Greetings to all our friends and partners in the Lords
vineyard. We are happy to bring you the accounts of
the blessings we continue to receive on a daily basis.
Surely the work is busy but a "good busy" one and we
thank each of you for your support in the form of
funds, material and supplies.

As usual, this Update is long and wordy...we have a
lot to share and are so very excited about how the
Lord continue to amaze us by responding to our prayers
through the gifts we receive from Him through your
hands. So we ask that you bear with us and "glean"
through this Update and read things that are of
interest to you (smile).
Your gifts enables us to continue to respond to the
tremendous and urgent health care needs of poor
subsistence farming families in the rural town of
Ganta and surrounding villages, as well as the entire
area of northeastern Liberia. We thank God for the
response from local United Methodist Churches to the
general advance which enables us purchase drugs,
purchase fuel for generators and vehicles, general
medical supplies, supply funds for ongoing
revitalization of various medical services, purchase
office supplies and equipment and the continuation of
the slow but steady pace of gradual renovation to
damaged buildings.

Ganta Hospital continues to provide Christ-centered,
professional medical services to the general public.
The numbers of patients coming to the hospital
necessitated additional services and staff. Out
patient visits in June totaled a little more than
1,400; in July a little more than 1,100 and in August
it more than doubled at a little more than 2,400.
June admissions totaled 220, July admissions totaled
208 and August admissions totaled 252. June surgeries
totaled 73, July surgeries totaled 89, and August
surgeries totaled 91.
Only one ward was available, with 40 beds. It was
crowded with men, women, and children. An additional
ward (a tent donated by Americares) was opened to
accommodate the Pediatrics section.
The increase in patients will gradually require more
surgeries (especially during the month of September).
Only one operating room has been renovated. There is
an urgent need to renovate the second operating
The pre-natal clinic is now fully staffed and
With donations of eye related medical equipment and
supplies, as well as a vehicle by CBM, the eye clinic
is 75% functional. Community outreach to identify eye
problems is expected to start during October. An area
of the hospital has been identified and is nearly
renovated to serve as an eye surgical theater. This
renovation will be completed by end of September,
thereby allowing for eye surgeries by mid October. One
of the two Ophthalmic Nurses is now fully assigned to
the Eye Clinic. The Ophthalmologist will be spending
90% of his time in the eye clinic by October. If all
goes well with outreach and patient load, the second
Ophthalmic Nurse (currently serving as a ward nurse
since the eye program was still in the process of
revitalization) will be fully transferred to the Eye
Clinic by early 2005.
The Primary Health Care Department is involved (in
terms of supervision as well as collaboration) with
Africare (a local health oriented non governmental
organization (ngo)) sponsored primary health care
activities. There is a need to revitalize the Primary
Health Care Program.
The UN sponsored Disarmament and Demobilization
Health Team has designated Ganta United Methodist
Hospital as a referral center for sick demobilized
former combatants. Services are paid for with UN
funds. Several other UN sponsored non governmental
organizations (ngos) refers patients to Ganta
Additional services and patient load necessitated an
increase in staff (three RNs, one mid wife, three
nurse aides, one lab technician, one procurement
officer (in charge of making purchases), a Director of
Nursing Services, a billing clerk, bookkeeper,
assistant registrar, and an Associate Administrator
for Personnel and Special Projects). To accommodate
the additional personnel expense and the ever
increasing drug prices, a modest increase in services
has been made for "regular" people who seek services
at the hospital. A much higher increase was made for
patients referred by and paid with ngo type funding.
The wonderful news is that Ganta Hospital continues
to be able to pay non doctor staff out of locally
generated funds!!!

