Yes, we are frightened.
L’Hopital Evangelique le Pionnier (HELP) is located in Impfondo, The Republic of Congo, Africa. It is a 60 bed facility that has been transformed from a Communist youth camp into a hospital, serving the neediest part of Africa in the Congo River Basin Rainforest.
“Pioneer Christian Hospital serves an estimated population of 300,000 people, including local residents, villagers, and vulnerable people groups including indigenous peoples, refugees, the poor, elderly, chronically ill, and AIDS orphans and widows.”
Personally, the medical aspect of this trip frightens me the most. Although there are many well trained staff that are there to help in any circumstance, I will still be the only physician at the hospital for around 1 month. Given a preponderance of tropical diseases in the Congo, a lot of the medicine will be new to my practice. Traveling to this area lends a high risk of acquiring a tropical disease like malaria, parasites etc, and also has a high incidence of HIV/AIDS.
I also haven’t mentioned it yet, but I have been there before! 11 years ago. At that time thoughts of medical school were but a dream! I helped as much as I could, painting a whole lot of buildings but also helping out in the operating room as first assistant because the surgeon there at the time found it useful to speak to me in English!
We do have some needs! We will be supporting ourselves financially, but medical supplies are always running short due to inadequate government resources.
If you would like to help support this amazing hospital, here is the link to donate: