About UMC Health and Maternity Center, Kissy
Advance # 982168Mission Statement: In response to the Lord’s Command to help the sick and as a way to bring the Gospel to the Kissy community, we provide good quality, affordable health care services and facilities with prayer, love and compassion.
The organized chaos of an early morning at UMC Health and Maternity Center in Kissy can be overwhelming to those unfamiliar with the aspects of a hospital operating in a developing country. More than 100 people sit on benches, some too ill and weak to sit upright; babies are crying, many from hunger; and hospital staff noisily direct anxious patients and family members to the correct ward. Patients come from the local Kissy neighborhood, in Freetown, or from as far away as the neighboring country of Guinea for the Christian care and compassion offered at UMC Health and Maternity Center.
Kissy is an impoverished community on the east side of Freetown, Sierra Leone. The area is riddled with diseases such as malaria and typhoid. Most homes in the area are concrete and with metal sheet roofs. Running water and electricity is not available. Few have stable jobs and a large percentage of the children are malnourished. The health situation is very poor— few can afford the services of a hospital or doctor.
History of UMC Health and Maternity Center
UMC Health and Maternity Center, Kissy provides a range of primary and preventative health care services comprising general medicine, women's health, pediatrics, nutrition, malaria, and tuberculosis (TB) treatment and HIV testing and care.
Most patients come seeking treatment for malaria, a parasitic disease that is transmitted by mosquitos and causes flu-like symptoms like headache, fever and vomiting. Malaria becomes deadly if the infection is allowed to progress. It can kill red blood cells, resulting in anemia, and clogging the blood vessels that circulate to the brain. A staggering 90% of patients who submit bloodwork at Kissy Center are infected with the disease. While malaria is almost obsolete in the United States and other developed countries, it kills many in Sierra Leone.
Other common ailments faced by the doctors and nurses at UMC Health and Maternity Center, Kissy are tuberculosis, typhoid, scabies, sexually transmitted diseases, and malnutrition.
In addition to the male and female inpatient wards, the primary units of the hospital include:
Sharing the campus of Kissy Center is the renowned Kissy UMC Eye Hospital, established by United Methodist missionary, Dr. Lowell Gess and his wife Ruth in 1984. The Eye Hospital is one of the premier optical health centers in West Africa, and boasts an advanced facility, including a new operating room that was completed in 2004. Patients arrive from throughout the region with ailments ranging from conjunctivitis (“pink eye”) to glaucoma, a blinding affliction.
United Methodist Church Kissy Health and Maternity Center, Advance #982168
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