Dear Friends and Partners,
It’s good to take a minute to write and say thank you to each of you for your support and help over the past few years for the Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital. Much has happened since our soft opening in March.
The past two months we have been involved in the hiring of new staff; setting up procedures and protocols; continuation of the outfitting of the hospital. We have been training using volunteer patients – many of whom come from within the Tabitha programs.
My main concern has always been, are we who we say we are? Do we treat patients with dignity and respect regardless of income or social status? Will the women come and why would they come?
One very hot day, 10 of Tabitha women arrived – the first thing that struck me was how very excited they were at receiving this opportunity to be patients. It was a bit unnerving so I stated once again this was training for all our staff and things might be a bit haphazard. We quickly learned of another area we had not thought of as the women were required to produce an ID card – the first 4 women had none and were told to go home and get it. Not a great way to start the practice session! We quickly solved this problem.
The ladies went through registration and triage; then doctors consultation, lab work etc. I watched as our doctors examined the women – how wonderful to see them engage the ladies in the process of ultrasounds – of having diagrams drawn to explain their issues, of being forever patient for lab results.
As the ladies were finished we had a debriefing session with them. Dr Suren our CMO and Boumi our pharmacist asked the ladies of their experience. The universal reply was how welcomed they felt by everyone. How warm and welcoming the building was. The comments continued of how much they appreciated being talked to with the doctors; the explanations and kindness they were shown.
Dr Suren asked how often they had had a gynecological exam before. The answer never! Why not! Oh the doctors they had visited before were always angry with them; they never had time to explain anything – in fact they were made so uncomfortable that seeing a doctor had become a nightmare and they were loath to go to a doctor. Suren was horrified – how can this be? Being a poor person did not qualify a woman for any dignity or respect?
I watched and listened and felt a deep glow inside – who we said we were all these years was becoming a reality. How good that is!
The hospital will open its doors to regular patients on June 4 – the past two months have been good ones – difficulties with a severe lack of electricity are slowly being resolved. Training is an ongoing practice – setting up hospital IT systems are in process; so many good things happening.
I am so grateful for all that has happened and is happening. I am grateful to all of you for being an integral part of all of this. I am grateful to my God for this great privilege. How good that is!