All guests in the Hospitality Center are basically independent or with a caregiver and need no acute medical interventions. This photo shows inside one of the sleeping rooms. Also housed in the same facility are the Dockside Eye and Physical Therapy Units – these are normally dockside, but due to the size of the pier and the truck traffic for other ships, it is not possible and not safe to set them up on the dock. The goal of the Hospitality Center is to provide a clean and safe environment for pre- & post-op patients.
This year, one of the goals in Programs is to maximize the efficiency of the Africa Mercy hospital. Particularly, the hospital staff struggle with the numbers in our wards and even having to limit surgeries as we do not have the ward space for the patient’s recovery. So our new Hospital Manager and many others came up with the concept of an off-ship housing unit. This lead to what we now have as our Hospitality Center. The Hospitality Center, (also known as the HC), is a non-medical, temporary, housing unit for approximately 38 national residents who will have a stay prior to hospitalization for an in- and outpatient surgical procedure(s). This unit is also be used by national residents who have had surgery on the ship and for logistical reasons, may need non-medical housing in between outpatient visits to the ship, especially for those from the central and northern parts of Benin. The photo shows a representative from the Ministry of Health and he stopped to talk with my new friend Sumano and his father.
Last week on Wednesday, we had the honor and privilege to host the French Ambassador to Benin along with some of his staff on board the Africa Mercy. Our Hospital Manager gave an extensive tour of the Hospital, we shared with them two short presentations in French including the one I prepared for the President and then we had refreshments together. While visiting with his staff, I tried my limited words in French, but then we switched to English.