Help which lives up to the misery

by Simone Winneg,  2010/07/06

More effective treatment of critically ill and malnourished persons, safe deliveries and better care for newborn babies: this is possible now thanks to the inauguration of the new wing of the humedica hospital in Kollo. Coordinator Simone Winneg is exhausted, but also full of hope for the future when she tells about the new possibilities of registering in-patients also for a longer time.

“It is only a few days ago that the new hospital wing and birthing centre was inaugurated at the humedica hospital in Kollo. While on the weekend nurses and midwives still complained a little about the lack of work and the fact that they had not yet helped to deliver one single baby, the situation has already changed.

Paediatrician Andrea Kranen-Sutter contributes to the newly inaugurated hospital wing by means of her work. Photo: humedica/Simone Winneg

In the meantime the first two in-patients in the hospital’s history have been officially registered in Kollo. They receive in-patient treatment, since they suffer from malaria and omnipresent malnutrition.

The famine which is causing ever more children to suffer from malnutrition is spreading further and further. However, thanks to this newly inaugurated hospital wing and the generous support of the German Federal Foreign Office, UNICEF and the World Food Programme of the UN, humedica will be able to help these children even more effectively in future.

Professional care and provision with special food will enable the children to live a healthy life once more. Great support is also provided by the experienced and energetic paediatrician Dr Andrea Kranen-Sutter who has been working at the hospital in Kollo for three weeks and has taken in our first in-patient, little Mahamdou.

For his age of two months he still is far too thin and extremely small. He has a body weight of only 2015 grammes – a weight which is already exceeded by the majority of newborns in Germany. We have registered him at our hospital in order to feed him up – an activity which will now more and more become part of our daily tasks.

This is because the rate of malnourished persons is increasing rapidly and continuously and unfortunately we encounter patients like Mahamdou every day. In the region of Kollo the rate of moderately malnourished children has increase from 8.6 percent in the last year to 14.8 percent in this year. And the rate of critically malnourished persons has risen from 0.7 percent to 2.7 percent this year, which means that the figure has quadrupled.

Each time we see these sad images at our hospital and would like to despair in face of them, our only hope is that – by means of our new capacities and possibilities – we will be able to offer help which is equal to these children’s problems.

For little Mahamdou each gramme of gained weight is essential for survival. Photo: humedica/Susanne Winneg

Despite the terrible conditions and the depressing situation, I am still pleased with and proud about the fact that we have now been able to register the first in-patients after many weeks of intensive preparations, training measures, job interviews and equipping the hospital rooms.

I am not the only one who has dedicated herself to these tasks completely; our entire hospital team is enthusiastic. The nurse who had agreed to take over the day shift was absolutely excited when she was the first employee to fill in the registering form for a patient. And our patients felt much the same.

On behalf of our patients and the hospital team I would once more like to thank our loyal supporter Alpensolar; only their commitment enabled us to construct the hospital wing and hence provided us with the possibilities we now have at our disposal.
Kind regards from Kollo,
Yours Simone Winneg“

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