UPC News – November 2017
Rural Hospital Partnership
Founded in 1912, Vanga Evangelical Hospital is located about 10 hours east of Kinshasa in the Kwilu province. Vanga Hospital is committed to building a healthy community by providing high quality medical care. Its medical team understands that increasing the number of qualified physicians in Congo and improving and modernizing the level of education for the medical students are of the utmost importance.
Training physicians who are committed to devoting their time to the Congolese population in the interior of the country where their skills are needed is an integral part of the Vanga mission. The techniques that the students learn during their training give them the ability to improve and provide more accurate diagnoses. Learning these skills in a context and with limited resources similar to other hospitals in the interior helps them prepare for providing quality care in these hospitals. This school year (2017-2018) Vanga will have 52 medical students doing their final year of medical school training at the Hospital.
One sequence of events is a perfect example of the handson training, rural hospitals such as Vanga provide: Born on March 18, 2017 in Vanga, DRC, two little girls and a little boy appeared – all at the same time. These triplets were ever so tiny. And without an incubator to keep them warm, they were wrapped in blankets and placed between hot water bottles to keep their body temperature warm. Sadly, the little boy was the smallest of the triplets weighing in at 2.2 lbs and died after only a few days. The two little girls went home after spending a month in the pediatrics ward. Shortly thereafter, one of the baby girls died from malnutrition as the mother did not have enough milk for both of her daughters.
Being exposed to the realities of life in the interior of Congo can be heart-wrenching as in the case of the triplets. But, understanding that those realities exist and having to deal with them helps to create a desire to return and serve the needs of Congo and her people. The hands-on experience the interns receive in the rural setting is priceless.