Thursday, September 13, 2012

Raising Funds for a Blood Analyzer for St. Theresa Catholic Hospital, South Sudan

The village of Isohe, South Sudan.
Isohe is a small mountain village located in a remote part of the Diocese of Torit, South Sudan. Apart from the breathtaking beauty that surrounds it, one of the things that makes it unique is a very strong presence of the Catholic Church. In addition to St. Theresa Church (built in the first half of the last century by Italian Comboni missionaries), there is St. Kizito Primary School which has about 1,000 students - most of them boarders who come from outside the village, St. Augustine Secondary School and St. Theresa Hospital. The work of the schools and hospital is supported in part by the Italian Catholic NGO, AVSI.

St. Theresa Catholic Church, Isohe.
I visited Isohe on multiple occasions while I was living in South Sudan. On both trips I've made since I left I also visited the village, accompanied on these occasions by Dr. Will Stallings of Missioners of Christ. During these visits Dr. Will consulted extensively and worked side by side with the staff, trying to understand their needs and how we might be able to support them. It finally became clear that the piece of equipment that would be most helpful for them would be an automated hematology analyzer.

St. Theresa Catholic Hospital, Isohe.

Dr. Will Stallings, Sr. Teresa (Administrator), Dr. Brian Madison (Medical Director)
While the hospital has a functioning clinical lab to help diagnose common diseases such as brucellosis, malaria and typhoid, at this point all blood analysis (white cell count, platelet count, hemoglobin and hematocrit) has to be done manually through a microscope. This is a slow and tedious process that greatly limits the hospital's diagnostic ability in terms of the number of patients it can treat and the range of diseases it can test for.

Dr. Will (left) in the lab with a technician (center) and Dr. Brian (right).
A laboratory technician preparing to do a manual blood count using a microscope.
The Mindray Automated Hematology Analyzer (pictured below) would dramatically boost the hospitals diagnostic capabilities both in terms of number and range. It can be purchased in the United States for about $10,000 and shipped to South Sudan. With the help of AVSI the device will be serviced through a medical equipment provider in Uganda. Dr. Will and Franciscan Mission Outreach are working together to try to raise the funds needed to acquire and send this blood analyzer to St. Theresa Hospital. Please consider participating in this effort by making a donation to Franciscan Mission Outreach for this purpose.

Mindray Automated Hematology Analyzer.

One of the patient examination rooms.

Sr. Teresa visiting the children's ward.

1 comment:

  1. I am so excited to hear this. I worked at the facility for 2 years (2005-2006). It is doing great service to Isoke, Chahari, Lodwara, Lobira and even Ikotos...This Analyzer will add a lot!

    Dr Emmanuel Oryem