Background: Nebobongo Hospital is a Christian-run hospital in the northeast corner of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Nebobongo Evangelical Hospital, for all of its resource challenges, remains the best-equipped and staffed hospital in an area serving over 260,000 people. Just the fact that they have doctors and medicine in their pharmacy puts them on a level above the majority of hospitals in the area. DRC is one of the poorest countries on the planet, and this primitive hospital has so many needs. Please learn more about our programs with the hospital here. To read more about this situation, please read this blog post.
Current: With the region around Nebobongo suffering from extreme poverty some level of malnutrition can be expected, but when we were alerted for the first time in December 2015 that the hospital was seeing an increasing number of children being admitted with extreme malnutrition resulting in death the severity of the situation became clear. This issue has been extremely troubling to the staff who had felt helpless to do anything about it since they lacked the financial resources to mount a meaningful intervention without jeopardizing core hospital functions. “Our greatest concern has always been for the children; but due to a lack of means our marginal efforts have really been insignificant.” -Dr. Christine Bataneni, pediatrician.
In January of 2016 enough funds were sent to finance the first 6 months of an intervention program and a trip to a distant Christian hospital backed by Samaritans Purse, where Nebobongo staff could observe and eventually replicate the successful malnutrition program already in place there. We are proud to announce that these funds have been used to launch the Center for Education and Nutrition at Nebobongo. Currently the center has two phases, the first is hospitalization of acutely malnourished (starving) kids who are are put on a three week regimen of high nutrient meals to stabilize their weight and are constantly monitored by the medical staff. Chronically malnourished (nutrient deficient) kids are placed into an outpatient program that meets at the hospital on Wednesdays where the children are evaluated and fed a high nutrient meal while their mothers receive education about nutrition and are sent home with a weekly supply of soybean and corn flour to provide an additional protein and calorie source throughout the week for the whole family. Eventually, a third phase will be started at the center that will send an agricultural education team to area villages to teach better farming practices and distribute new seed varieties that will encourage a healthy diet. For more information on this program click here for the full report.
Milling Machine: $1000.
This machine will allow project funds to remain in the local economy, employing local farmers for the production of the soybeans and corn used in the program rather than importing foreign food.
Running cost: $750/mo ($9000/yr)
The current program is designed to help about 50 kids at a time, assuming about 15 will be hospitalized and 35 in the outpatient program. Of the budgeted amount $250 is spent on staffing costs for the malnutrition ward in the hospital that cares for the acute patients and to hire the cooks for the program. The remaining $500 per month is spent on the food purchased for the program. This breaks down to an average monthly cost of $15 per child.