New maternity centre built in Chad
Thanks to generous giving by BMS World Mission supporters, the new maternity health centre at Guinebor II (G2) Hospital is built and looks set not only to save lives but transform a desert community
In summer 2014, we asked you to help us build a maternal health centre at G2 Hospital in Chad so the staff could provide a better service of care to mothers and babies in a country with one of the worst infant and maternal mortality rates in the world.
You gave gifts, you fundraised, some even ran marathons to raise money so we could reach our target.
We did – UK individuals and churches raised £165,000, which not only paid for the centre but also paid for equipment and furniture to set-up the centre and personnel costs too.
We are pleased to announce that the maternity centre is built and almost ready to go.
New medical equipment is being shipped to Chad from the UK and a local carpenter is making new furniture for the wards. In the next few weeks, the centre should be up and running.
BMS World Mission workers Malc and Sue White saw the maternal health centre rise up from nothing in March 2015 to its completion five months later in August, just before the rainy season and days before they returned to the UK.
Malc as the hospital Chief Operating Officer was instrumental in organising the building’s construction and agreeing a contract with local Christian builder Aaron, to ensure that the centre was finished in a set time and at a set price.
Nearly everything was done manually – from clearing the site and digging the foundations to building the walls.
Different teams, around 100 in all, were picked from nearby villages, many of them with specialist jobs like plumbing, installing solar panels and making bricks and cement.
Aaron was not only responsible for hiring them but also finding workers, employing them, paying them, feeding them and housing them.
Malc was impressed with how the workers got on with the job and worked together.
“When they started work, the speed with which they worked and the way they worked – there was none of this taking quick breaks and sloping off – it was full on and they all worked collectively together,” says Malc.
“Very rapidly, from there being nothing there, there was a cleared site and then foundations were done. Once the walls started going up, they were finished very quickly.”
Overseeing the work was Clemance, a female on-site engineer, quite an unusual thing in Chad.
Clemance overseeing work on maternal health centre at G2 Hospital in Chad
“In a very male-dominated society, it was amazing to see this young lady in charge of all these guys,” says Malc. “She kept them in line and made sure they did everything properly.”
Thanks to Clemance, Aaron and many others, the new maternal health centre was built on time and on budget.
The maternal health centre has been built at a time when G2 has been increasing its health education efforts in the community. Two midwives have gone out to local villages and have taught women about the importance of good antenatal care, getting their vaccinations, having regular check-ups and then ultimately giving birth at the hospital in a safe environment.
It is important that the education is in place. And, because the education is going well, it should increase the numbers of mothers using the new maternal health centre.
Sue White says the maternal health education and the building of the new health centre have complemented each other.
“You had to do them in tandem,” she says. “Without the money to build the new maternity building, we wouldn’t have been able to offer a good safe service for the number of women who are potentially going to come through the door through the education programme.”
The new maternal centre was built outside the original hospital compound. BMS partner the Cutting Edge Foundation donated money to build a full security wall around the hospital compound. This means all the land the hospital was originally given by the Chadian government is now enclosed and there is potential for other hospital buildings to go up in the future.
Malc says that the enlarged hospital has boosted its standing in the local community.
“It is a huge encouragement to the local population and the hospital staff. They are really excited for the future of the hospital,” he says.
G2 Hospital was once just desert and look what it has become, thanks to your giving.
Through this hospital you have helped transform the community of Guinebor II.
Through this Christian hospital, you are helping the staff share the love of God with the patients they care for.
And through this new maternal health centre you will help save lives of new mothers and babies that have yet to be born.
This article first appeared on the website of BMS World Mission and is used with permission