Sunday, July 12, 2009

Neonatale Resuscitation

Neo-Natal Resuscitation: Most babies are born and breath with minimal assistance, but some babies need extra help. For every 100 babies born, ten will have problems. Eight of those babies can be saved with simple resuscitation procedures. Unfortunately, there are places in the world where these procedures are unknown. LDS Humanitarian Services sends doctors to assist medical personnel as they learn the procedures for NRT. Doctors have been coming to the DRC for four years -- now good training is being given by in-country doctors, like Dr. Arthur Ngoy, who donates his vacation time to train his colleagues.

People arrive early for a training session held in Kinshasa in the Catholic Medical Services Center.

Sister Bernadette Claus, head of the Catholic Hospital System in the DRC, gives her "stamp of approval" to the work done by Dr. Ngoy, Dr. Max Grover and Dr. Michael Preece.

Instruction includes classroom instruction and hands-on practical training.

The training goes on the road to medical personnel in Lubumbashi, Kolwezi, Mbuji Mayi and Matadi.

An experienced trainer, Dr. Valerie Empamposa watches a new trainer instruct the class.

Members of the Church in the various cities assist with registration and lunch.

Dr. Ngoy has been honored in Spain and Belgium for his work with NRT in the DR Congo. He has trained doctors from Cameroon and Rwanda. His work during the last year he has personally trained over 1,000 people and developed a network of doctors who will perpetuate the training in their cities with the materials provided by LDS Humanitarian Services and assistance from members of the church.

Dr. Ngoy's work progresses because of the support of his wife, Dr. Florence Ngoy. Here he holds their beautiful daughter, Claire.

Members of one of the many classes held in 2009-2010 proudly display their certificates.

"Real" Africa: a Visit to Luputa

Our visit to Luputa began with a flight to Mbuji Mayi (moo-gee mi-eee or mi -- aa). The flight was seven hours late, but we were still met by the LDS Branch President Zachary Tshanga and his wife, Helene. They had been at the airport all day, sending off a group of LDS missionaries from Luputa in the morning, and waiting for our flight late in the day. Helene is as warm and kind as her smile suggests!

Mbuji Mayi is about 600 miles further inland than Kinshasa and further south. It is a diamond mining area. Like all mining enterprises since the beginning of time, people flock to the area hoping to get rich and the only people who get rich are the bosses and the people who sell merchandise to the miners. The area is quite poor and with the change in the world economy, miners are leaving to find work elsewhere. At one time, the Kasai Orientale Province was the breadbasket of the DRC. Now food is primarily imported.

After a night at the Ka Be Deluxe hotel, clean but no hot water, we started out early with our driver Omer (O-m-air) on the road to Moene Ditu (Moe -an -eee Dee-too). Omer is a wonderful guy who is a frustrated race car driver. He speeds. The road is two-lanes, paved and lined with people walking to work and to the market.

This is one of the numerous villages we passed, people, children, goats and chickens rush to get out of the way. One thing we have learned about Africa, what you see from the road is just a small part of any village, so these are probably a little bit larger than we thought.

Most of the houses in a village are adobe walls with grass roofs, but we caught this quick picture of a house being built. The owner will cover the sides and the roof with thick bundles of the tall grasses that grow in the brush.

This the the view from the road, into the bush. It goes on as far as you can see. There are no animals in this area; Omer seems surprised that we would even ask. There are too many people. So, at least close to the roads and villages, the people and domestic animals roam freely.

The last part of the journey is on real back-roads!

We visit the source of the water for the Luputa project, three springs that have been protected and piped to a point where the pipeline for the project begins. The ADIR contracts, headed by Dominique Sowa, show the work at the springs.

The chief of the first village to receive water, Tshiabobo, arrives.

The chief is part of the group that walks the pipeline through the bush.

Hand digging the trenches through the bush was not easy. This was the participation required from the villagers in lieu of payment for the water project. Each day a truckload of men were picked up by the contractors to work on the trenches, digging, laying pipe, gluing joints and covering the trenches. The cost savings allowed the project, which is very expensive, to continue.

Natural barriers like stream beds had to be dealt with. Here the pipeline lies under this ravine so that future storms and erosion will not affect it.

A sign marks the spot where the pipeline crosses the main road beyond Tshiabobo.

The area has the remains of the Belgium Colonization -- this church was part of a Methodist community which has been semi-abandoned. All over the area there are Catholic monasteries and churches.

Children watch us -- we are looking for the water stations that will be completed in Tshiabobo.

At this point, the water is almost to the village. The men are covering pipe. Dominique tastes the water from the spring, fruits of his labors.

The digging goes on to complete the trench.

Luputa -- a city waiting for water.

On the road again, the most common transportation is the men and their bicycles, not to ride but to haul goods on a trip that takes about five days.

Bush country, searching for a new source for the growing population.

Church leaders check out the water!

Another project: Luputa casava. Mantioc/Casava cultivation and safe processing. Research fields have been prepared by IITA. One grand purpose is to reestablish farmers who left the fields for the diamond mines and are now displaced with starving families. People in Luputa will have better cultivars to sell.