In Cameroon, there is a shocking dearth of clinics and health care facilities for the country’s most vulnerable – impoverished infants, children and new mothers, particularly girls under 15 years old.

It’s a dearth that leads to death.

For more 20 years, Hope Services has been providing health care for those with little or no money to pay for routine medical services that has saved the lives of thousands in the city of Duala.

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Prenatal care we take for granted in the United States, is an unaffordable luxury for poor pregnant girls and women – a “luxury” which not only saves the lives of children, but mothers as well.

Basic medical care, such as antibiotics for an infection, and medicines for the treatment of malaria, Typhoid fever and many other tropical diseases, makes a difference between being sick in bed for a week or two, or ending up dead.

With the success of its long-established clinic in Youande, Hope Services has discovered there is a great need for such a clinic in the city of Douala, about 120 miles away where the poor in the city are not underserved – they are not served whatsoever.
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Hope Services is asking Bread and Water for Africa® for our help in constructing this clinic which is projected to provide medical services to 60,000 children and adults in the first year alone.

And we are asking for your help.

On Giving Tuesday, December 1 we will launch “Clinic4Cameroon” when people around the country are asked to remember those most in need. And on that day, we know our supporters, both long-time and brand-new, will think of the thousands of children and adults who are literally struggling to survive in one of the poorest countries in the world.

#Clinic4Cameroon. It’s about the numbers — tens of thousands in the first year, hundreds of thousands in the years to come.

#Clinic4Cameroon. It’s about the 60,000.

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At Bread and Water for Africa® among our most generous and loyal partners is the Medical Equipment Recovery of Clean Inventory (MERCI) program operated by the University of Virginia.

Through this partnership, we are able to ship millions of dollars’ worth of medical equipment and hospital supplies to our partners in Cameroon, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone, who operate free and low-cost hospitals and clinics for the most needy in the poorest countries on Earth.

In July alone, we shipped a 40-foot container full of equipment and supplies to our partner, Hope Services in Cameroon, and have since traveled to MERCI in Charlottesville, Virginia and filled up a truck with dozens of boxes of equipment and supplies in preparation for our next shipment to Sierra Leone in the fall.

When we arrive at MERCI, we never know exactly what we’re going to get. This time around, as always there were dozens of boxes of bandages, gauze, surgical packs, catheters, scrubs, prep trays, x-ray viewers and even a LTV 1150 ventilator allowing patients the freedom of portable advanced care ventilation in the home or at a post-acute care facility.

We are proud to play a role in having these brand-new, still-in-the-original packaging supplies and gently used equipment, being repurposed to help save lives in Africa, rather than being wasted and ending up in a landfill.

After months of literally rejoicing upon reports that the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone was waning, and even a prediction by the United Nations’ Ebola chief that “it’s only a matter of weeks” before the outbreak in the country ends, we were shocked and saddened to learn that in early June there has been a resurgence.

According to a World Health Organization report for the week ending June 7, there were 15 confirmed cases in Sierra Leone, the highest weekly total reported since late March.

For our partner there Rev. Francis Mambu, Executive Director of Faith Healing Development Organization and the millions of residents of the county, the news is surely devastating.

Just as it seemed that the deadly Ebola virus, which killed nearly 4,000 residents of the Sierra Leone alone in the past year and sickened thousands more, was eradicated, it has come back, just as the country was beginning to recover economically.

If the recurrence worsens, Bread and Water for Africa® will be there, just as we were last year, providing aid to the sick and supplies for the valiant health care workers risking their own lives to treat them.

We only hope and pray that we won’t have to.

Right now in Sierra Leone, one in eight women risk dying during pregnancy or childbirth – one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.

Less than half of the infant deliveries in the country are attended by a skilled birth attendant and less than one in five are carried out in health facilities.

Bread and Water for Africa® and our partner there, Faith Healing Development Organization, are working to reverse those shocking statistics.

