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THE EVANGELICAL MEDICAL CENTRE OF NYANKUNDE

On the map of Africa, half way between North and South, East and West, you will find Nyankunde.  Savannah plains stretch to the horizon, which are bordered by the Blue Mountains.  Fifty miles to the west, the vast Ituri Forest begins. The people of the region earn their living from subsistence farming (cassava, beans, corn) or from raising cattle The former market for coffee has collapsed.  Some young people pan for alluvial gold in the rivers. The economy of this region has stagnated because of the present local and national political difficulties.

The Evangelical Medical Centre serves an immediate population of around 156,000; and facilitates medical services in an area the size of France, with a population of around 8,000,000.  It was founded in 1966 by five evangelical churches with their partners in mission: AIM, UFM, WEC, CBMI, and CMML   In 1990, the Assemblies of God joined Nyankunde to become the sixth partner and in 1994 the Norwegian Baptists became the 7th partner..

The Centre has five goals:

1      To preach the gospel of Jesus Christ;

2     To train medical and paramedical workers for the service of the church;

3     To serve other centres as a referral hospital with specialist doctors and specialist care;

4     To serve as a distribution center for medicines and medical supplies to other centres.

5      To encourage development projects.

 

The Board of the Medical Center made some courageous decisions in March 2006, in particular to allow the center to develop permanently on the 3 main sites where it has functioned since the war of 2002 – that is to say in Bunia and Beni as well as Nyankunde. We are working through the implications of this decision particularly in a building programme to replace  the very inadequate rented buildings where we function for the moment. The International Rescue Committee has estimated that 1,200 people die each day in the DRC as a direct or indirect cause of what UNICEF calls “ the worlds deadliest humanitarian crisis since World War II”.  Many of these deaths could be prevented with better health care.

 

Health care:  The center gives spiritual as well as physical help.   We have 5 hospital chaplains on staff.  At Beni there are 82 beds for hospitalization and a staff of 70. In Bunia there are 50 beds and a staff of 37.  At Nyankunde we have some 65 active beds and a staff of 36.  In total then we employ some 159 people.  Seeing as the total staff before 2002 was some 400 people there are now more than 200 who are entitled to severance pay, and they are not backward in demanding it.

 

Training:  A primary function of the center is training.  We teach nurses at a diploma and graduate level, we have doctors for a 6 month training period immediately after qualification and we have a number of students who come for periods of practical training.  At present we have 15 members of staff who are following higher level training programmes.

Pharmacy: Our service for the local production of medicines badly needs new facilities but MANY patients are grateful for the products produced.  The center is taking the lead in founding a regional center for the distribution of medicines in Bunia, although this will become a separate entity, independent of the Center.

 

Administration: Our administration needs adapting to our present circumstances.  We are committed to generating locally all the income we need to pay staff and medicines but with such a poor war torn population it is a constant battle to make ends meet.

Thanks:  We are very grateful to all the outside bodies that support the work of the Center in Congo, particularly ICCO in Holland, Tear Fund in UK and Holland, Friends of CME in UK, EED in Germany CedarFund in HongKong and Eagles Wings in Canada.  Thank you very much.

 

Chaplaincy:

The chaplains recorded 160 people who came to faith through the activities of our chaplains. They organized 2 seminars to train other hospital chaplains in Beni and Goma. Similar training programmes are planned for Bunia and Nyankunde in 2007.  A number of seminars and days of reflexion were organized during the year. 

 

Finance:

The audited accounts give an accurate impression of our financial situation. We have closed the books for several years with a negative balance and this needs to be rectified. A well trained financial staff administer the funds generated locally and that come from abroad for specific projects. ICCO Holland has given a gift to help restore our stock of medicines and help with operating costs for which we are VERY grateful.  The Friends of CME in UK are a great support.

 

Projects:

Ongoing projects include 1. The prevention of AIDS – a projects supported by TearFund UK. 2. Subsidy for poor patients by Friends of CME UK  3. Seminars on reconciliation, a project supported by Tear Fund Holland for which President Kabila thanked us specifically, 4. Reconstruction:  Hilfe fur Bruder are helping in the rehabilitation of the school and dormitories of the nursing school at Nyankunde.  The government of Jersey through TearFund is helping construction at Bunia and Friends of CME helping with construction in Beni.  We are trusting that EED Germany will also help in Beni.

A complete list of our proposed projects in relation to the business plan for 2006-2010 can be found in the French section.

 

Health Care     

A Nyankunde:             Nyankunde activities

Description                2003            2004              2005             2006

1. Outpatient Consultations   0           10338             10478            15506

2. Hospitalisation            0             423              2010             8620

3.Surgeries                   0                               201              285

4.Deliveries                  0             219               477              550

5.Antenatal clinic            0                                               3099

6.Laboratory tests            0                              2855          

7 X Rays                      0               0                 0                0

8. Ultrasounds                0               0                 0                0

 

Nyankunde is the reference hospital for the health zone of Nyankunde with 57,000 inhabitants, which before 2002 was a model zone for the country.  Under the leadership of Dr Mike Upio a grandson of Ezekeli the first elder of the church at Nyankunde, the zone is on its way to becoming a model again.

