Welcome to Chad, Dr. Jim!

Dr. James McGilliavry (Canada) and Dr. Roy Jones (England) serving at Hopital de Guinebor, Chad.

Dr. James McGilliavry had a 60-year surgical career in Canada and retired “too early” at age 86!

He contacted me and told me he felt he still has a little tread on his tires and is still feels he can help needy people.

I said, “ Okay, Jim, let’s give it a try!”

How many people his age can or would travel alone from Canada to Chad?

He arrived in good form and has been living with Debbie and me. We have never had an easier guest!

His surgical experience is vast and he knows his profession well!

We have had many interesting conversations and I respect him as he is just a decent, ethical, competent brother surgeon as well as older brother in Christ. Hey, I don’t have many older ones! Older by eleven years!

Jim has certainly been an inspiration to me. He will serve with us three more weeks and we will really miss him when he leaves!

God is good and continues blessing us and this place.
Bert

Doctor Jim at work.
Dr. Jim and nurse and language helper, Patrice.
Bert assisting Jim doing the latter’s most difficult hernia repair. Welcome to Chad, Jim! Theodur is our great scrub nurse.
Jim, wearing his Scottish scrub cap and Bert, the Purple and Gold of LSU his alma mater.

 

Doctors without Borders

Debbie and Antonie from Germany went to N’Djamena the last two days visiting European embassies and MSF offices (MSF=Medecins Sans Frontieres =Doctors Without Borders).

They were well received by the Swiss Consulate (Debbie and I have dual US/Swiss citizenship). Switzerland gives the second most financial help of any country. They were also well received at MSF Holland, MSF France, and the US Embassy.

Something good will come of it.

Bert

This is what Debbie shared with MSF: 

Cutting Edge Foundation (CEF) is an NGO working in Chad.

Hôpital de Guinebor 2, which opened its doors in 2010, is a 45-bed hospital in the village of Guinebor 2 (a small village north of N’Djamena).

Our hospital team consists of multinational expats and 84 Chadians.

Our goal is to offer excellent and affordable health care to the local population in one of the poorest countries of the world.

We offer many services such as surgery,  general medicine, maternity with prenatal clinic, pediatrics, in patient services, pharmacy, laboratory, ultrasound, 24 hours emergency services, under 5 vaccinations, physio therapy, and outpatient clinic.

Our hospital:
– sees over 2500 patients a month in the outpatient clinic
– 130-150 surgeries (thyroïdectomies, general surgery, OB/GYN surgery, orthopedics
–  130-200 deliveries a month
– over 4000 laboratory tests monthly

We have been ordering items through CPA, PRA and small merchants.

Recently, we have been having problems finding and buying supplies that should be available for good functioning of a hospital especially with an urgent need for wound dressings supplies.

We would be very grateful for any assistance in finding supplies to help provide the best health care to the local population.

Not Enough Beds

Dear all,

Hopital de Guinebor ll has earned a good reputation and now along with this comes a bit of a problem (but expected).

Almost every day we start the day with the hospital inpatient section full. No empty beds. The maternity unit also is usually at capacity or beyond.

We only have a 45-bed hospital which is now too small.

This makes life hard for all concerned. Maternity has a new building only two years old and it is already too small.

We can’t just ignore this situation. We must add at least 16 beds.

This can be accomplished by building a new ward right adjacent to the maternity unit.

My estimate of cost is $40,000.

On the positive side, we are consistently financially either breaking even or have made a profit even during this Ramadan and rainy season.

Someday soon we will be able to pay for such projects with funds earned by the hospital. This is quite unusual for a mission hospital only seven years old. But not yet.

For three years the CEF  home office sent $5000 monthly for day to day running costs of this hospital. For about another 6-12 months we sent $2,500. But for about 3 years CEF has donated nothing monthly.

If you would like to help with financing this urgently needed hospital ward, please contact Evans Jones. He’s the CEF finance officer.

Or simply send your financial gift to:

CEF
PO Box 2652
Lexington, SC 29071

Evans will see that you receive a receipt for tax purposes.

Blessings,
Bert

Meet Dr. Mac, One of Our New Chadian Doctors

Dr. Mac and his “pick up” lunch order. I asked about the white jacket and he assured me that today is wash day at his house!

“Dr. Mac” was a nice surprise when I returned from the states two weeks ago.

He is a real believer, reportedly is a good and compassionate doctor, loves his profession, and witnessing for Jesus. My kind of colleague!

Besides that, he likes Ag projects!

Plus, I know he is a considerate husband though I have not yet met his wife. I know this because he asked me for my opinion of a request his wife made of him.

