Even though we are still in the US, we wanted to keep posting about what is happening at Mbingo. This past weekend was the CIMS (internal medicine/pediatrics residency) and PAACS (surgery residency) graduation. All of the graduates have spent many years training and passed their final exams. They will now be sent to different hospitals across Cameroon and other African countries.
These are our CIMS graduates for the year - Dr. Koudjou and Dr. Mbanga. We are proud of what they accomplished during their time at Mbingo and look forward to hearing how they are doing at their new hospital assignments. Hopefully they take with them a deeper knowledge of medicine, much experience in patient care, advanced skills in procedures, and a desire to improve the level of healthcare at their new hospital. Even though they leave us at Mbingo, they will always be part of the CIMS family.
The PAACS residency also had their graduation and this photo shows Dr. Mifila with Dr. Jim Brown (PAACS faculty missionary surgeon) in the operating room. Dr. Mifila will be going back to his home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to work at a hospital that has incredible needs as well as challenges. He has been well-equipped and will represent the PAACS program well. Dr. Ekwin and Dr. Brown also graduated this year and will be serving their people, their patients, and the Lord at their new assignments. I know I echo the PAACS faculty in expressing our pride in what they all have accomplished.
This was a photo we took of all the CIMS faculty, CIMS residents, house officers, and nurse practitioner students before we left. This serves as our "class photo" for the year. Each person in this picture is an important part of the care that is delivered at Mbingo.
This photo shows the administration of the hospital at Mbingo. From the left, there is Mr. Nji (hospital administrator), Mrs. Gabe (assistant administrator of personnel), and Mr. Joce (assistant administrator of finance). Although we as missionaries hold positions of leadership at the hospital, we are proud of the fact that Mbingo is officially run by Cameroonians. They have a difficult job of figuring out a way to offer the highest level of care possible with minimal resources to an extremely poor population. We are often pushing them to give us more resources in one area or another and we can even get frustrated at times, but it is no easy task that they are dealt. We are thankful for the wisdom they try to show each day in keeping the hospital running.
This is the Cameroonian M+ team. They are responsible for providing care to TB and HIV patients at Mbingo. Dr. William (middle) is the head physician and leads the team. The government provides TB and HIV medications free of charge, but do not allow any of these medications to be purchased. That is fine until the government runs out of medications and these sick patients do not receive treatment. Even a week of missing medication can cause disease resistance to form for a patient making future treatment more difficult. The team is assisted by Debbie Bardin (missionary nurse) and as a group does an admirable job of trying to balance medication shortages with extreme need. Please pray that the country of Cameroon does a better job of keeping these vital medicines in stock and therefore make the M+ team's job a little easier.
Health campaigns and official days are popular in Cameroon. This poster is for the World TB Day which involved teaching on TB for the week, official posters and t-shirts, and a march through the market and hospital grounds. In addition to TB, there are official days for HIV, diabetes, and glaucoma just to name a few. Spreading the word to the community is an important part of preventive strategies for healthcare...and where else can you see singing and dancing to spread the word about disease?
Isaac is having a great time in the US seeing family and friends, but often talks about Mbingo and missing Cathen, JR, Lindsay, and his Cameroonian friends. This photo shows Isaac after church with a couple of the local children.
Introducing Benjamin Kyle Barrier. He was born on July 5th and weighed 9lbs 1oz. Angela and Ben are doing great and we could not be happier to have him join our family. We are enjoying sharing him with our family and friends here and look forward to sharing him soon with our Mbingo family. We have already sent off for his passport. After this returns, we will request his Cameroonian visa and then plan to return to Mbingo in mid to late August.