Along with a quarterly grant of $12,000, we are
grateful to UMCOR for the recent grant of $30,000 for
the renovation of the Pediatrics and Obstetrics Ward.
This gift is right on time as we have many, many
children attending the hospital. Since the reopening
of the hospital in April, children have and continue
to be the largest category of in-patients. Already
struggling with malnourishment coupled with harsh
living conditions, these conditions leaves rural
Liberian children vulnerable to many diseases and
illnesses of all sorts.
Though we sincerely appreciate the Americares donated
tent we are using as a temporary pediatrics ward, the
tent has its limitations. You can't paint cheery
pictures on the walls and there are no built-in
bathrooms nor in-door plumbing options. The renovation
work should be completed by mid November.
UMCOR has also donated $5,000 as a grant to revitalize
the community-based Primary Health Care Program, which
extends the services of the hospital to outlying
villages and communities.
An ocean freight container of UMCOR donated health and
school supplies is scheduled to arrive late October!!

In terms of donated funds, the response to UMCOR
appeals has enabled UMCOR respond to the needs of
Ganta Hospital in excess of a little over $145,000.00
during 2004 alone! The UMCOR Office of Health and
Welfare continue to give ongoing advice and support
during this crucial revitalization process.

During the past two months:
1. Methodist Healthcare has promised to donate in
excess of a little over $40,000.00 to renovate the
much needed second operating theater.
2. Christofell Blinden Mission (CBM) has made
significant donations of eye supplies, surgical and
other eye equipment and a vehicle for Eye Program
Outreach .
3. A meeting was held with the Chief Medical Officer
of the Ministry of Health. He furnished us with a lot
of valuable advice and through his influence; the
Ministry of Health has donated a significant number of
beds, sheets, mattresses, and some hospital
4. Africare and the World Health Organization
continue to donate medical supplies.
5. UMC Germany, North Carolina Conference, and
Holston Conference each sent a container of medical
and school supplies. Also, the hospital received
supplies through Operation Classroom as well as the
New Jersey Conference. IMA (through the request of
UMCOR Health and Welfare Office) sent air freighted
6. The family of Nancy Lightfoot has donated
10,000.00 to enable the construction of the Nancy
Lightfoot Memorial Hospital Library and Conference
Room. The construction will begin during October.
7. UMC Germany has donated some funds for purchase of
drugs and medical supplies, as well as funds for
Leprosy patient care.
8. NC Conference (in collaboration with GBGM Office
of Health and Welfare and International Aid) is
assisting with finding partners to donate, repair and
ship an X ray machine as well as trying to identify
possible European or American drug supply companies
where drugs can be purchased and air freighted to
Liberia on a regularly scheduled basis.
9. Ongoing contributions are being made by
individuals, organizations and churches in the USA
through the General Advance. These funds assists with
the purchase of drugs, general equipment, office
supplies and equipment, general medical supplies, fuel
for vehicles and generator as well as ongoing
renovation needs. During the past two months, a very
large building was renovated to create four apartments
to house essential staff (accountant, warehouse man,
anesthetist, doctor). Two additional residences were
fully furnished and renovated. The power system is
under continuous revitalization, thanks to Kingswood
UMC for donation of a 175 kva generator (which will
provide power to the entire mission station- hospital
and school campuses). A smaller 30 kva generator was
purchased to provide power to the hospital for special
emergency needs when the larger unit is off. The
building used for administrative offices has been
renovated as well as the main entrance to the
hospital. Ongoing hospital and residential building
renovation and furniture making is continuously in
10. Operation Classroom donated an additional
8,000.00 to assist in the revitalization of the water
system. The revitalization of the water system on the
hospital side of the campus is about 80% complete. We
hope to begin revitalization of water services to the
school campus by mid October or so.
11. Ongoing individual and organizational donations
of laboratory and surgical equipment and supplies as
well as medical textbooks are being made on a regular
basis. Many of these supplies and equipments
donations were made as a response to Ganta Hospital
urgent appeals.

