basic patient safety. Electricity is required. Because of your partnership, we can address this issue.

WE NEED YOUR HELP. . .

 

Your support is what gives KBNF the ability to extend our hand in partnership with Ghana and West Africa.

Either on-line via our website: www.kbnf.org or by phone or mail.

Thank you everyone!


Nigerian Container Update

I am so pleased to report that our Nigerian container was cleared from Tin Can Island Port last weekend. The first half of the container, destined for our University of Benin Teaching Hospital neurosurgery unit in Benin City, was delivered while the second half is on its way to a new maternity clinic in northern Nigeria.

We want to thank all of our team for their diligence in donating their time, expertise and effort in making this shipment possible. And big thanks to Rick Diamond and Diamond Delivery for their faithful support in transferring equipment and supplies from Vancouver to Victoria. Arranging for Seaspan to take our cargo across the Georgia Strait for free was such a cost savings. And thank you to Compassionate Resource Warehouse, led by Dell’s team, for their amazing attention to detail and efforts to fulfill the requests of our Nigerian friends — ensuring the load was filled to the maximum (i.e. no air!).

This shipment started with a heartfelt plea to help provide equipment for a maternity clinic being constructed for village women dying giving birth and our neurosurgery unit’s 20-bed expansion in Benin City.

We’ll keep you posted as photos come in.

Thanks again, everyone!!!

Click here to see additional images.


Ghana Mission Post 14 – Mount of Olives Hospital

Dr. Gladstone Kessie, KBNF Board members and Gladstone's staff

Two weeks ago, Jocelyne Lapointe, Samuel Ampen-Asare, and I headed up to Techiman, a city of 5,000 in the Brong Afahu region, in the interior of Ghana. We flew up to Kumasi, then headed north, a two to three hour drive along a beautifully paved road. I noticed groups of people, mostly women, gathering up garbage in piles along the roadsides along the way. I learned that the government has a program to deal with garbage, paying citizens a small amount to retrieve the trash.

Arriving in Techiman, we were met by Dr. Gladstone Kessie, medical director of Mount of Olives Hospital. Gladstone was the medical director of Nsawkaw Hospital in Tain District, when KBNF sent in a container shipment of equipment and supplies four years ago. Currently, Gladstone is managing to deliver basic care to many patients in the district from a dilapidated facility and aged equipment. They have a simple operating room, and a nurse anesthetist provides support one-day a week. Their facility is simply overflowing with outpatients while they house approximately 30 patients in cramped quarters. They have a simple lab, a pharmacy, and a very organized medical records department.

Gladstone took us to the new 100-bed Mount of Olives Hospital under construction and expected to be ready for patients March 2013. It is very impressive. It will house two operating rooms and two floors of patient rooms, with bathrooms and showers in each room.  A dental clinic, conference rooms and apartments for visiting medical mission teams are housed on the 3rd floor. A separate facility will be constructed on the property for kitchen and catering services, as well as toilet facilities for the community. Dr. Kessie and his wife are undertaking this project, funding it independently. His passion for his people is quite simply palpable. KBNF will be pleased to partner with his hospital in providing a container shipment of hospital equipment and supplies, along with teaching, training and medical mission support.

Gladstone runs an ultrasound clinic in Wenchi that provides service to the community. It also offers free ultrasounds for the district’s pregnant mothers. He explains that this advocates for their unborn children; otherwise, many mothers would not receive the prenatal care they need.

Mount of Olives Hospital houses a school for caregivers. Many of these students are hoping to become nurses someday and this is their entry option into the field. Jocelyne, Samuel and I taught two classes of approximately 30 — 40 students over the course of four hours. What is becoming so very clear is that we can teach skill, but without compassion and caring, it is practically worthless. In my visits with nursing and hospital administrators everywhere, from Sierra Leone to Liberia to Military 57 to KBTH to the UK, they are all saying the same thing, that many nurses are missing a critical ingredient: HEART. We’re hearing how so many nurses are focused on the job as employment and not as delivering health care.

Please click here to see images of the mission.