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.”
With assistance from Bread and Water for Africa®, our partner organization in Cameroon, Hope Services, was able to construct a clinic in the city of Douala.
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.”
Any child living anywhere in the world is destined for a life of poverty without an education.
Nowhere is that more true than in sub-Saharan Africa which in no way could be described as “a land of opportunity” for those who can’t read or write, add or subtract of have a general knowledge of the world.
Theirs is a life of struggle and despair with no hope for anything better in their life than to labor hard – if they are fortunate enough to find work – eat for a day, and have a place to sleep for the night.
That’s why Bread and Water for Africa® provides funding for school fees and school uniforms for hundreds of children each year in several African countries.
For example, in Cameroon, our partner there Hope Services, enables deserving children whose greatest wish in the world is to go to school with funding provided by supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®.
This year, Hope Services Director Esther Ndichafah expects to enable more than 200 underprivileged children including orphans and what she calls “persecuted children” to go to school, giving them their only chance for success in life.
Her mission, she says, is to give “the underprivileged the same opportunities to be educated like others” and helping transform “poor children into established self-reliant individuals” by encouraging academic excellence.
At Bread and Water for Africa® Esther’s mission is our mission. We strongly believe that education is not a key to success, it is THE key to success.
In the villages of Bangolan and Babungo in Cameroon, as well as Lolo in Chad, secondary school tuition is extremely inexpensive compared to what it costs to educate a child in the United States.
That is unless you are a poor orphan and then it may as well be $1 million.
In Kenya, Bread and Water for Africa® provides funding for secondary school students living at the affiliated Lewa Children’s Home as well as sponsored children in the local community.
Stella Keino of the Lewa Children’s Home stated that by providing school fees for orphans living at Lewa and others “This benefits the Eldoret community and the country as a whole.”
Stella sees short term, medium term and long term outcomes for the students.
In the short term, children will be able to go directly to high school without any disruption to their education with funding for the school fees in place from the start of the school year to the end.
In the medium term, children will be able to attend all the years of high school without worry of how they will pay their school fees year after year.
And in the long term, the students will be able to attain a higher education than they otherwise might not have been able to “and develop themselves to be better citizens.”
In Zimbabwe, working with our partner there, Margaret Makambira, director of Shinga Development Trust, 30 primary school students and 20 secondary school students, will benefit from our school fee support program.
Margaret firmly believes, as do we, that an educated population will empower the nation, build healthy communities and lead to a long-term goal of self-sufficiency as she works to eradicate illiteracy in her community, one child at a time.
The result of our efforts – all of us, Bread and Water for Africa®, our grassroots partners working every day to better the lives of children in the communities, and you, our supporters who make it all possible – is that today hundreds of children are in school instead of the streets, and tomorrow they will have a bright future, leading the way for thousands to follow.