Paul Dirdak and David Sadoo of UMCOR visited the
hospital during the month of June.
Jim Perry and Steve Taylor of North Carolina
Conference visited the Ganta Mission Station for
several days during the month of August.
Walter Volz of UMC Germany visited the hospital for
several days during the month of September.
A husband/wife team will be coming October 3 to 20 to
assist with physical therapy and nurse care techniques
training (wife) and water revitalization (husband)
A three-person team is coming October 6-20 to do
HIV/Aids Awareness training among selected high school
students in the Ganta area who will be trained as peer
UMC Germany is trying to recruit a husband/wife
(doctor and nurse) team to come and assist us for
three to six months during 2005.
Two nurses from UMVIM-NCJ will be coming during the
last week of October through mid November to assist
with nursing techniques training and other nursing
service needs.
Two work teams from Pacific Northwest Conference and
Detroit Conference (Flint District) have been
scheduled for February through part of March and April
2005. These teams will assist with ongoing renovation
needs as well as some medical and general education
related training.

There is a lot of ongoing renovation work to be done
and we appreciate those of you willing to come on work
teams (or as a single volunteer) to assist with either
renovation work or leading various types of training
courses or doing whatever you can. We ask that work
teams (if possible) raise some funds to augment
whatever funds we may have towards renovation work.
A house (with screens on windows, screen doors,
single beds outfitted with mosquito nets that can
sleep up to 10 persons) is available for work teams.
Work team members are asked to pay $15.00 per person
per night to cover three meals daily, boiled and
filtered water, kitchen services and clothes washing.
Teams/individuals will also need to pay for roundtrip
transportation from Monrovia to Ganta and back to

Over two decades of civil unrest (since the 1980 coup
d'etat) has gotten Liberia absolutely NO WHERE. Rural
subsistence farming families are most vulnerable.
Most of these families can barely afford the
basics-one meal a day, a few clothes, and a haphazard
shelter of sorts.
One thing for sure is that your gifts continue to
allow Ganta Hospital to keep services at a level that
is affordable to most subsistence farming families.
We do encounter a few people who cannot afford
surgical fees and some drug fees. No one is sent
back..if a person cannot pay, they are still treated
and we look for creative ways to enable them pay the
hospital. For instance, one man is cutting a huge
portion of overgrown landscape in exchange for the
$20.00 he could not afford to pay for his grand
daughter's hospital treatment. In other instances,
we must write it off as charity care.
Your faithful response is saving many lives!!! We
cannot begin to understand or rationalize this
two-decade period of violence and destruction. You've
chosen the best thing..just do the best you can by the
grace of God and through the power of the Holy Spirit.
With a Christ-centered focus, give what you can and
do whatever you can to raise the standard of life for
the less fortunate..and leave the rest to God
Herbert and Mary Zigbuo

Ganta United Methodist Hospital; Emergency Program
Support; #10009A. If you'd like to give towards
something specific that is not listed in the advance,
please contact us via email.


On June 25, Paul Dirdak and David Sadoo of the United
Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) paid a visit to
Ganta Hospital. Their words of encouragement, as well
as their very presence among us, brought about a
tremendous sense of affirmation among the entire

As Ganta Hospital celebrates three months of success
since re-opening in April, there are a lot of people
to thank: a host of United Methodists in Germany and
the United States who gives to the general advance as
well as take time to pack and send supplies; local and
international humanitarian organizations; Operation
Classroom; the Board of Health and Welfare of the
United Methodist Church of Liberia; the hard working
staff of Ganta Hospital; and the United Methodist
Committee On Relief (UMCOR) just to name a few!!
The United Methodist Church of Liberia's success in
re-opening Ganta Hospital is largely due to the
guidance and advice provided through UMCOR's Health
and Welfare Department. Those who give towards the
UMCOR Emergency Response appeal enabled UMCOR's
immediate response to our emergency situation here at
Ganta Hospital. During the course of 2004 alone,
UMCOR has given a little under $100,000.00 which
helped to:
1. provide for the minimal renovation of the buildings
(both hospital and residential) currently in use: roof
replacement, ceiling replacement, re-wiring, plumbing
fixtures re-placement;
2. renovate and upgrade (add on 2 bedrooms and two
bathrooms as well as extend all existing rooms..can
sleep up to twelve persons) one of the larger
residential houses to be used by work teams or short
term volunteers;
3. pay off staff in an effort to downsize; thus
allowing the hospital to operate on a minimal service
level while gradually (over a three year period)
working towards restoring full hospital operation.
4. provide a monthly allowance to assist with payment
of doctors (2) salaries (all other staff salaries is
paid through funds generated from service charges) and
assist with general operational needs.