He told me his wife was supposed to prepare lunch for the entire extended family. She asked him to “pick up something substantial for lunch.” He really didn’t have a clue what to do.

So I asked him how much he could pick up and you can see from his big smile that he thinks his wife will be pleased with her strong husband and how well he provides for his family.

Bon appetit! (This story told with just a smidgen of poet license.)

All proceeds from our goat sales will go to our newly resurrected “Poor Fund.” The latter is used to help poor patients pay their hospital bill. 

Dr. Mac is interested in goat farming and already has the field.

Monday he will take his young herd sire home on his motorcycle. Tuesday he will take the doe that will become the herd matriarch.

And it all started right here in Goatville, G2, Chad!

Stay tuned for the next account of “How to be a Husband Any Wife Would Love.” Hey, lots of luck without goats!

Bert

Back in the Surgical Saddle

Not all my patients are this happy pre-op! Fatime’ is my first surgical case since returning from furlough.

Surgeons my age always are concerned or at least curious to know after they have been out of the OR  for a few months if they still “have it.”

I am happy to report that during this 1.5 hr case, my hands were steady (no tremor), vision was excellent, reflexes okay, stamina good, brain synapses functioned well, and feet and knees held up well. PTL!

I have a four-hour thyroidectomy scheduled next week. This will be a good test of all the above. I am currently the only surgeon here doing thyroid surgery.

Please continue to pray that the Lord and his servants will help us find another (younger than me) surgeon by January 2019.

Blessings,
Bert

Meet Manon and Antoine

Manon, a Belgian midwife (L) and Antoine, a German nurse (R).

Manon, a Belgian midwife, and Antonie, a German nurse, started work on the wards and are getting by with their French.

Manon is fluent in French, Flemish, English, and German! (Us poor language-challenged Americans!) She’s in her mid-twenties, taller than I, and mild-mannered. She’s Catholic as is most of Belgium. She heard the Gospel at our supper table Monday. Manon is the first Belgian to serve at G2. She’ll be here three weeks.

Antonie is in her fifties and is experienced in mission service having served in Haiti and other places. She is very confident and seems to have considerable medical knowledge. She would make a good, tough head nurse but is here for only three weeks. She is an evangelical believer.

Manon and Antonie shared a tent when they attended a Humedica training camp in Germany. Though they are very different, they seem to get along well. They both like to cook and prepare most of their own meals.

A German ob-gyn also from Humedica will serve with us Dec-January.

By the way, Humedica is a Christian organization in Germany. Praise the Lord for this new partner. Next year at this time, we will have the German anesthesiologist, Dr. Michael Schüle and his Dutch wife and baby boy with us long term.

They are coming to serve here despite the wife having fainted, fallen, and hit her head from the heat in the bathroom in the new guest house in March because the solar solar power system did not function. Joel, their baby, suffered from heat rash the entire time he was here.

They had many opportunities in much nicer areas to serve but they felt called by the Lord to come here with Frontiers.

In a year or so after their arrival, once Michael “fixes” our anesthesia dept, we hope to start our anesthesia training program.

I praise God for this precious family.

Temperatures during the day have in the 90’s but evenings are cooler.

I am looking forward to the opening of our new 5-6 bed ER and new surgery clinic soon.

The Lord has truly blessed His project here!

Bert
Eph 3:20

Excellent Meeting with Guinebor 2 Chief

Kalbassou, Djibrine (the Guinebor 2 chief), and David Parker

Kalbassou, David Parker and I met with Djibrine, the Guinebor 2 chief, to discuss the possibility of introducing a sports program to this village.

David is now serving as our expat administrator alongside our Chadian administrator, Allain. David loves soccer, basketball, and track but is here mainly to introduce our Savior to the unreached people.

An effective way to reach the youth from Muslim homes is through such sports programs. We desire to reach the lost using our medical skills, education, sports, and agriculture programs.

The chief is very interested is us introducing fish farming (aquaculture). He has promised to give us several acres for a new school but we must sign a document stating we are sincere and will provide funds to build the school. If we do so, then we can proceed with the sports facility on the same land.

We are excited and trust the Lord to convict some of His children out there to contribute to this exciting project.

David and his wife, Michaela, adopted newborn Chadian girls two months ago and expect to be here a long time.

Blessings,
Bert

 

Change of Seasons on the Sahel (Sub-Saharan Africa)

Though it is not unique to have an abrupt change from wet to dry season, I always am impressed by this.

I had the opportunity to see the lush green grass on campus and in our field when I arrived one week ago. I also experienced probably the last rain here for six or seven months five days ago.

This bit of green within 2-3  days is sure to become beige.