The young woman’s goiter was so large she could barely move her head. Until she came to Nebobongo Hospital, in Democratic Republic of Congo, the only treatment had been an unsuccessful visit to a local witch doctor.
Nebobongo, like many hospitals in very resource-poor areas, has a chronic shortage of supplies. The hospital is located in the northern regions of the country, run by Dr. Jean Claude Bataneni, along with his wife Dr. Christine Bataneni and a small medical staff. With about 100 beds, they care for a population of well over 200,000.
Global Links sent Nebobongo 700 sutures, along with other medical supplies that were carried in by Barb Lanser and her husband Rod Lanser, who were in the area to install solar panels and generators. Other materials were shipped in from Medical Missions International, including over 800 additional sutures from Global Links.
With the sutures provided by Global Links, this 27-year-old woman finally had her goiter removed.
It is difficult to imagine how that may improve her life.
In addition to the sutures, Global Links provided sterile surgical gloves. Because gloves are routinely washed, dried and sterilized for reuse, having a fresh supply of gloves in good condition is crucial. With the Ebola virus now present in the hospital, it is impossible to understate the importance of gloves, not only to inhibit spread of this often fatal disease among patients, but to protect the vulnerable, irreplaceable medical staff.
In addition to the materials that arrived on the container, Barb said, “the suture that replaces the fishing line used any time they run out of suture and the gloves, which are of a higher quality than they had received previously, all have contributed to the sustainability of the hospital.”
Global Links will work with Nebobongo to find more couriers for these desperately needed supplies.