During the UMCOR team's visit, Dr. Dirdak asked the
question "Why"????.....why do people destroy the very
thing that they need??? Though many buildings have
received some level of renovation, several burned-out
buildings are still standing.

Indeed the most frequently asked question in Liberia
since the onset of the 1990 civil crisis is "Why?"
Ganta hospital is the only hospital within a 45 mile
radius of Ganta. It's the only hospital in the
northeastern region (population of 450,000) staffed
with a surgeon and a General
Practitioner/Ophthalmologist. The very presence
of Ganta Hospital over the past seven decades serves
as a source of reassurance to poor rural dwellers that
they too can access affordable, quality medical care.
The Ganta United Methodist School has provided
quality, affordable, Christian-based education for six
decades. So why destroy the hospital???? Why destroy
the school???? Why burn the buildings?????? Why

In talking with some of the ex-combatants, some
expressed feelings of regret for all the destruction
carried out by their hands over the years. Some
justified their actions through expressions of anger
and resentment over the situation of perpetual poverty
that has gripped families for generations. Others had
no response at all.

The very ex-combatants who burned and looted the
hospital and school are returning to utilize the
services of the hospital and school. Then why the
destruction?????? .

I don't know the answer to this question. But I know
that our Lord calls us to obedience to respond to the
needs of the sick and suffering throughout the world.
Matthew 18:21-22 reminds us that our Lord requires us
to forgive without keeping score of who we are
forgiving or for what reason. We must forgive the
ex-combatants who destroyed the buildings, who looted
the buildings, and are now coming back to the hospital
for medical services!!!

Have you ever thought about WHY YOU continue to
support the ministries of the hospital and school in
spite of the seemingly endless destruction of
properties and facilities. I must admit that I was
worried that many persons would no longer want to
"risk" sending funds, materials and supplies to
"troubled" Liberia. I am humbled, reassured,
encouraged and excited by the outpour of love and
support shown for Liberia.

During the UMCOR team visit, I spoke about a young man
named Charles Binda (name changed to protect his
identity), who confessed to have a very valuable piece
of the hospital's equipment. Charles approached me a
little over a month ago and told me he had the "eye
microscope".a machine our Ophthalmologist uses for eye
surgeries. For the most part, our Eye Program has
been at a stand still due to lack of this machine and
other essential surgical tools. I encouraged Charles
to return the equipment willingly. Charles decided to
"hold out" in hopes the hospital would give him the
large sum of money he requested in exchange for the
microscope. Traditionally, Charles is supposed to
return the item willingly and the administrative team
of the hospital meet to decide what "token of
appreciation" could be given. A month later, Charles
had not yet turned the machine over to the hospital.
Dr. Dirdak jokingly inferred that maybe we all need to
pay Charles a visit.

Charles has since showed up at the hospital with the
machine and turned it over to the Ophthalmologist. He
was invited for morning devotion, but did not show up.
Two days later, on July 3, Charles joined us during
morning devotion and we all celebrated and gave thanks
to God for his returning the equipment. After talking
with our Chaplain, Charles took us to an area of town
where there were more hospital equipments (suction
machines and others) and we were able to retrieve

WHY should we continue in our efforts to assist???
Because of all the Charles's and young men and women
like him. If one like Charles, through
Christ-centered and directed actions towards him,
comes to Christ and truly understands the meaning of
forgiveness, then it is worth the effort. Why do we
continue to respond to the needs in Liberia?? We do
it for the little ones who come to the hospital for
treatment of chronic malaria or diarrhea. Because of
the pregnant women who try to deliver their babies "in
the bush" and have to be rushed to the hospital
because the baby died during attempted delivery and
there was no way to get the baby out of the mother
other than surgery. Because of the emergency cases
that are rushed to the hospital by people transporting
them in make-shift hammocks, wheelbarrows, or, in the
cases of children, in the arms or on the backs of
their parents.



Mary Zigbuo
May 20, 2004 began as a very typical day at the GantaUnited Methodist Hospital.
Morning devotion was held in the Chapel from 8:00 - 8:30 a.m. and afterwards
everybody went to his or her place of assignment. These days, as the hospital continues to
expand its services to meet the tremendous medical needs of the region, the
administration building on the hospital complex is a very busy place. People are seeking
employment opportunities, but, moreover, the opening of the hospital has given hope to a
people who have suffered through 14 years of civil crisis and the resulting devastation of
lives and properties. People are again starting from scratch.trying to rebuild their homes,
trying to pay their children school fees, trying to plant their farms. Many come to the
hospital for possible personal assistance. Many elderly people
come to the hospital to request for donations of food, medicine, clothing, etc.

On the morning of May 20 an elderly lady requested to see the Hospital Administrator. It
was assumed that she wanted some personal assistance in the form of extended charity
that the hospital cannot always accommodate. There was much hesitancy to invite her
into the office. After keeping her waiting for almost an hour, she was about the last
person to be granted entry in the Administrator's office.
Her name is Yei Gborr, and she is an 82-year-old subsistence farmer. She is
affectionately called "Ma Gborr". She grows potato greens and sells the greens in the
market in Ganta. She is Deaconess in the Baptist Church. Ma Gborr explained that she
met Jesus at a young age and that Jesus has always been her "all in all". She never had the
opportunity to go to school. Her average yearly income is about $600.00.
She is a widow. As she was not blessed with children of her own, she lives as part of the
extended family in her sister's household. She told us a story about her memory of Dr.
George Way Harley, who came to her people back in the 1920's, and requested land to
build a hospital and grade school. The people embraced the request and offered Dr.
Harley 1,000 acres of land on which he established what is today know as Ganta United
Methodist Mission Station. She reflected on the decision of her father, and others, in
giving the land to Dr. Harley to build the hospital and school "for us". Ma Gborr came to
inform the administration that she claimed ownership of this mission station. She
explained how devastated she was about the destruction of the hospital and school during
the 2003 civil crisis. She spoke of how encouraged she is that
the hospital and school has re-opened. Ma Gborr said she was spiritually "touched" to
give her own donation to this place that has taken care of her illnesses and the illnesses of
her people since she was a little girl. She explained that she was moved to give her best to
the hospital. She then pulled out a bundle of money and presented the hospital
administrator with $1,000.00 Liberian Dollars (equivalent to $20.00 USD)-
a lot of money for an humble potatoe green seller!!

One can imagine how humbled we were by the expression of faithful obedience from this
woman of God. Imagine, we were trying to avoid her!! This generous act of giving
serves as a challenge and encouragement to everyone here at Ganta Mission Station and
Ganta community.

Since the hospital opened on April 14, more than 2000 patients have been seen. The
doctors have performed many life-saving surgeries in spite of very limited and crude
operating conditions. In spite of the physical and equipment limitations, great care is
taken to provide safe and responsible medical care.

The grade school has an enrollment of 370 students from grades kindergarten to twelve.
Liberian children are very determined to attend school. They see education as a way of
ending the cycle of poverty that has stifled the quality of life of their families for many

Access to education does not come easy for most Liberian children. The government of
Liberia is unable to provide public schooling opportunities for all children. The majority
of the population lives in rural villages, while the majority of the public schools are
located in the country's few urban centers or large rural towns.

Church-related schools seek to assist government in providing educational opportunities
for the general public. Rural or village-based church sponsored schools charge a tuition
fee based upon the earning capacity of the village or town in which the school is located.
The United Methodist Church operates a little over one hundred schools and most are
located in rural villages and towns.

