“Without humedica misery would be substantially worse”

by Jennifer Gerstendorf/SRA,  2010/09/01

For the period of one month nurse Jennifer Gerstendorf worked at the humedica hospital in the West African state of Niger. The hospital’s inpatient ward had been inaugurated in July. Together with local staff, Jennifer cared for the patients in Niger.

“During my stay at the humedica hospital in Kollo I encountered a lot of things I did not know from my life in Germany. Many of the children who had been taken in at our hospital together with their mothers during the last months were suffering from malaria.

Under normal conditions, this disease does not exist in our part of the world. The children suffered from fatigue, severe fever, nausea and they threw up frequently. In most cases they needed inpatient treatment for a period of at least three days. After their dismissal they were given tablets to take as follow-up treatment at home.

Many families in Niger attend the humedica hospital in order to receive urgently needed help. Photo: humedica

We also treated numerous undernourished children during my stay at the hospital in Kollo. Fortunately, we were able to feed them up by means of special additional food and a lot of love. Our work was supported by the Federal Foreign Office of the Republic of Germany, as well as by the World Food Programme of the United Nations.

For me personally, it was alarming to see how many people in Niger do not have enough to eat. However, it was always a wonderful experience to see the gratitude in the people’s eyes and their joy when their children gained weight and recovered once more.

This experience is one of the reasons why I enjoyed working at the humedica hospital so much and it encouraged me to continue this work. One of the rewards we received for our work most frequently was a true and sincere smile.

Highly motivated nurse Jennifer Gerstendorf committed herself to helping the patients in Kollo. Photo: humedica

Providing regular meals for the patients and their mothers at hospital was at first only possible with the help of family members. However, since some of the families lived in villages far away from Kollo, it was difficult for them to provide their relatives at the humedica hospital with food on a daily basis. In the meantime, the situation has improved, and now the mothers receive one meal per day at the hospital.

During my time in Niger, I have seen extreme poverty. This experience has caused me to look at our lives in Europe from another perspective and to appreciate how well-off we are. I have learned that this should not be taken as a matter of fact.

I really enjoyed working at the humedica hospital and I take a lot of enriching, but also sad memories back home with me. Without the hospital in Kollo and the international support offered by humedica, the misery of the people in Niger would be substantially worse”.

Please continue supporting our important work in Niger my means of a targeted donation:
      humedica e. V.
      Donation reference "Hospital Niger"
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

Please also donate online for the humedica hospital in Niger or contribute to financing our projects by means of a text message:
simply send DOC to the abbreviated dialling +49 8 11 90 and support us with a one-time donation of 5 euros, with 4.83 euros of this amount being directly channelled into our humedica project work. Thank you very much.

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