In May, Bread and Water for Africa® will conduct a month-long campaign to provide more education about the unsafe and unsanitary conditions under which so many births take place – too often with tragic results – and what we are doing in places such as FHDO’s clinic in Rokel to improve the chances of life for thousands of mothers and infants.

Be sure to check out our website www.africanrelief.org to read about success stories including Hawa, Mattu, Satta, and Mbalu next month, and learn what you can do to save lives in Sierra Leone.

 

We at Bread and Water for Africa® are thankful that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa appears to waning. We are hopeful that remains the case.

But, we also are saddened by the deaths of more than 9,000 children, women and men in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, who have perished during the past year due to the deadly virus, and the tens of thousands more whose lives have been devastated by the loss of loved ones – even entire families.

Despite the good news that the number of newly-contracted cases is on the decline, that doesn’t mean it’s over. In fact, dozens of West Africans are still being infected with Ebola in those three countries every week.

Tragically, even those not affected by the disease are suffering the consequences as food production and importation has dropped off significantly in Sierra Leone, where our partner organization Faith Healing Development Organization is located, leaving otherwise healthy residents of the country on the verge of starvation.

Hundreds of thousands of people are going hungry because of Ebola’s effects on farming, and relief agencies working there predict that the number will double in a few short months.

We are asking that you will continue your generous support to Bread and Water for Africa® as we continue our fight alongside FHDO, which operates numerous life-saving clinics in the desperately poor country, to ease the suffering of those for whom each day is a struggle to survive.

We are proud of role in helping to win the battle, but we need your help to defeat the Ebola virus and win the war.

Christian Health Org

CHASLWhile Ebola is the most immediate health concern in Sierra Leone, that does not mean that other equally life-threatening illnesses have vanished, and our partner there, Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone (CHASL), continues on its mission to meet basic health care needs for the residents of the country.

CHASL is comprised of 53 member institutions located throughout the country which include 10 general hospitals, two eye hospitals, 35 health centers and clinics and six faith-based non-governmental organizations with health promoting programs, according to its 2012 annual report.

Bread and Water for Africa® is proud to be a long-time partner with CHASL by providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in in-kind donations of medical equipment and supplies and medicines to ease the suffering of those being treated for malaria, respiratory tract infections, typhoid, severe diarrhea, HIV/AIDS and hypertension, as well as providing pre-natal and post-natal care for women and infants.

CHASL’s hospitals and clinics provide life-saving health care services to hundreds of thousands children, women and men annually and oversee the births of thousands of new Sierra Leoneans every year.

Through its hospitals and clinics, CHASL is able to provide services to those living in the most remote areas of the county thereby bringing about monumental change throughout the entire nation.

Bread and Water for Africa® is glad to be a part of that success – a success you help to bring about.

Red Cross

While many Americans may be thinking that the Ebola crisis in West Africa is over as it’s not dominating the national news as it was last fall, that is not the case – far from it.

Donate NowThe reality is the deadly virus is still taking the lives of many children, women and men, particularly in Sierra Leone where Bread and Water for Africa®’s partner, Faith Healing Development Organization, is fighting the battle daily.

Sierra Leone has seen 3,062 deaths attributed to Ebola in the yearlong outbreak, and killed a total of 8,414 in West Africa’s three worst-affected countries as of mid-January.

In fact, just that week the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies reported that a male nurse who worked at an Ebola treatment center in the Kenema district, where FHDO operates a clinic, died and was confirmed to have been suffering from the disease. Nearly 30 people who had contact with him are being monitored for symptoms.

The same week, Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma predicted that there would be zero new confirmed cases in the country by the end of March, even as 19 new Ebola cases were registered there during a recent 24-hour period.

We pray President Koroma is correct. In the meantime, Bread and Water for Africa® will continue on as we have for the past year providing assistance to those struggling with the disease, the families destroyed by the virus, and those health care workers fighting Ebola on a daily basis.

We will not forget about them, and we hope you do not either and together we will win this battle and then begin to rebuild the devastated country.

