From in May-June 2012 a group of 16 traveled from St. John’s to the Tshelanyemba Hospital to complete much needed improvements to the water system and provide medial support at the Hospital. 12 members of the team were focused primarily on the water while 4 members provided assistance and training to the medical staff.
The first step of the project was to ship a 40' container filled with plumbing, medical, household and other useful supplies. The largest item, aside from coils of pipe was a mini-excavator which greatly impacted the speed at which the team could dig the hard packed African soil. Although the mini-excavator and much of the plumbing supplies were purchased out of funds raised, much of the remainder was donated. The supplies shipped went a long way in Tshelanyemba. From Km's of pipe to clothes for every hospital staff member, the donations were greatly appreciated. To do a project of this magnitude, in such a short time the container was a must.
For the 12 working on the water system, a lot of time was spent in trenches and on water tanks, placing new water pipe and integrating it with the existing system. The team was able to complete a significant portion of the pipe replacement, as well as provide the hospital maintenance staff with a plan, materials, equipment and some funds to continue with the project. The team provided some automation of pump control, improved water storage and just about every house, building and outdoor tap saw some sort of improvement aimed at conserving water through leak reduction.
The medical team of 4 consisted of 3 Registered nurses and Major Dr. Dawn House. The medical team assisted with patient care including the care of children suffering from malnutrition, people with infections associated with Aids/HIV and TB, patients suffering with mental health issues and physical disabilities. The nurses on the team had prepared educational sessions for the nurses and nursing students. Presentation topics included incontinence, wounds/wound care, and chain of infection/infection control.
Thanks to the donations to the container, the team supplied the hospital with a large amount of medical supplies including new blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, patient monitors, a variety to dressings, personal protective equipment and IV supplies. The team was able to sort and deliver supplies personally and instruct the staff on proper usage.
We were also able to ship a number of donated computers. When we arrived there was one working computer at the facility. After we left there was about 10. Rather then keep all the computers, the hospital administration requested one computer be donated to the local police department. The computer was a great addition to a room the police were setting up as a safe room for children victims of abuse.
Aside from the main plumbing and medical projects, we were able to assist the local corps with a donation to their building fund, as they are currently raising funds for a new building. We were also able to provide funds to replace a damaged tire for the hospital farm tractor, which provides income to the hospital as local farmers contract hospital staff to plow fields.