Ma Gborr's act of generosity heightened our sense of commitment and service. We are
grateful to her and to all of you who continue to lift up the ministry of Ganta United
Methodist Hospital and School in prayer,and who continue to provide financial and
material support. May God bless and keep you.

In Christ,

Herbert and Mary Zigbuo

Ganta United Methodist Hospital re-opened its services to the general public on April 14,
2004, after being closed for a little over a year due to civil unrest in northeastern Liberia.
The hospital was established as a health post in 1926. Over the years it grew to become
the only referral hospital in northeastern Liberia serving a population of over
450,000 persons.
       The hospital re-opened as a community health center providing limited medical
services to include: outpatient services, primary health care, eye clinic, emergency and
obstetric services, surgical services on a limited basis with 30 beds for emergency surgery
patients and short stay patients. Hospital fees are affordable to the general public
averages usd equivalent of $2.00 for consultation and lab work, and hospital stay
averages nightly rates of usd equivalent: $1.25 for adults and $.50 for children). If
determined necessary, people who cannot afford the minimal fees are treated on a charity
basis. The hospital has both donated and purchased drugs. The charge for donated drugs
is very, very minimal ($5 liberian dollars or usd 0.10 cents). Purchased drugs are charged
at cost. If it is determined that the patient cannot afford the cost of drugs, the drugs are
given free of charge.

   While the hospital would love to provide total free treatment (especially in view of the
prevailing poor economic situation), the hospital cannot afford to do so. As the hospital
has no subsidy for staff payment, the hospital must use the intake to pay its staff.
However, if the need arises, and on a case by case basis, the hospital provides free care to
patients who cannot afford to pay for total services. Staff includes: administrative
workers, anesthetist, nurses, nurse aides, warehouse clerk, midwives and two doctors
(one eye doctor/general practitioner and one surgeon) on staff with a total staff of 33

 Following is the statistics for the operation period
of April 14-30:
Registered Patients: 634
In Patients: 94
Lab Requests:
Stool 178
Urine 250
Hb 315
M/S 375
WBL 265
Ttc 12
HIV 12
Fbs 4

Total Lab 1,411

Operating Room
Herniorrhaphy 7
Hydrocelectomy 1
C/Section 9
Suturing of lacerated uterus 1
Excision of Lipoma 1
Exploratory Laporatomy 1
Attempt at Reduction 1
Circumcision 1
Scrotal Exploration 1
Appendectomy 1
Repair of ruptured uterus 1
D&C 1
For a total of 32 surgical procedures: 1 Pediatric; 22 Females; 9 Males.
Anesthesia: Spinal: 12; General: 15; Local 1; no anesthesia needed: 4.

    Given the case load for two weeks of operation, the hospital administration (with the
advice and recommendation of the Chief of Medical Staff) deemed it necessary to add on
the following staff as of May 3: 1 certified midwife; 3 aides; 3 RN's; three janitors; one
records clerk; one drug dispenser; and a Physician Assistant. The additional staff is
necessary due to the fact that the hospital is now operating two shifts: 8am to 8pm and
8pm to 8am. Since there are many in-patients, along with new emergency cases during
the night, there was a need to add on a second shift.

   The hospital staff is doing a great job in going the extra mile in meeting the health
care demands by agreeing to work a 12 hour shift with no additional compensation.
Surely, there is a need to make some schedule and staffing adjustments in the near future,
but for now, in view of the limited financial situation, the 12 hour schedule will be

The hospital is "making do" with existing buildings. Since the rainy season is right on our
heels, all roofs have been repaired/replaced and there are no more leakages. Many
ceilings have been repaired/replaced. We cannot afford paint, so, walls have been
scrubbed with disinfectant soap. We are in the process of trying to put in a large order of
windows. Plumbing fixtures and toilets have been repaired/replaced. Currently, all
windows have been outfitted with screens, but no window panes. We will need windows
to prevent the rains from coming in during the approaching rainy season.

