Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Off Ship Sites III. - HOPE Centre

I guess this is my favourite location, probably because last year I spent endless hours working there and also playing with the kids and just spending time with the patients.

This year the HOPE Centre (Hospital Out-Patient-Extension) is a bit further away from the ship, boy, I do miss the 3 min walk from last year! :) The purpose of this facility is to house patients who live too far away. They either come here a few days before their surgery and/ or stay here after they had the surgery and don't need 24/7 medical attention, but have to come back for daily checks. Depending on the surgery patients can stay with us from 2 days to 5 months! That's enough time to get to know them well! :)

During the 2010 Togo Field Service, Mercy Ships renovated and used the front half of this building.  After the field service ended, the building was released back to the Ministry of Health and it is currently in use as a maternity ward and a health clinic. We were told that since we left in 2010 over 1000 babies were born here - ALL HEALTHY! :)))
The inside area with corridors. One side of the building is for male patients, the other is for ladies.
 In November when the Advance Team was looking for a building, the Ministry of Health offered us the back half of the building we used before. We renovated that part as well and use it for the current Hope Centre.  When we leave Togo, it will once again be turned back to the Ministry of Health.

Kids having a relaxing time playing with Playdough and other toys.
The kitchen area where the meals are prepared three times a day.
Linda (above left) is a Sierra Leonean lady who worked with us last year. We provided a micro-loan for her to buy the pots and set up the kitchen. She charges us for each meal she cooks (last week they made over 800 dinners and lunches!). Once the ship is gone she will continue her small business as a cook! :) I think this is called a win-win!

Yummy, spicy sauces are being made in these pots 2x a day.

The area outside the building, but still within the compound.
Bed with mossy net
There are around 50 beds plus under each bed there is a mattress for a care giver who comes with the patients.
Barry and Cheryl are in charge here.
They do a fantastic job juggling patients, educating day workers, and manage the overall running of the Hope Centre.
With one of my friends here, who speaks good English - we removed a tumor and replace his jaw with Titanium so he will become as I encourage him often "the most handsome man in Togo" :)
Some of the toys in the office - they are all donations from all over the world!
Crew members come often to visit the patients, play with them or teach them useful skills like sawing or crochet.

Mother learning a new skill while we heal her baby
Kids LOOOOVE playing with our digital cameras!

No comments: