Infrastructure assessments at government hospitals in West Africa continues, in partnership with Mercy Ships, as an EMI-UK team evaluates Ignace Deen Hospital in Conakry, Guinea.
Mercy Ships is known for its past involvement in missions through relief-oriented medicine provided onboard the largest, private hospital ship in the world. The Africa Mercy docks in port cities across West Africa, offering both support to the local healthcare systems as well as training onboard the ship for local healthcare practitioners. An exciting new area of ministry for the organisation is to take their impact on shore by seeking to improve the government hospitals in the countries in West Africa where the ship docks, seeking to empower these governments to grow and develop their own sustainable health systems.
This new program came to life when Mercy Ships realized that the training being provided onboard the ship was being lost when the local physicians and nurses returned to work in substandard facilities. Over the years, they saw a pattern of one of two things would happen: either the newly trained local healthcare workers decided to leave their country to practice in the West, or else the training learned on the ship could not be implemented. Both outcomes were unacceptable, and both came as a direct result of the poor facilities the doctors and nurses are forced to practice in. It became apparent to Mercy Ships that if they wanted to impact the local healthcare systems in West Africa, they would have to find a way to improve the facilities.
After bringing an EMI team to complete hospital assessments for six government hospitals in Sierra Leone in September 2011 and February 2012, Mercy Ships asked for another team to come assess one of the government hospitals in Conakry, the capital city of Guinea, in September 2012. During their visit, the EMI team assessed the condition of the facilities and made tiered recommendations for ultimately achieving reliable water, power, sanitation, and structural systems for the hospital.
Without as-built drawings or even a campus master plan available for use, the EMI-UK team's first task was to generate a hospital site plan to work with. From there, each of the engineering disciplines set out to locate and document the entire existing delivery systems on the hospital campus, noting entry points of utilities, and documenting the failures, potential failures and deficiencies in the systems.
In the final EMI assessment report released in December 2012, a three tiered approach to implementing the recommendations was presented. Tier 1 included restoring the existing system and system elements to their original, intended state. Tier 2 introduced minor improvements to the system, building upon the stability established in Tier 1. Tier 3 provided a long-term, comprehensive plan for establishing reliable water, power, sanitation and structural systems at the hospital. In some cases, Tier 3 meant a complete replacement of the existing system.
Currently, funding procurement and implementation programming for the project are in process within Mercy Ships.
Brad Crawford, Team Leader (EMI Staff)
John Agee, Civil Engineer (EMI Staff)
Brian Kreidle, Mechanical Engineer (EMI Intern)
Alyssa Pizarro, Electrical Engineer (EMI Intern)
Jaspreet Dhillon, Civil Engineer (EMI Intern)
Tony Sykes, Civil Engineer (Project Volunteer)
Tony Antich, Civil Engineer (Project Volunteer)
Ruedi Tobler, Electrical Engineer (Project Volunteer)
KC Morrow, Electrical Engineer (Project Volunteer)
Beth Brueggen, Structural Engineer (Project Volunteer)
Clare Taylor, Structural Engineer (Project Volunteer)