Partners in Compassionate Care is very excited to enter the 11th year of bringing hope and healing to our brothers and sisters in South Sudan. We cannot count the many blessings that God has given over the last 10 years. While South Sudan is now a free and independent nation, the challenges that inspired the construction of Memorial Christian Hospital remain the same: very high infant and maternal mortality, minimal access to quality healthcare, poor sanitation, rampant incidence of preventable illnesses, etc.
I want to narrate story of a woman who came to Memorial Christian Hospital during the time I served as MCH Site Administrator. A pregnant woman walked onto the hospital grounds around noon accompanied by her husband and two other women. The poor woman had been in labor for about two and half days and traditional birth attendant could not help her anymore. The family decided to walk (covering a distance of about 3 miles) to MCH to seek professional help.
The family arrived safely, but our doctor was in Bor town for his weekend time off. The nurse examined the baby and the mother and found the baby’s heart rate was good, but the mother was exhausted due to prolonged labor. Nurses found the cervix dilated to the fullest, but the mother had no more energy to push. The nurses measured the cervix and they determined that the cervix was too small for the baby’s head to pass through. The nurses concluded that the mother needed a cesarean section, but there was no way to contact the doctor and no running vehicle that could take the woman to another town. We were helpless.
Before I tell you how this story ends, let me tell you why I’m sharing it with you. Memorial Christian Hospital is in the same situation today as we were at that time. We serve a rural community and currently have no running vehicle. The roads are often impassable due to mud and ruts and even in the dry season, the conditions are very harsh. Without a vehicle, we are not able to transport patients and supplies when needed.
Now back to my story. We asked the family to carry the mother to the road junction and maybe they would be lucky to find a vehicle going to Bor Town. The two women agreed, but the husband strongly disagreed saying that he did not want his wife to go through C-Section. The woman being submissive to her husband and not aware of her rights, remained silent during our attempt to convince her husband. We became frustrated with the man and asked him to sign a document indicating that he refused to follow medical advice to take the woman to Bor for surgery. During this time, the staff and relatives began to pray, asking God to soften this man's heart. At the end of our prayers, the husband agreed to take his wife to the road junction where they would wait for a vehicle to take them to town.
As we were preparing the blanket to carry the woman to the road junction, the woman insisted that she would try to walk. I was amazed and humbled by her courageous attitude. I silently prayed to God, “Lord this woman has already broken water and the baby’s head is already on the cervix and she wants to walk?” I went into my room and cried.
As I was crying in my room, many thoughts came to my mind. If this was the United States, this woman would have been at the emergency room within a few minutes and the needed procedure would have been done many hours ago. But this woman and her unborn child are going to die because they happen to be in South Sudan. They are going to die because I could not transport them to Bor Hospital on time. More importantly she is going to die just because she is a woman in South Sudan.
The family managed to get the woman to the road junction and they found a vehicle that took her to Bor hospital. She had a C-section and by the grace of God, the baby boy was born healthy. They spent two days at the hospital and then were discharged. The next month, the mother brought the baby to MCH for immunizations. We all celebrated what God had done for her and the child.
The reason I am telling this story is to highlight the urgent need for a vehicle at the MCH. Our old vehicle has had too many trips over the very rough roads and is now beyond repair.
The good news is that the US dollar goes a long way in South Sudan and the cost of a brand new vehicle is the same as what we bought a used one for in the past. The total cost of a new 4-wheel drive Land Cruiser is $45,200 including shipping, taxes and all the registrations. Amazingly, God had already provided $5,000 through an anonymous donor. We are asking for your help so that we can secure this vehicle for MCH as soon as possible.
Make a secure online gift HERE!
With gratitude for your care and help,
Deng Jongkuch Partners in Compassionate Care Executive Director