Update from John and Poppy...

Spens Posted by John and Poppy Spens on Thu, 09 Sep 2010 | 1 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

Dear Friends,

It’s hard to believe that we have only been back in Yei a couple of weeks. We settle in so quickly that it almost feels like we’ve never been away. On our return, we found that the new Martha Clinic children’s ward was open and staffed but had no patients. This called for a rethink on pricing and,following an advertisement campaign on local radio, the news spread and patients started to arrive. Now the ward is usually full, sometimes with more children than we have beds for them. There are a few teething problems like having no lights which work which makes night duty difficult but these are gradually being sorted and we are about to order a few more cots to take our numbers from 9 to 12. In early July, we were helped by Ann Rodgers from Cumbria and Fiona Forde from Northern Ireland, who is a children’s nurse. They got the ward ship shape, hung the curtains and Fiona did some staff training.

Meanwhile the St Luke’s Clinic in Lainya is fully operational and beginning to work well. The staff treat around 40 to 50 patients a day and, when Poppy visited this week, she was amazed to see it was even dealing with some in-patients, with five adults lying on mattresses in the waiting room, receiving treatment, because the local hospital had ceased to offer any credible service. This presents us with a problem because we had
never intended to admit patients and have no facilities for them. But the need is great and Poppy is communicating with the State Minister of Health to seek advice. The road to Lainya has been re-graded making the journey much quicker, but there can be delays as de-mining is taking place in two locations and the road is then closed for periods of 45 minutes while they do their stuff. We heard last week that CMS Ireland had been awarded some money to construct a primary school and to train some teachers in a place called Kajo-Keji which is about five
hours south of Yei, closer to the Ugandan border. John will be project managing this and making trips to Kajo-Keji from time to time. The teachers will be trained at Yei Teachers Training College.

Looking ahead, we hope to welcome quite a number of visitors in the next couple of months, some of them specifically arranged to coincide with the opening of the Martha Eye Clinic at the beginning of November. The construction of the building is finished and most of the equipment has been delivered and now we are just waiting for our member of staff to finish his training at the Juba Teaching Hospital. He should graduate in mid-October. Apart from this, in October we’ll welcome a doctor, a nurse and Poppy’s sister from Holland all coming for a few days and eager to help in one way or another. In November we hope to welcome David Gough from CMS Ireland and, not connected, a team from Royal Hampshire County Hospital Winchester, on a fact-finding visit to see whether they can establish a hospital link with Yei Civil Hospital. A busy time ahead!!

The two health students sponsored by The Brickworks at the International Health Sciences University in Kampala successfully
completed the first year of the degree course. One of them – Charles Agele – is studying for a degree in Health Management and we caught up with him for a meal when we stayed at the Airport Guest House, Entebbe on our way back to the UK in July. Ann Rodgers was with us and her surgery, together with St Paul’s
surgery Winchester, has been fundraising to pay for Charles’ university fees and living expenses. Charles is Sudanese but most of his schooling took place in the Congo where he was living in a refugee camp. When he returned to Yei in 2006, UNHCR referred him to the Yei Vocational Training College but
term had already started. Charles and his friend James needed accommodation and work, so John employed Charles as a security guard and James as a gardener and they lived in a tukul on the compound. Poppy then found training places for both of them, with James studying to be a clinical officer on a 3 year degree course in Congo and Charles doing a nine month course for health care assistants in Kampala before being employed
as the Martha Clinic Administrator. We anticipate that James will join the Martha Clinic management team when he graduates next month and that Charles will have a future career in health service management once he graduates in 2012.

Previosuly, we mentioned that we would be attending the
Samaritans Purse Staff Conference in the Nuba Mountains at the end of June. The conference was held in the Heiban Bible College, where SP has been helping to develop the facilities, building student and teachers’ houses, library, offices etc. It was a memorable week and we had a great time with about 100 SP staff, with John giving a number of talks and workshops. Poppy took a session on staying healthy in Sudan. Our accommodation was almost new and very comfortable, with the mountains right behind us.

Everyone here is now looking ahead to the referendum on the future of South Sudan which will be held on 9th January 2011. The Diocese of Yei will host a pre-referendum conference in November with the theme “I will break the yoke and strangers will nolonger enslave you.” Jeremiah 30.8. The objective is to discuss what is the right thing to do with a vote during the referendum. The Bishop expects to host over 20,000 people over the three day conference.

We are extremely grateful for your prayer support and have listed some suggestions of things that you may wish to pray for.

1. Praise for so many blessings that we have seen take shape in Yei and Lainya and, now Kajo-Keji.

2. Please pray for our safety and security, particularly as we travel on the roads of South Sudan and also for continued good health.

3. Pray for the clinics in Yei and Lainya and the mobile clinic visiting villages four days a week.

4. Pray for Charles Agele and Moses Blate in their studies at the University in Kampala and for James Malish as he soon comes to join the Martha Team.

5. Pray for the new children’s ward and the preparations for the opening of the eye clinic in November.

6. For Christie Tatum from USA, a YWAM volunteer, appointed for 8 months as the administrator of the new eye clinic and Tabitha Buheitel from Germany, a nurse who will work with Poppy for 9 months starting in October.

7. For the nation of Sudan as it prepares for the referendum next January and for the period afterwards, whatever the result.

8. For the Yei Vocational Training College and for its long term funding.

9. For the Martha Clinic, still trying to get its funds out of the Nile Commercial Bank.

10. For John’s knee, which was injured during a game at the SP conference in June!

11. For the hosting of many visitors between now and mid-November.

12. For our family in Bristol and London.

With our love,

John and Poppy Spens

Comments

Moses Malual Akot said Wed, 04 Mar 2015 09:03PM
My messsage is to add me in Martha PHCC to work and learning as anurse

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