By Larry Mackey
One of the projects, started last year concerned power and lights for St Raphael’s.
St. Raphael’s is a 68 bed hospital that consists of 8+ single story buildings that house hospital wards (men, women, children, obstetrics, surgery, office/pharmacy, laboratory, aids clinic, and other clinical areas). These buildings are all situated along a hillside that reaches several hundred feet from street level to the top of the hill. At the present time, the only building with an air conditioner is the operating theater in the surgery building. The other buildings all presently depend strictly on natural air circulation through the windows for cooling. In the stifling heat of summer, sometimes this is not ideal.
The Diocese of Ohio team has provided LED lighting for the surgery overhead light assemblies that will reduce heating as well as provide clean white light for the doctors. Some work on the light assembly is needed to straighten the alignment of the main overhead post so that the light bars do not constantly drift to one side. LED lights have a life expectancy of 10,000 hours and do not output heat into the operating theater. On many occasions, we have been in the operating theater and saw the temperature in the room to exceed 100 deg F. The air conditioner installed can barely keep up with a 20 by 30 room with fluorescent lighting and a few electronic instruments.
The Diocese of Ohio team also provided a second LED light assembly that St. Raphael’s can use to create a bright white light as an examining light assembly. The LED light assemblies supplied so far all operate on 12 VDC which allows wiring to these lights to be configured to operate off battery and/or AC power.
In addition to the LED lights, the Diocese of Ohio team also reviewed the new equipment offloaded from the 2012 container shipment, and performed troubleshooting and repairs on several pieces of equipment from the 2011 container shipment. While performing the troubleshooting we discussed the need for a more formal ongoing preventative maintenance repair process and manpower. It appears that several of the problems had occurred sometime ago, and we were only made aware of them during our visit which delayed the bringing/sending of spare parts until after our return to the US.
I also had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Damian Mpundu regarding the updating of the strategic plan for St. Raphael’s. Damian’s vision/strategic plan for the hospital included expanding the size and certification level of the nursing school into a program the creates certificate nurses (similar to our LPNs) or beyond. This involves expanding the size of the program, both in numbers of students, as the program expands into a multi-year program, but it also needs to expand in the types of training and classes it can offer. Expansion of the nursing school involves moving of the schools offices, classrooms, and training facilities. The nursing school is currently renting a building from the Diocese of Tanga for a lecture classroom.
According to Bishop Mndolwa, the nursing school will have access to the current diocesan office building after the diocese moves it’s offices to the St. Barnabas building in 6+ months. This would provide both boarding facilities for the nursing students and additional dedicated space for classrooms, etc., in a more centralized location.