Monday 11.29 – An Office for GBF in Bomi County?
Before our arrival, the team and I did not intend on asking Dr.Peters and the administrators here for an office space. However, I thought that it may be value added to our commitment to the hospital if we could stake somewhat of a permanent residence. Thus, I asked Dr. Peters what she thought of the it last week. She thought it was a great idea! So today we stopped by the Liberian Government Hospital again to to check out the spaces Dr. Peters said we could use. (See picture below).
This space has previously been used for storage, as you may see from photos. But with a little cleaning and moving some things around, we can make good use of the space. I want them to know that we aren’t planning on going anywhere! We’re in Bomi County for the long haul.
Wednesday 12.1 – Meeting with Dr. Rigo
One of our main goals on this trip was to meet with other resident doctors and administrators in surrounding counties for future clinic adoptions. Today, Sonponrina and I met up with Dr. Rigo, the Medical Coordinator for Kolahun Hospital in lofa county. In fact, I was introduced to Dr. Rigo through a friend on Facebook that reached out to me about having GBF come to Monsterrado and Lofa County.
We talked about the challenges at the hospital. He shares the same sentiments of frustration with Dr. Peter’s (at the Liberian Government Hospital) in regards to having to persuade – practically beg – women to come in for regular check ups for the sake of their unborn children and their own health. Whereas, in the United States most women do not need persuasion to seek medical attention…the situation here is peculiar because many impoverished women of the rural areas do not believe that hospitals can provide better help than what they can do by themselves, with family, or with midwifery assistance. Let’s be clear, midwives are a saving grace in rural areas! But for mothers that have complications, midwife assistance cannot suffice.
Nonetheless, as the only surgeon at the Kolahun Hospital, Dr. Rigo has performed over 120 surgeries within the past 3 months. Many of his patients are young women that are too small for the traditional birthing method (vaginal delivery) – many of them must opt for caesarean sections.
Thursday 12.2 – JFK Hospital in Monrovia
Today Sonponrina and I visited JFK Hospital to tour the facility and set up a meeting with administrators. Also, we visited the Ministry of Health to speak with Dr. Passaweh from the Clinton Foundation. We met him our first week here! At the ministry we received a really helpful tool for evaluating the hospitals and registered clinics in Liberia – an accredited booklet that rates them!
Friday 12.3 – Medical studies at the “old road”
Today we visited A.M Dogliotti College of Medicine of the University of Liberia, Liberia’s only medical school on the “old road.” The assistant lab technician, Henry Flomo, showed us around. We also met with Dr. Joseph Kamara, the college’s acting dean. He told us that the medical school is under serious renovation…which is great considering its deplorable conditions (see Allafrica.com’s article). But they are still in great need of medical books, lab coats, etc. The second tier of our long term plan of action calls for scholarships for students that attend this medical school and matching the institution with a university sponsors in the United States.
Sunday 12.5 – It’s official!
Paul, our trusted contact on the ground (GBF’s Liberia Correspondent) drafted a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Liberian Government Hospital and GBF now that we have officially begun to setup our office in a space given to us by administration. It’s official!!!