CHASL

Local Partner: Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone

Program Director: Walter Carew

Areas Served: Communities located in all districts of Sierra Leone, with a total population of more than five million people.

Program Goals: Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone’s (CHASL) mission and goals are to equip and support Christian health institutions in the provision of affordable, high-quality, easily accessible and sustainable health care services for the people of Sierra Leone. Its overarching goal is to provide quality medical care to an ever-increasing population of patients.

OperationProgram Services Provided: Treatment of life-threatening diseases such as malaria and respiratory tract infections continue to be the amongst the largest number of diseases treated, while there are also high incidences of typhoid, hypertension and diarrhea. In addition to providing inpatient care, surgery obstetric delivery and newborn care, CHASL also provides laboratory, ultrasound and x-ray services. A full-service outpatient clinic is operated open six days a week, and CHASL also operates a malnutrition treatment and stabilization program under the direction of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It also operates eye clinics providing examinations and glasses, as well as a program offering cataract and other eye surgeries. In addition, its Pharmacy Department also assists members in drug procurement and handling. It has secured clearance and import permits for prescription and non-prescription drugs and medical supplies imported into the country by CHASL Member Institutions in the United States.

Number of Program Beneficiaries: Through various services rendered, CHASL member hospitals and clinics attended to a total of 322,841 patients in 2013. CHASL members participated in 5,133 live births, of which 3,832 were normal deliveries. Also, 639 Caesarean sections and 37 assisted deliveries were conducted.

Current Need: Challenges for CHASL members in recent years have been to provide quality health care services to people in its catchment areas as they struggle to manage with inadequate resources. The organization also faces considerable challenges in its efforts to coordinate the activities of the member institutions, helping to create an enabling environment for them through supportive services, advocacy and training. Significant constraints faced by its Secretariat and member institutions include inadequate funding for the operation of the Secretariat and to effectively support its members in their delivery of health care, training and other logistical support, transportation in order to do monitoring and supervision of its members, and lack of access to reliable drugs at reasonable cost for its members’ operation. Also the lack of funds means the staffs were made redundant and asks to continue working as volunteers. Also the Secretariat would be better served if they had a delivery van that would be doing distribution of materials to members to avoid congestion in the CHASL store. Due to the emergence of the Ebola outbreak, CHASL members are specifically in need of PPE kits and thankfully we have been receiving them from various donors, but they can never be enough.

Program Summary: CHASL membership comprises a total of 54 Health Institutions owned by both church denominations and Christian organizations registered in Sierra Leone. It is includes 10 general hospitals, two eye hospitals, 35 health centers/clinics and seven faith-based non-governmental organizations with health promoting programs. Its members have a presence in all but one of the 14 districts in the country and mainly operate in rural settings, serving the poor and needy communities. Total staff of member institutions was 561 at the end of 2013.

Rev. Mambu

Rev. Frances Mambu, founder and executive director of our partner in Sierra Leone, Faith Healing Development Organization (FHDO), is worried about the future of his country which is continuing to experience the ravishes of the Ebola outbreak.

“I’m a bit discouraged about the situation in our country, because things are not getting better,” he reported to us in a Dec. 30 e-mail. “We’ve been lock down in the city, and our movements are limited.”

Rev. Mambu fears that the doctors at the Centers for Disease Control may be correct in their prediction that the situation is going to continue up until the end of 2015 – obviously not a joyous way to enter the new year.

Life, even for those who Ebola has not touched directly, is becoming unbearable there.

“Over three million homes have been quarantined, and with the rapid spread of the disease, the government is even thinking of shutting down the whole country,” Rev. Mambu said.

In 2014, thanks to you, Bread and Water for Africa® was able to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical supplies and equipment, medicines, and personal protection kits to FHDO, and when our board of directors learned that the population was facing starvation due to lack of food supplies being imported, we stepped up to provide funding for emergency food relief.

But more is needed.

Donate Now“We’ll soon exhaust the food items you sent for us, because the people are not involved in any productive activities so as a result of that they are only depending on the food supplies to sustain their lives and families,” Rev. Mambu told us.

“What has really discouraged me is that we’ve gone back to the days of the war, wherein we have to depend on people for everything,” he added.

Food donations to Sierra Leone

“We’ll soon exhaust the food items you sent for us, because the people are not involved in any productive activities so as a result of that they are only depending on the food supplies to sustain their lives and families,” Rev. Mambu told us.

While we are heartened to hear that the number of new Ebola cases decreasing in Liberia and fluctuating in Guinea, and there are signs that the increase in incidence has slowed in Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization, we are distressed to learn that the country’s west is now experiencing the most intense transmission in the affected countries.

According to Rev. Mambu,  who is our eyes and ears on the ground in the country, the number of new infections every day is between 60 and 70 and within the capital city of Freetown the number of bodies being buried is no fewer than 40 daily.

But despite all the tragedy affecting his country, Rev. Mambu has not given up hope.

“We only pray that God will take control,” he told us.

And, in expressing his gratitude to you for your generosity and compassion for others half a world away, Rev. Mambu also took the time to say “Once more, I want to wish you a Happy New Year in advance.”

As you did in 2014, we hope you will continue to think of Rev. Mambu and the citizens of Sierra Leone in 2015 as together we strive to provide life-saving assistance as they fight on against the deadly virus and help 2015 be a “Happy New Year” in Sierra Leone.

http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/situation-reports/en/

Ebola

Donate NowUpdate 11/19/2014

In Liberia, the Ebola outbreak there peaked in September, and by early this month signs of normalcy are returning to the capital of Monrovia as the rate of new Ebola infections are decreasing.

Sadly, that is not the case in Sierra Leone where our partner Rev. Frances Mambu, founder and director of Faith Healing Development Organization, and the healthcare workers in its clinics continue the fight.

Sierra Leone is reporting what USA Today calls “an alarming increase in the number of new Ebola cases,” with 435 in the first week of November alone. And, according to the World Health Organization, about 24 percent of the Ebola cases in Sierra Leone have been reported roughly in the period from October 15 to November 7.

Bread and Water for Africa® has been, and remains, on the forefront in providing assistance to Rev. Mambu as he continues his heroic effort to treat the sick by providing FHDO hundreds of Tyvek suits and personal protection kits, hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of medicines and medical supplies, and tens of thousands of dollars in cash grants to purchase emergency food supplies.

We, along with Rev. Mambu, and the thousands of sick and dying residents of Sierra Leone and their family members coping with the tragic loss of their loved ones, thank you for helping us to be able to help them in their time of greatest need.

Ebola Update: Faith Healing Development Organization Says “Thank You”

Donate NowUpdate: October 22, 2014

His words of appreciation say it all – “We greatly appreciate Bread and Water for Africa® for bringing hope to the people of Sierra Leone.”

Since early this summer, Bread and Water for Africa® has been shipping hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of protective gear to the health care workers battling the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone and medicines and medical supplies to ease the suffering of those with the deadly disease.

Bunumbu Clinic, Sierra Leone

In happier times, before the Ebola outbreak, Reverend Mambu (in grey) tours the nursery at the Bunumbu Clinic, Sierra Leone

In September, Bread and Water for Africa® provided thousands of dollars in cash funding to purchase food supplies in the country that is now experiencing a food shortage, and otherwise healthy people are facing the threat of starvation.

Rev. Frances Mambu, founder and director of our partner there, Faith Healing Development Organization, wrote to thank Bread and Water for Africa® — and you, our supporters – for the lifesaving supplies and providing grants to buy basic necessities.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank you and appreciate you from the bottom on my heart for your timely support to us I this moment of great need in our land. In a nutshell, it has become extremely difficult to live in the country.”

Letter of Apprectiation – Grant Received for Eboloa Emergency Need

October 9, 2014

Dear Bread and Water for Africa® Board Members, 

On behalf of the entire staff and the beneficiaries of [Bread and Water for Africa® partner] Faith Healing Development Organisation (FHDO) I want to take this opportunity to thank and appreciate you from the bottom of my heart for your timely support to us in this moment of great need in our land.

The financial support received from Bread and Water for Africa® will be used to procure basic necessities for the running of the clinics, buy food stuff to give as relief items to the most vulnerable in varies communities.

The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has had a devastating effect on the country. Many people have lost their lives far above the official figures released by the Government. Even in the capital, sometimes dead bodies are found in the street or left uncollected by the burial teams for more than three days! The disease is seriously affecting the fabric of our society. The economy has been seriously affected. Prices have sky rocketed and many people are starving. Far in excess of 24,000 workers have lost their jobs, cinemas have closed down, schools are not functioning, many offices have scaled down their operations, government revenue from taxes has dwindled. The spread of the disease to other parts of the country especially Port Loko and Kambia Districts – the main rice producing areas is likely to lead to decrease in the area under cultivation as the usual ‘Group Work’ on the rice farms cannot be undertaken. According to recent analysis, five people get infected every hour. This statistic will rise to ten infected persons for every hour by the end of the month. The daily statistics issued by the Government’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation, showed that for the 5th October 2014, 121 persons died from the Ebola Virus and 81 new cases for a single day! In a nutshell, it has become extremely difficult to live in the country. That is why Faith Healing Development Organisation greatly welcomes the grant from Bread and Water for Africa® to help alleviate the suffering of the populace.

Bread and Water for Africa (BWA) and Christian Relief Services (CRS) have always been supportive partners of FHDO. These organizations started supporting FHDO with material and financial support since the dark days of the Civil war in Sierra Leone. The relief items received during this period seriously alleviated the suffering of thousands of Sierra Leone who could not afford the basic needs for their livelihood.

BWA and CRS continued to support FHDO even after the war till now. Our clinics spread all over the country – Rokel village in Freetown (outskirt of the capital), Bo in the southern part of the country, Kenema in the eastern part of the country and Bunumbu village in the Kailahun district also in the southern part of Sierra Leone. These clinics treat over 14,000 patients in one year! Thanks to BWA for saving the lives of our people especially the volunerable who cannot afford to pay for cater for their health. Since its formation, the clinics have also been able to delivery thousands of women and no women has ever died in our clinics whiles giving birth!

Another great area of support by BWA is education which is very pivotal in the development of any nation. Through support of BWA, FHDO operates schools Freetown (Grafton, Hill Station (IMATT) and Waterloo) and Rutile in the Bonthe District Southern Sierra Leone. The schools currently have more than 750 students in its roll. These students are doing extremely well and our students have excelled themselves in public examinations. BWA has provided furniture, financial support to construct a permanent structure for the Waterloo school. BWA has also been supporting the operations of the school through the provision of funds to augment the operating cost.

BWA have also assisted FHDO to undertake farming activities where its employs mainly women. The project aims to build a seed bank which will be used to give out as loans to farmers especially the community women. The project also aims to especially a training institute to train farmers on methods to improve crop yield.

The EVD outbreak will impose a great challenge when it would have subsided and schools resume operations. Currently, all schools and colleges remain closed indefinitely. We may be in dire need of furniture and other school items when schools will eventually reopened.

The situation in the country is really desperate thousands are in need of food and non food items. This is why we greatly appreciation the Board and entire BWA family for bringing hope to the people of Sierra Leone.

Please join us pray that God intervene and rid our nation and West Africa as a whole from this evil virus and restore our economy.

Donate Now

If you wish to support Reverend Mambu’s and Faith Healing Development Organization’s efforts – please give today!

Our more, thanks for showing the people of Sierra Leone love and concern at this very difficult moment. This grant will in no mean way restore hope in the lives of many Sierra Leoneans especially those suffering from chronic starvation.

Yours Sincerely,

Reverend Francis A.M. Mambu
Executive Director, Faith Healing Development Organisation

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