Day 7 – We picked up Bernard at Moyo General Hospital who guided us to Metu HC III. A health center III means they deliver babies. Metu Health Center serves 11 villages with 5 health centers (level II) that refer to them. Those health centers are clinics similar to an urgent care. If there is an emergency, they call the hospital to send an ambulance. If the ambulance is away on another call then they get a boda boda (motorcycle) to transport the patient. As you can imagine, many of the patients (a lot of mothers in labor) can’t be transported by boda boda. This leads to unnecessary deaths for newborn babies and mothers.
Metu HC III delivers approximately 26-35 babies each month. They have 1-2 emergency transports each week. If a mother starts labor in the village or at home, she has to find her own transport to a health center. This is true for any emergency or illness. Not only do they need to find transport, but they also have to pay for that transport including fuel when they are picked up. Most families don’t have any form of transport and have to call for that service.
We also went to visit a health center II called Kweyo. We met with their village health committee who ensures that the community contributes to the ongoing needs of the health center since it’s a government health center and there is not enough funding to support all the necessary supplies and services. This committee met before we arrived and were prepared to speak to us. They assured us that if we provided a village ambulance, they’d be able to fund the driver, maintenance, and fuel for the project.
Their needs are very great because not only do they have to get a patient from their home to the referral health center III, but then they also have to hope that the ambulance is available from that point if further transport is needed to the hospital. Each step in the process increases the risk for every patient. It was evident that this community has a significant need for emergency transport and will be a collaborative and contributing partner in our village ambulance project.
Our next stop was to St. Thomas Aquinas College. It was great to arrive at the school and see all the students reporting back and preparing for classes to start this week. This secondary school is the only one of this caliber in all of Moyo. It attracts students from all over and some of them can pay full tuition. This resource along with sponsors help subsidize the tuition for the vulnerable students who can’t afford to pay.
I’m always amazed when I visit St. Thomas because they have new structures built and continue to grow. They also incorporate innovative solutions such as the clean drinking water technology provided by SOURCE which is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. I’m proud of this partnership and love seeing the projects we funded making a difference. And it is such a treat when Fr Robert, the Founder of E3 Africa, is in town at the same time.
The Moyo District donated 5 acres of land to Pipeline Worldwide right next to the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission of Refugees). We also had a meeting with the Chairman of the district about obtaining another 5 acres next to our site. He was very helpful in negotiating this land on our behalf, and we should be finalizing the contract within a few days. It won’t be long before we will have the land title and start constructing the Pipeline Worldwide Humanitarian Lodging and Training Campus! This is so exciting!
At dinner with our team, I couldn’t help but think about how far Pipeline Worldwide has come. We’ve built key relationships and have earned the trust of the communities we are serving. We’ve also funded millions of dollars in sustainable projects. This is no simple task, and I owe credit to all of those who have traveled with us, served on a project or event committee, sponsored or attended an event, donated their time or money, and served on one of our boards. This truly has taken all of us to get here, but we have arrived.