KRB Update 2194 – Impfondo & DRC

KRB Update #2194 – Impfondo & DRC
Keith R. Brinkman                                                       07 December 2013

Greetings from the nation of the Republic of Congo.  I wish to give you a short update on our historical event with our patient selection/surgical screening in the capital of this country on 06 November.  After countless hours of preparatory work on the part of many, we had a successful patient selection – we had allocated 300 surgical slots for those from the Brazzaville, Plateaux and Pool areas.  We provided 294 people with their screening cards for the appointment for final approval from our surgeons.  I served as the Site Commander for this screening and had the great support of amazing screening and security teams and great cooperation with all the local officials – see below photo.
BZV Screening redBZV Screening Crowd red
Photo:  on the right – outside when I went to     the crowds to search for additional patients

Just this week, our team has done screening in two interior cities – Oyo and Ouesso.  They are en route back to the capital by land and I will join them on Sunday.  We will fly with Mission Aviation Fellowship to Impfondo, town in the north eastern section of the Republic of Congo with a population of around 20,000 people lying on the Oubangui River.  It is the administrative capital of the district and region.  Our venue is the Pioneer Christian Hospital (Hospital Evangelique le Pionnier) – a 60 bed general mission hospital and the referral center for a greater population base of 300,000 people.  You can be a part of this event with your prayer:
* Patients from in and around Impfondo come for the screening on Tuesday (10 December) – nothing would hinder those God has purposes for with us at this time.
* Security and safety for all involved – peace and order * Good weather with clouds and no rain
* All the logistics of air travel, accommodations, ground transportation, meals, etc.  * Our partners in the government, local Christian hospital, local churches and local organizations.

DRC Assessment: With permission from the managing director on board, I joined for two weeks in November the Assessment Team in the Democratic Republic of Congo – which is the much larger and better known Congo here.  Three of us traveled from the ship, two from the US and two from Switzerland as we came together as a team.  port Matadi red
Mercy Ships already has a protocol agreement with the government.  A recent detailed port assessment of Matadi (up the Congo River) had already been accomplished.  Our team was to work on relationship building, with the hospital assessments and logistical arrangements.  It was challenging and fulfilling.  The people are friendly and loved when I used my limited Lingala (one of their major languages).  They need us and want us in their nation and so I believe that sometime in the future we will have a Mercy Ship there.
Serving Together,    Mayor in Matadi2

Photo on the left:  Port of Matadi on the Congo River and next with the Mayor of Matadi

KRB 2194 – Brazzaville

KRB Update #2194 – Brazzaville
Keith R. Brinkman                                                       02 November 2013

The Africa Mercy is preparing for a historical event with our patient selection/surgical screening in the capitol and largest city of the Republic of Congo – Brazzaville without the ship’s presence nearby.  Typically, our largest screening takes place in the port city and that is normally the capitol or less than one hour from the capitol as in Ghana and Benin.  For those events, like 28 August here in Pointe-Noire, we have over 300 crew members involved along with another 100 local workers/day crew.  For Brazzaville, we are working closely with the President’s Office, our host, to make this a success.  Due to concern of the thousands of people who may come and how we are limited how many from the ship who can participate, we changed our strategy slightly.  Pre-screening/selection process took place this week at 11 hospitals and health centers in and around the greater Brazzaville area.  All of the participating doctors from those locations were briefed what we can assist with and what we cannot assist with.  The majority of the pre-selection registration forms have been reviewed by Mercy Ships’ Patient Flow Manager.  Only those who have a pre-registration form will be seen by Mercy Ships on Wednesday, 06 November at the site provided.  We are flying personnel from the Africa Mercy in Pointe-Noire to Brazzaville for this event – hospital staff and translators (day crew) along with the communications team, executive and security.  I hope to open the main gate at 06:00 on Wednesday morning.  For this event, I was asked to be Site Commander and I agreed to take on the challenge.  You can be a part of this event with your prayer.
Our prayer requests are:
* Pre-registered patients to come for the screening – nothing would hinder them
* Security and safety for all involved – peace and order
* Good weather with clouds and no rain
* All the logistics of air travel, accommodations, ground transportation, meals, etc.
* Our partners in the government, local church and local organizations

One short story from one of our patients from our first screening here in Pointe-Noire (I gave them their ticket at the main gate where I served): Vernel came with his papa as he had a cleft lip that needed to be repaired.  Through our Befriend-a-Patient I spent time with them in the hospital wards.  Amazing to see the change in this boy – see the other photo after his recovery – this was taken at his home in his village.  Life changed !!!  We pray for more to come from our upcoming screenings.

Thank you all for your partnership with me as I serve here.

Serving Together,   Keith
Email: (web site new and improved with great thanks from my friend Paul in Guatemala)