 

B. Bunia:

NºService                   2003              2004               2005            2006

1. Outpatient Consultations1513               6237               9345           10430

2. Hospitalisation         1241               1270               1278            1824

3. Surgeries                129                223                289             405

4. Deliveries               112                340                492             593

5. Antenatal clinic         678               1449               4628

6. Laboratory tests        5398              16823              21996           26631

7.X Rays                      0                  0                  0             212

8. Ultrasounds               76                534                824            1265

9

Dentistery

                   0                 

0                 

0               

0

The hospital services at Bunia are housed in a rented hotel that provides very poor facilities.  We laid the foundation stone of an operating room on our own land in Bunia (Yambi) 1st March 2007.  Dr Lonema, the previous Director in Bunia is at present studying in Belgium.  We are grateful for the visit of John Stears from Mayo Clinic to set up our X Ray department and Paul Bracken to set up the histopathology service in Bunia.

 

C. Beni

Beni activités

NºDepartment               2003               2004               2005             2006

1.Out patients            12144               6156               6804             8124

2. Hospitalisations        4080               4176               3708             3732

3. Operations              2208               2064               2688             2880

4. Deliveries               876                960                876              708

5. Prénatal consultations  5664               5028               3956            

6. Laboratory examinations 34092             28848              31620

7. X Rays                     0                  0                  0               492

8. Ultrasound               648                732                780              1128

 

We are grateful to Samaritans Purse for a visit from Mr Jim Moore to repair equipment and train one of our workers in repair techniques.

 

Training

Diploma level nurses:

At present we have 76 students at Beni and 29 at Nyankunde following a 4 year course after 4 years of secondary school.

At Beni we have 38 workers in the Institute, 13 full time and 25 part time, whilst at Nyankunde we have 18 workers, 2 full time and 16 part time. We have hospital, laboratory, pharmacy and dental sections.

 

Graduate level nurses:

For the academic year 2005/06 the ISTM had 238 students. We took no new intake in Oicha in October 2006 so there are now 2nd and 3rd year classes in Oicha and 1st to 3rd in Bunia.  L’ISTM is directed by Prof Ahuka assisted by M. Undehoso the academic secretary and M.Mutro Nigo the administrative secretary.

For the year 2005-2006 we used 44 teachers, most of whom are part time with the Institute.

The Institute was able to construct 2 classrooms and 2 small offices on our own land in the centre of Bunia thanks to Guildford Baptist Church in UK and Eagles Wings (Canada).  The Institute received its definitive permission to function from the Congolese government. Two new sections were opened in laboratory and anesthesia.

Eleven staff members are being formed at a higher level to assure a continuity of teaching. The Institute has a number of different projects to re-establish our vpresence in Bunia and ensure ongoing excellence of education.

 

Pharmacy :

We have  7 people helping with the production of simple medicines.  A complete list of what is produced can be found in the French section. The value of medicines produced was 32732.36$ for the year, that is 2736$ per month.  The majority of medicines used in 2006 were bought locally for Bunia and Beni.  Nyankunde was supplied with emergency medications through MedAir.  Thanks to a gift from ICCO we have been able to place a significant order to replenish the central pharmacy.

 

CONCLUSION 

   We are grateful to God for the re-establishment of CME after the events of 2002.  We are grateful for the return of peace and the new governmental organization after recent elections.

We do wish to thank all our parteners who have helped prayerfully financially and materially during 2006.

Finally we thank our staff who have persited faithfully and courageously in their calling to service at CME.

 

History:   Amnesty International reports:

On the morning of 5 September 2002 Ngiti militia and APC soldiers attacked the town of Nyankunde, around 45 kilometres from Bunia, in Andisoma collectivité), Irumu territory. The attack on Nyankunde may have been in reprisal for an attack by UPC forces on the Ngiti village of Songolo on 31 August.

Nyankunde contained an important mission hospital and medical centre, the Centre Médical Evangélique (CME) that served the population for many miles around. UPC militia had stationed themselves at Nyankunde following the departure of Ugandan soldiers in August 2002, but after a brief exchange of fire, the UPC was driven off.

Shortly after, Ngiti militia armed with machetes, knives, axes and firearms entered the town and immediately began to kill civilians they suspected of being Hema or Bira. According to reports, several hundred were killed, the majority having their throats slit or being hacked to death. Patients at the hospital, including a number of children and nursing mothers, were reportedly dragged from their beds and killed, as were a number of medical staff. The bodies remained rotting in the open for a number of days afterwards, before the Ngiti militia threw them into ditches and attempted to burn them.

Among those reported killed were Pastor Salomon Isereve, a chaplain at the hospital, Sister Estelle Buma, male nurse Kabagambe, Mugisa, an adult woman Habibu, 10-year-old girl Marie Pepe Singa and 10 members of her family, and a woman known as Betty. The four-year-old son of a woman, Kavira, was reportedly hacked to death as he tried to escape the militia through a back door of his home.

Presumed Hema or Bira who survived this initial onslaught were assembled the next day by the Ngiti militia and taken to a building in the centre of the mission, where they were locked up without food or water. As the days went by, some, including infant children, reportedly died from the effects of hunger, dehydration or illness. Subsequently, militia members reportedly entered the improvised prison to remove the dead and dispose of them in open latrines.

On 6 September Ngiti militia members discovered a number of medical staff and patients who had barricaded themselves in the intensive care room at the hospital. Some of the Hema among this group were reportedly killed on the spot, while others were dragged to the building serving as a prison. Up to 120 people were reportedly still held in this temporary prison when other survivors of the massacre, who had been grouped together elsewhere in the mission, managed to flee under cover of a rainstorm on 12 September. These survivors, numbering over 1,000, walked for 10 days before reaching Oicha, a missionary hospital, 150 kilometres away. The fate of the 120 imprisoned civilians is not known.