Bread and Water for Africa welcomes our new partner in Sierra Leone, The Rural Youth Development Organization
The Rural Youth Development Organization – Sierra Leone (RYDO-SL) operates the Mokoba Health Center in a rural region where most of the residents of the area are subsistence farmers with an average number of six children who struggle simply to survive on what they can grow.
“People living in this community are in the condition of extreme poverty, and consequently they have not [the] possibility of affording the cost of basic needs such as food, education and healthcare,” says program manager Joseph Ngoniyela Kobba, adding that 80 percent live in “absolute poverty, with income below $1 a day.”
Without access to the free clinic, parents seeking medical treatment for their children or themselves have no choice but to go untreated, or possibly worse as Joseph tells us that “for any chronic or severe diseases they have to depend solely on quacks.
“The quacks are not trained. They depend on limited indigenous knowledge.”
For those very few who have the means, and the strength, their only option is to travel long distances on rough roads to the nearest available clinic or hospital.
Joseph noted that this is especially dangerous for women about to give birth who cannot make it to a faraway medical facility “and are compelled to give birth under the open sky.”
However, Joseph is concerned the Mokoba clinic could be forced to shut down if necessary repairs are not made immediately.
“If the health center is not rehabilitated soon, the maternal mortality, child mortality and morbidity rates will begin increasing day after day,” he told us.
RYDO-SL was established in 1996 by a group of young men and women who wanted to contribute to their community through sustainable development and became officially registered as a Community Based Organization and recognized by the government of Sierra Leone.
The mission and goal of RYDO-SL is “To transform and revitalize the lives or the marginalized and oppressed populations in the communities” and “To rehabilitate a local referral facility providing emergency and immediate healthcare services for Mokoba and its environs.”
In addition to operating the Mokoba clinic, RYDO-SL promotes sustainable agriculture, women and youth empowerment, emergency relief and community rehabilitation projects.
Joseph explained that the need for a clinic is particularly critical in the Mokoba community where life expectancy, at 38 years compared with 45 years for the rest of the country (and compared to the worldwide rate of 71 years according to the World Health Organization) is the lowest in the world out of 183 countries.
The region also experiences high rates of endemic diseases, especially malaria, Typhoid fever, dysentery, yellow fever and HIV/AIDS, as well as from the Ebola virus outbreak of just a few years ago.
“Disease looms as a menace in the region,” says Joseph.
The nearest government hospital to Mokoba provides healthcare services “at a cost which is hard to afford by the rural people.
“Health is wealth, and for a community of 5,600 people if deprived of a free healthcare services will return to the service of quack treatment.
“With proper and adequate health delivery services at their disposal, the people of Mokoba and the four surrounding villages would in the long-term improve their living conditions.”
The people there had long lacked a health care facility in their community until 2000 when RYDO-SL constructed the health clinic, but now, almost 20 years later, the clinic building is in desperate need of rehabilitation, and the people it serves are in desperate need of continuing health care.
Moye had been living a happy life in the small Sierra Leonean village of Kojowolo before the deadly Ebola outbreak of 2014 tragically took the lives of his wife and their two children, leaving the 62-widower all alone in the empty house.
He managed to carry on his life without his family until one day earlier this year when he suffered from an acute respiratory tract infection.
After a few days, his condition worsened. Moye knew he needed medical attention, but he continued to suppress his pain because he had no money to pay for treatment.
“Fortunately for him, some of his friends visited him and told him about the Faith Healing Development Organization (FHDO) El Shaddai Clinic in the larger nearby village of Bunumbu and encouraged him to seek medical assistance,” explained FHDO founder and director Rev. Francis Mambu, a long-time partner of Bread and Water for Africa®.
“Moye was transported to the clinic via ‘hamoc’ (a local swing for carrying sick people) as he was unable to walk the seven miles to clinic on his own and the road to Kojowolo is not motorable,” said Rev. Mambu.
“On arrival at the clinic, he was administered antibiotics provided to FHDO by Bread and Water for Africa. After six days in the clinic, Moye recovered fully and was able to walk unaided,” added Rev. Mambu. “The head of the clinic subsequently discharged him and he happily went home rejoicing.”
As for Moye himself, he had a few words of gratitude to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® for preventing what would have been certain death.
“I am now feeling perfectly well with no more difficulty in breathing. Thanks to the FHDO clinic and the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® for saving my life.”
