Rebuilding Bolenge Hospital — Update September 2012
Read about the recent dedication of the new Maternity Wing and the groundbreaking for the third building at Bolenge Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Bolenge Hospital, located in the city of Bolenge, in the Equatorial Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was built in 1928 by the Community of Disciples of Christ in the Congo (CDCC), a partner church with Global Ministries for over 100 years. In a typical year Bolenge Hospital treats over 16,000 patients; over 50 percent for HIV/AIDS- related illnesses. Much work is also done at Bolenge Hospital to provide early childhood vaccinations, prenatal visits, and obstetrical care as well as treatment of chronic and punctual illness and disease.
On June 13, 2006, the Bolenge Hospital experienced an electrical fire, which completely destroyed the hospital’s newer main building and equipment. Community members worked hard to save the people inside the building before it was completely engulfed by flames and no human lives were lost. The patients were brought to the homes of doctors, pastors, and others in the community, and some were relocated to nearby Mbandaka. At first after the fire, the hospital operated out of an old building that was equipped to handle Bolenge’s wide range of health needs.
A plan to rebuild Bolenge Hospital was soon agreed upon and is being implemented as resources become available. Approximately three years after the fire, the new pediatric ward building was completed, thanks in great part to the Robert and Abby Learned Family. This was a major triumph in the rebuilding of the hospital. By February of 2010, the pediatric ward was outfitted with equipment, beds, and medical instruments and the new ward was dedicated.
In August 2012 Reverend Sandra Gourdet, Area Executive for Africa, visited Bolenge Hospital with a delegation of visitors for the Dedication of the Maternity Ward. The Maternity Ward will have 50 beds and is connected to the Pediactric Wing via a covered walkway. The building has been completed and funds have been allocated to begin to furnish the Maternity Ward. The Maternity Ward was made possible in great part thanks to the Gene and Sue Johnson Family and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of North Carolina.
Along with the dedication of the Maternity Ward, ground was broken for the third phase of the rebuilding process – the Surgery Wing, dedicated to the memory of Topper Franke. Construction began shortly after the groundbreaking and work continues in order to complete this phase of the project.