Health Center Boukombé
The last renovation phase has been completed at the health center in Boukombé. The new building is ready and fully operational. The ambulance is finally functioning thanks to the financial aid of the foundation Muttathara and also the Center’s nursery is in use.
All in all we have had good execution of our plans. The construction work has been performed and the future of the health care for this region – with the continuation of our help – can only go forward. Of course there is a lot of need that remains not only in the regional villages themselves but also in the other health centers in the various arrondissements that fall inside Boukombé. There we want to absolutely spend more attention in the future.
After the renovation of the health center the actual project starts. At first we have committed ourselves to the daily care of the patients. Every day many patients come to the CdS for treatment and that only means that more will come. This is the best indicator to demonstrate that healthcare has improved. The people have more faith, there is more possible treatment, medicine and related stocks are in better supply, prices have been modified and the result is that the very poorest can also be helped. Moreover when vaccinations are available or other health center news, there are radio and market notifications for the people. Also these communication channels offer health center publicity.
Patient care is an important part of the work at the health center and is dependent on the commitment of the CdS staff. SAB collaborates closely with the nursing staff, obstetricians, aid and the doctor. Consultations are held with regularity. This has improved the mutual environment and improved cooperation. Also the ambulatory clinic with patients has become a bit more humane.
Centre de Santé (health center) in Boukombé
In northwest Benin in Natitingou is a Zone Hospital. There is a doctor present who is also a surgeon. 50 km distant, in Boukomé Centre the Santé is (CdS), where 3 nurses and an obstetrician are providing services. In a radius of 25 km are 8 dispensaries that function as a sort of emergency facility and simultaneously as a market booth maternity clinic. The dispensaries cover villages in a range of 15 km. Both the CdS and the dispensaries are limited by their state of maintenance. The healthcare has been regulated on paper but is not so regulated in practice. There are too few available resources to speak of as true care.
When Marjan Kroone first visited the CdS in Boukombé it was in a very bad state and little was being done for the patients. The hospital area was entirely open and as a result people and animals could come in from all sides of the building. Because of this the area was considerably polluted. Thus, human and animal excrement, used razor blades and injection needles, ampules, empty flasks of medication, a dead rat, household rubbish, and food could be found in the clinic area. The building was dilapidated and considerably polluted. There was barely any furniture and that which was there was in bad condition. Nothing, in fact, was being done to address hygiene and to clean the building. A large part of the staff was absolutely unmotivated. All in all this was a very worrisome situation. Marjan made the following conclusion: “This can and must be done differently!”
The Renovation of the Health Center
In the first half of 2004 SAB obtained the funding for the renovation and refurbishment of the CdS. This was possible due to all kinds of activities and thanks to the support of the NCDO and Wilde Ganzen which raised a total of € 61,500. In November 2004 the renovation began and Marjan had established herself permanently in Boukombé and organized these enormous tasks. A local assignee carried out a large part of the activities. He repaired the walls of the building and replaced the roofs, stuccoed the walls of the treatment rooms and sanitary spaces among other jobs. In February 2005 a group of 15 volunteers of the Third World Fund came to help. They connected the electricity, installed the solar heater and the generator and painted the outside of a number of buildings.
With the completion of the renovation, the foundation has been laid for a renewed approach for the CdS. Improvement of the liquid assets, medical supplies and medicine will further ensure that the staff was better motivated and that the confidence of the people has slowly returned among the people. Hygiene was considerably improved and the treatment of patients is a bit improved.