Granaghan Outreach & Mother of Mercy Hospital, Sudan
Local missionary priest, Fr Tom McDonnell, has links with the sisters running the hospital, so following discussion with Fr Tom, Granaghan Outreach provided funding which will be used for the feeding program run by the sisters.
Below is a report from the sisters in the hospital.
Mother of Mercy hospital
Feeding program project
Mother of Mercy hospital was open on March 18th 2008. It was an initiative of the Diocese of El Obeid to offer to the people of Nuba Health Services. This population had been neglected and abandoned during more than 20 years of war. They had lived in caves on the Mountains for many years. When CPA came they started to come down from the Mountains. The government had not done so far any work of development in the area as they are doing in the South. The works of development going on here were initiated by the Church.
Our Hospital has a capacity for 130 patients. We train the local staff as auxiliary nurses during the daily activities of the work within the hospital. Most have very limited education. Violence and war prevents many from attending school. The Mother of Mercy hospital is the only medical facility around so we receive patients from all over Nuba Mountains, an extensive catchment area. Last February one of the volunteer doctors came with the idea of opening a nutrition unit due to the high number of malnourished children admitted in the hospital. He gave us the formulas of preparing different feeds for different malnutrition conditions. Since February we had admitted around 100 children. Some of them are malnourished due to tuberculosis or other medical conditions. Malnutrition can also kill when it is in an advanced stage. Many children die from advanced Kwashiorkor. The causes of malnutrition is the lack of food, poor diet based on local foods (here the main food is sorghum), displaced children due to another pregnancy of the mother, other illness like TB, etc. Many children spend long periods in the hospital as their illnesses are advanced and healing is very slow.
As our nutrition unit is growing every month we see the need to train a local staff for following up this program me. These children need special care. We are feeding them every three hours from 8 am to 11 pm. We give health education to the mothers every morning; this health education consists in teaching them the importance of hygiene and balanced food for their children. There are also many other topics which help them to improve the care of the children.
The various food given to the children are milk, sugar, oil, tahania (local paste made of sem sem), soya flour. We monitor the weight of each child at least twice a week. Our facilities for preparing the meals are very simple; we have a kerosene stove for boiling the water. This takes a long time because we can’t boil much at once. Some of these children spend months with in the hospital especially those getting Tb drugs. These are our needs:
a. Our project includes on-going nutritional feeding programs for the severely malnourished children; their number increases due to the little food they got last year, and the scarce rain during the current one.
b. Secondly, we need funds to pay the salary of the local staff who is supervising and managing the ongoing programme. He is a young man with a good education grounding and is just back from Kenya. During his refugee days in Kenya, he attended school in the refugee camp. He studied up to secondary school level. He returned help and serve his people; back to the less fortunate ones he left behing when he fled to exile in another land. We value this and see it as important that we promote such young people who have the courage to come back to work here in spite of the uncertainties of the political situation.
c. We hope and plan to employ this young man and later send him for training. Hopefully, some day, he will take over the programme.
Thank so much for considering our project and thanks on behalf of our dear little ones who need just food to grow as normal children. God Bless. Management team of Mother of Mercy Hospital