An obstetric ultrasound is a critical tool in ensuring a fetus is healthy and developing normally – and thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® one is on the way to a newly-opened hospital in Cameroon.
Recently we were proud to announce – again thanks to our generous supporters – that our partner there, Hope Services Ministry International, had just opened a new hospital in Douala with significant financial resources from Bread and Water for Africa® in order to serve tens of thousands of the most needy in the country.
But once that task was completed, the next step was to equip it with the most modern medical equipment possible.
In partnership with New Orleans Medical Mission Services, whose mission is to bring medical equipment and supplies to needy people in foreign countries, we are working to ship a 40-foot container filled with 21,100 pounds of medical supplies.
Among the items are thousands of various types of needles, syringes, tubing, bandages, dressing, gauze, clamps…the list goes on and on.
However, the single most important item in the shipment is a Sequoia ultrasound system, refurbished to be good as new.
With the ultrasound machine, doctors will be able to determine the actual gestational age of the fetus, determine its location, check for the number of fetuses, check for major physical abnormalities, assess fetal growth, detect fetal movements and heartbeat, determine the sex of the baby – and most importantly, confirm fetal viability.
Hope Services’ Bonendale Hospital is able to provide general consultation and emergency services, minor surgeries, laboratory services, deliveries, antenatal care and post-natal counseling, and coming soon will be pediatric services, vaccinations, and major surgical services – all of which are desperately needed in the country.
Hope Services has been providing free and extremely-low cost medical care to the most needy and vulnerable in Cameroon for 25 years through makeshift clinics and outreach programs and now, thanks to people like you is in sight of reaching its true potential.
“Our long term goal has been the extension of medical services in Douala for the benefit of the poor,” says Hope Services founder and director Esther Ndichafah. “This project is a giant step into our long-term goal.”
Hope Services’ Douala Clinic in Cameroon is complete. It needs medical supplies now to treat patients.
And with that project completed we are now on to our task of filling it with the medicines, medical supplies and equipment needed to serve the community.
“The prospective beneficiary community is highly expectant of its start-up and there is a high need for medical equipment,” reported Hope Services director Esther Ndichafah earlier this year.
We are working right now to raise the funds necessary to ship a 40-foot container full of these items in order to enable the people in the surrounding area who are in desperate need of health care services, and we need your help.
Health care, particularly for children and the impoverished, is practically non-existent and Esther reports that the main health challenges facing the country include endemic diseases including malaria, meningitis, cholera, Typhoid fever, and many others most Americans have never even heard of.
“HIV/AIDS also have a high prevalence rate with Douala among the top cities affected,” said Esther. “These diseases require health analysis that require good equipment.”
According to a recent report by the United Nation’s Children’s Fund, few of the poorest women in Cameroon have access to a doctor, nurse or midwife at their side when they need them most, and hundreds of women die every week due complications, while many more live with “debilitating” outcomes.
In addition, the lack of medical attention results in thousands of stillbirths each week, half of them being babies who were alive when labor began, and thousands more die before they are even just one-month-old.
“For far too many families, the sheer cost of childbirth can be catastrophic,” says UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “If a family cannot afford these costs, the consequences can even be fatal.
“When families cut corners to reduce maternal health care costs, both mothers and their babies suffer.”
The situation is particularly dire for girls who married before even turning 15 years old. In Cameroon today, more than 60 percent of girls between 20 and 24 have three or more children.
Working with Hope Services, as well as our partners in Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and elsewhere, we are doing what we can to help save infants and their young mothers from premature and preventable deaths.
The cost to gather the medicines and supplies, sort and ship them to Cameroon is not inexpensive. However, it is much cheaper than attempting to acquire them in Cameroon, a daunting task on its own. Using our status as a non-profit organization, the items are allowed into the country duty-free at a substantial cost savings.
Your gift of $25, $50 or even $100 will go a long way towards seeing that the future patients at Hope Services’ Douala clinic get the medicines and supplies they need to treat their illnesses, prevent them from getting sick in the first place, and undoubtedly save lives.
Hope Services has been providing free and extremely-low cost medical care to the most needy and vulnerable in Cameroon for 25 years through makeshift clinics and outreach programs. Now, thanks to people like you, the clinic is in sight of reaching its true potential.
“Our long term goal has been the extension of medical services in Douala for the benefit of the poor,” says Esther. “This project is a giant step into our long-term goal.”