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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Liberia Achievements

Sorry it's taken us a while to post what was achieved in Liberia. On February 6, 2008 the Africa Mercy arrived in Liberia for a 10 month outreach. During that time Mercy Ships offered free specialized curative surgeries, health care infrastructure developmental assistance, and community based preventive healthcare programs benefiting thousands of individuals and many communities throughout Liberia. Here is a summary of what God did during that time:
CURATIVE SURGICAL INTERVENTION Mercy Vision (Ophthalmic Surgery)
17,610 patients received diagnosis & management of eye disease 1,638 patients received 1,659 eye surgical procedures. 8 eye health workers trained to perform eye exams and visual acuity. 2 local surgeons received ophthalmic training. 10695 Sunglasses & 5233 Readers distributed 8 Eye workers trained
Outlook of Hope (Reconstructive Surgery) 1058 Reconstructive surgeries 122 cleft lip and/or palate repairs 251 hernia repairs Mercy Ships doctors also held a 2 day conference on anaesthesia at JFK Medical Center

Hope Reborn (Vesico-Vaginal Fistula (VVF) Surgery) Approximately 2 million women worldwide suffer incontinence due to vesico-vaginal fistulas (VVF) resulting from child birth injuries. 63 women received 81 free fistula repair surgeries. All patients received a voucher for a free C-section at ELWA Hospital and a new dress! 41 other urogynecology surgeries 3 obstetric nurses trained for 2 weeks in VVF care. 4 VVF surgeons trained in VVF surgery techniques. - Orthopaedic Surgery Providing corrective surgical interventions focused on neglected or mismanaged orthopaedic trauma, childhood musculoskeletal conditions like club feet, and some joint disease.

198 orthopaedic surgeries provided for 159 patients 159 patients were cared for, 39 patients had additional procedures. Liberia Smiles (Dental Clinic) 4,994 patients received 11,081 procedures 717 patients received dental prophylaxis. 4,839 clients while in the waiting room and 663 students received lessons in oral health. 15 teachers received Dental Health Education. 3 trained as Dental Assistant/Sterilizer. Monrovia Prison Staff and Prisoners treated for 2 days.

Palliative Care The issue of death is not one that most Africans regularly talk about. Those who have sought our assistance and we are not able to assist surgically, we have referred to our Palliative Care team. The team made regular visits to the homes of the patients in and around Greater Monrovia. They taught basic health care to all their patients and families and for the five patients requiring wound care, they provided appropriate training. In cooperation with our mental health team and at their conferences, the team shared on compassionate care for the dying. 33 patients cared for 5 family members trained Counselors Counselors provided prayer, counsel, and comfort to thousands of our patients, those in the wards on the ship, at the dental clinic & field eye clinics and for the pre and post operative patients on the dockside. They were available to our patients 24/7. Weekly Sunday morning services were held for the patients on the ward along with various Bible studies. They provided our patients with spiritual and emotional support. HEALTH CARE INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT

Tenegar Medical Clinic Restoration Project At the request of the President of Liberia, Mercy Ships construction supervisors lead local residents in the restoration of one building and construction of the actual clinic building on the original footprint. In addition, Mercy Ships partnered with Living Water International for a deep water well. Her Excellency Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf came to the community for the official dedication on November 21st. The Ministry of Health & Social Welfare will be staffing and operating this medical clinic.

lick on the video to see the dedication of this building with the Tide of Mercy (HIV/AIDS Training) Using a three phase approach, 74 participants from 13 churches underwent intensive training over 6 days. Newly trained members are now at work in their communities. As churches were trained together, our hope is that they continue to work together in conducting ongoing HIV/AIDS awareness, training and care. 431 attended 2 three day conferences on HIV/AIDS Restoring Hope to Survivors (Mental Illness & Trauma) At the request of the Minister of Health & Social Welfare of Liberia, Mercy Ships recuited highly skilled personnel who trained church leaders and health care workers on issues of mental illness and trauma. 102 church leaders, 50 health care workers representing all 15 counties, and 60 health care workers received training in mental health. Biomedical Technician Training 6 people from 5 hospitals in Liberia received intensive training in biomedical skills. Electricity, electronics and medical equipment, basics of information technology were also added to the curriculum, including computer classes, internet searches for manuals and spare parts, plus about text editors and data tables. Each participant helped to repair and order spare parts for the machines in their hospital. Maintenance and repair, installation of new devices was also experienced. Workshops were held for university students to raise their awareness and to promote biomedical technology as a career choice. JFK Medical Center – 3rd Floor Consultation in regards to the -renovation of 2 wards at JFK in partnership with Balcraig Foundation. Mercy Ships monitored the progress of the project for the renovation and served as a link between JFK Medical Center and Balcraig Foundation.

