Good News from Mattru Hospital

Billy Simbo, now serving as Superintendent of Sierra Leone National Conference, sent a report about recent developments at Mattru Hospital in Sierra Leone. Mattru Hospital, which became a headquarters for rebels during the civil war, is rising out of the ashes. This mission hospital is making great strides, according to this July report from Superintendent Billy Simbo.

Great things are happening at Mattru Hospital and other things are in store.

Medical Board
The Mattru hospital Board made up of community and church representatives, plus representatives from the Ministry of Health and Sciences, met in June and elected Billy K. Simbo as chairman.

After the normal course of business, the Board appointed an interview committee which interviewed and hired a Finance and Administrative Officer for the hospital. This young man, Julius Gulama, comes as a member of King Memorial U.M.C. church in Freetown. Julius has a very strong accounting background and has wide work experience, including working as an administrative officer for a clinic in Conakry, Guinea.

This position was greatly needed to take care of the day-to-day running of the hospital so that the medical personnel would be free to do their work. Julius is already making a difference in the way things are run at Mattru.

The Nurses’ Training School
The addition of the school to the hospital’s program has made a wonderful contribution to the life of the hospital. The school is doing a very excellent job of preparing future nurses.

The first graduating class was in 2006, and the two highest scores in the nation were obtained by students from Mattru.

The school supports itself completely by taking in large classes of students each year. Large classes are not ideal, but since they depend on student fees for their running budget, they take as many students as they can adequately fit into classrooms.

An Additional Doctor is Coming
One of our biggest needs right now is to have a doctor on site full-time. The Lord has answered our prayers through a 31-year-old Sierra Leonean who has offered his services for a 4-6 month period. Dr. David Fefegula is a Mende and speaks several other Sierra Leonean languages. He will work beside our current doctor, Dr. Tamba Lebbie. A second doctor will be a real boost and a blessing. People stay away when there is no doctor. Our current doctor is gone about two weeks out of each month. In the absence of the doctor, the Community Health Officer (CHO) does an excellent job seeing and treating patients, but people still stay away when they hear that the doctor is not around.

A Gynecologist for Mattru Hospital
There is a gynecologist in Freetown who currently works at the Mercy Ships clinic at Aberdeen on the west end of town. His term expires in August and he is not planning to renew with Mercy Ships.

He wants to go back to his home in Texas to raise support and come back to Sierra Leone and work at Mattru hospital. He chose Mattru because the radiologist he works with, a young man named Tom French, is from Mattru and he took the doctor up there to visit the hospital. Tom worked with Dr. Dan Metzger at Mattru and went to school with encouragement from Dr. Metzger. His uncle is Mr. Joseph French, who has been a surgical assistant in the operating room since the tenure of Dr. S. H. Pratt.

The gynecologist would raise his own support and all we would need is to provide housing for him and his family. Tom will come along with the gynecologist as part of the operating team. Their work at the clinic in Aberdeen has been to work on fistula problems women in Sierra Leone face due to prolonged childbirth.

Since VWF is a major problem in Sierra Leone, Dr. Putman would like to make Mattru a model for eradicating this particular problem through education and available surgical procedures. He believes that he will be able to have his gynecologist colleagues from the US come for short-term visits to work and teach at Mattru if we provide adequate housing for the visitors.

A Work Team for Mattru in February 2008

We are planning to have a work team come to do physical rehabilitation of the inside and outside of the hospital buildings. Prior to the team’s arrival, we would like to solicit used hospital beds and other equipment to replace the old and dilapidated material that is now there and to supply what is needed.

If you know where we can find such equipment, please contact Global Ministries in Huntington. We would also need help in gathering the materials and in the cost of shipping them to Sierra Leone. We are hoping to have a 40-foot container to bring the items out to Sierra Leone not later than December 2007 so that everything would be on hand for the arrival of the work team.

Pray With Us

  • For the additional doctor and the boost he will bring to the hospital.
  • For Dr. Jerry Putman as he makes the transition from Mercy Ships to Mattru Hospital. That he will be able to raise the support he needs. That schooling for their 13-year-old daughter will be arranged.
  • For the materials we need–beds, drugs, tables etc. That God would make them available, and provide funds for shipping them.
  • Pray that Mattru hospital will be revitalized to once again meet the needs of the community. It is a vital medical ministry serving 13 chiefdoms in Bonthe District.
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