At New Hope Initiative's medical clinic in Arusha, Tanzania lives are changed on a daily basis. Of our 25,000 annual patients we have stories of amazing transformation very often. One of our more poignant stories occurred recently in the life of an older gentleman named Mr. Sikn. He for many years had a cyst growing in his forehead. Not only was it painful but it was unsightly causing him to be ostracized in his community and even to be ridiculed as demon possessed. Mr. Sikn visited hospitals and doctors for miles around his rural home, however, because he was poor and had no money, he could not find any one to help him. Finally he heard about our NHI clinic in Arusha and, even though it was hours away from his home, he heard that this clinic would effectively and compassionately help people who were poor. You can see from these amazing photographs the incredible job Dr. Byemba did in this surgery. We talk often about changing people's lives but truly Mr. Sikn's life as forever been changed by Dr. Byemba and New Hope Initiative.
Viewing entries in
Our medical clinic in Arusha, Tanzania continues to grow both in its effectiveness and its quality. Every year under Dr. Byemba's leadership we have been able to improve both our facilities and our equipment. This year our focus is on the clinic laboratory. We currently take a sample from all of our patients and are able to give an in-house diagnosis for most illnesses. However, we have some serious gaps in the type of tests we can run and the speed at which we can read these tests. Also, there is a shortage of labs where specific specialty tests can be run in the country of Tanzania as a whole. In this gap we see an opportunity for our New Hope Initiative clinic. We have an opportunity to not only meet people's needs, but also earn some income that will begin to provide a measure of self-sustainability in our charitable mission. Our goal is to expand the lab with the needed equipment and personnel so that we can not only meet the needs of our patients, but also become the commercial provider of much of the laboratory needs in the Arusha region. Since we already have some equipment, staff, and facilities, our cost to greatly expand our lab will be very reasonable. We estimate this cost at $38,000. If you know of anyone in the diagnostic industry who might donate equipment or if you would like to financially participate in this special project, we would greatly appreciate it.
One of the great new events for 2015 is the opening of our New Hope Initiative Clinic in the Nairobi, Kenya neighborhood of Kibera. We have had for many years a makeshift nursing station at our Kibera School, however, we recently were privileged to open our first dedicated clinic building to meet the medical needs of the people of Kibera. Without question one of the greatest needs in this slum is medical treatment for the massive number of people who live in that community. We are so pleased to be taking the first step towards meeting this need as our clinic becomes fully operational. The clinic is currently being staffed by a very competent nurse named Olive and we have a dream of this facility one day being the finest full service medical facility in Kibera. We have room for expansion and believe by faith that God will raise up a great facility in this place.
Many of you remember the remarkable story of little Esther from Arusha, Tanzania who was terribly burned on her legs in a fire and was struggling with the scar tissue and lingering effects of that horrible accident. In the summer of 2013 we had a team visiting us from Springfield, MO and unbeknown to any of us that team had a sponsor Dr. Carla Kester who was also a very experienced plastic surgeon. Dr. Carla was able to operate on Esther and do a very successful skin graft that has greatly enhanced the quality of life for Esther. While most of our 25,000 patients at our Arusha medical clinic are suffering from the typical tropical diseases like malaria, typhoid, and parasites, we are also seeing more cases of an unusual and dramatic nature.
This past month we had a young boy rushed to our clinic who had severed the artery in his wrist and was in danger of bleeding to death. Dr. Byemba our clinic director is also a skilled surgeon and he was able to immediately repair the artery and to save the young man's life. As important as this initial operation was Dr. Byemba noticed the severe damage around the wrist area of this young man and desired to do a skin graft to help not only with cosmetics but also to promote the healing process. Dr. Byemba was not formally trained in plastic surgery but he had watched and learned from Dr. Carla in 2013. Using that skilled learned from our visitor he was able to do a beautiful job repairing the damage to this boy's wrist. When you treat thousands of patients each month the typical day can be pretty repetitive, however life is never dull at our Arusha Clinic where Dr. Byemba and his staff are faced with new challenges on a regular basis.
Few things in recent memory have been more publicized and discussed than the recent Ebola crisis. As challenging as this has been for us in the western world, it is a full blown disaster for those who live in West Africa. It will be a long time before life returns to pre-crisis levels in places like Liberia and Sierra Leone. At New Hope Initiative we have been placed in the forefront of this battle as we maintain an ongoing critical presence in rural Sierra Leone at our Moribatown orphanage. Although the Ebola crisis has not been reported in Moribatown it has been confirmed in areas less than 10 miles away.
The Ebola crisis is placing difficulty and hardship in the path of everyone in that region and our facility is no exception. Unforeseen and unimagined challenges must now be faced. If the entire region is quarantined it will be incredibly difficult to find the food to feed our 72 children everyday. Our NHI leadership recently approved 6 months emergency food funding so that supplies can be stockpiled however many bank employes in that country are staying home so it took us weeks and weeks to even get the wire to Pastor Rogers and his staff. Listen to these other dire predictions for Sierra Leone.
The World Health Organization is warning that Sierra Leone may not be able to contain the spread of the virus with the potential existing for tens of thousands of new cases in the coming months. World hunger entities are warning that over 50% of the nations food crop is rotting in the fields or remains unplanted due to fears among farmers of contracting the virus. Most experts are predicting dire food shortages and famine in the coming months. The World Bank released a study last week predicting that the GDP for Sierra Leone, already one of the poorest countries in the world, will be cut in half for 2014 and 2015 causing an economic meltdown in that country. And most challenging, as the number of Ebola deaths continue to grow, will be the pressing need to care for those huge numbers of children who have been recently orphaned.
Would you help us by praying not only for Sierra Leone in general but specifically for Pastor Rogers and the children of our orphanage as well as our NHI I leadership team as we attempt to meet this crisis head on. Also will you be ready to help us in the days ahead as we try to financially meet the needs of our children in the midst of the coming economic crisis in that region.