Trinity Dental Clinic Provided supervision for the construction of a 125 m2 dental clinic connected with ELWA Hospital Mercy Ships provided site management for the construction of an addition to ELWA Hospital for a dental clinic. The clinic will be used to provide dental services and be a training facility for local dental professionals. Administrative Training with Ministry of Health & Social Welfare Mercy Ships was approached by the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare in Monrovia, Liberia with a request for training of Administrative staff employed at the Ministry. It was designed with 3 very specific goals and objectives in mind: To provide for the Participants to improve their skills and gain new skills; to personally develop themselves (character, attitudes, confidence) and the ability to become “change agents” and to use what they had learned to train others within their departments and the Ministry as a whole. 6 received training. Church Leaders’ Conferences 750 pastors attend Unity & Partnership in Ministry conferences. The Church Empowerment Team held two 3-day conferences on the subject of ‘Unity and Partnership in Ministry’. The events were planned and executed in conjunction with steering committees of local church leaders 117 attended a leaders of leaders seminar A follow up conference is to be held by a Mercy Ships partner COMMUNITY BASED PREVENTIVE HEALTH CARE Strategic Health Initiatives (Community Health Education) Community health volunteers from the Tenegar area, Royesville and Northern Royesville were trained in ways to prevent the most common illnesses in Liberia. Strategic Health Initiative places a strong emphasis on clean drinking water, adequate sanitation, treating diarrhea, basic hygiene, exclusive breastfeeding and nutrition, maternal health, and malaria prevention. Teaching also included the root cause of malaria and the value of using insecticide-treated mosquito netting. Participants were given the task to teach these topics in their own communities. 108 received training in community health issues 1546 Mosquito nets distributed Oral hygiene & Health 5502 Dental health (patients) 663 Dental health (Students) 15 Teacher trained 3 Dental assistants trained Food for Life (Agricultural Training)

Participants were trained in organic agricultural principles with a strong Biblical World View in Tenegar, Royesville and Northern Royesville areas. Taught basic agricultural knowledge and practical techniques. In Royesville, Mercy Ships has introduced the growing of new and different crops in to the garden including cabbage, okra, and the Moringa tree. In addition, two community gardens were established by the community. In Tenegar, Mercy Ships came along an existing agricultural cooperative and provided further training in organic principles. Follow up was done more extensively in the Cheesemanburg area, site of our ’07 activity 163 farmers trained in organic agriculture practices Model garden established Model chicken house built Water for Life 8 new hand dug wells completed 10 wells rehabilitated 90 household latrines Built in conjunction with the villagers, the water and sanitation project provided safe water and sanitary facilities for the communities of Tenegar and Royesville. Mercy Ships used local technicians who we trained in ’05 & ’06. Participants from the villages in the area were trained in the efficient construction and maintenance of latrines and wells. Renovations were also done to the toilet block for the school in Tenegar. MERCY MINISTRIES Over 700 volunteer crew members were involved with 9 projects.

Mercy Ships volunteers often persued additional ministry opportunities during their off duty hours; primarily evenings and weekends.

During the Liberia field service crewmembers routinely visited: Missionaries of Charity Centre for the Aged Orphans and Abandoned Children God’s Children Orphanage Victorious Faith Ministries Refuge Home Francis Gaskin Refuge Home Monrovia Central Prison Mama Cooper’s Orphanage Cheshire Home for the Handicapped. In addition and in partnership with local pastors, the Jesus Film was viewed by 30,000+ Liberians in English and in local languages.

17 major projects Over $11 million total value of program services to direct beneficiaries. No organizational general overhead included Over $200 thousand of spending in local businesses Extensive participation in and with local churches

Prayer and support from around the world!

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