  The Mission Station Maintenance Unit is to be commended for "round the clock"
work to get the buildings and grounds in readiness.

The hospital has received donated equipment, drugs, and other medical supplies from:
Africare, WHO, Dr. Kpoto Clinic, MSF France and Belgium, Indian Clinic (Mamba
Point), Nimba County Health Team, United Methodist Churches in the USA and
Germany, Catholic Relief Services (Catholic Health Secretariat), and UNICEF. Local
humanitarian organizations are unable to support us with funds. However, we are
grateful for the outpour of love and support from our partners and supporting churches
throughout the USA and Germany who have given us materials and funds. Without funds
and material donations, the re-opening of the hospital would have been impossible.
We thank all of you for your support to the General Advance for Ganta United Methodist
Hospital. We are in continuous need of funds for: charity patient care, fuel, and general
operating needs (local drug and equipment purchases, vehicle maintenance, etc).

Should you desire to send funds, you may send to the following advance special
projects/numbers for GantaUnited Methodist Hospital:
Ganta United Methodist Hospital, Emergency Program
Ganta United Methodist Hospital, Emergency


Anesthesia Machine
Suction Machine
Operating Table
Examination Table
Examination Table
Dryer or Powdering Machine for gloves
Air Conditioner
General Orthopedic Set
Laryngoscope Set
Laperactomy Set

Mobile/Portable X-Ray Machine
Fixed X-Ray Machine

April 15, 2004
Dear Everybody,
Warm greetings to all of you. Just a note to say that the Ganta United Methodist Hospital
officially re-opened on April 14,2004. A re-opening and consecration service (presided
by Rev. William Sonwabe, Gompa District Superintendent) was held and more than 300
persons from the Ganta and surrounding communities attended. The United Nations
Peace Keeping Force representation in Ganta (and based on the mission station) attended
the re-opening program as well as various chiefs of various clans and districts, police and
other security personnel in the Ganta area.

The hospital has a staff of 37 persons offering the following services: Out Patient
Department, Pre Natal Clinic, Maternity and Child Care, Eye Clinic, Primary
Health Care (both hospital-based and outreach), emergency surgical procedures, short-
stay wards (pediatrics, maternity, adult male, adult female). We’ve been up at Ganta
since April 2 and we returned to the capital, Monrovia, today, Apr. 15. On Sunday,
April 11, we were out visiting people in a village near Ganta when someone came to call
us regarding a medical emergency in a nearby settlement. We quickly rushed to the
scene and came upon a young woman who had been in labor since the early morning
hours struggling to give birth to twins. One child was successfully delivered by
traditional midwives but the other child was “stuck in the mother”- (according to
the people who came to call us). Upon arriving at the settlement, we met the young lady
on the floor with several traditional midwives in attendance. The midwives did not know
what more to do as they had done ll that they could possibly do with herbs and other
traditional treatments. One look at the young lady prompted us to get her to a hospital
FAST. She’d lost a lot of blood and was very weak and in terrific pain. We asked those
present to lie the lady down in the wagon or the back section of the hospital pickup (as
she was unable to lie down on the back seat) and off we went with the mother, the
midwives, the newborn infant (taken along because he needed to breast feed
the next morning as there was no infant formula or bottles in the village!!) and others.
On impulse, we planned to take her to Ganta Hospital (about four miles away). While
enroute, however, we REMEMBERED the hospital was not yet open or ready to
receive patients. We thought to take her to the o ly clinic in the town of Ganta (operated
by Equip). A midwife was on duty, examined her, and told us that the young lady
required surgery and the clinic was not outfitted for surgical procedures. Quickly, we
rushed to the mission station to the home of Dr. Willicor (our Chief Medical Officer) to
urge him to come along with us so he could check the young lady at the Equip
Clinic. After his examination, he also said the problem required a surgical procedure.
The examination determined that the baby’s heart was still beating.

The nearest hospital was in Sanniquellie (a two hour drive- about 40 miles- over very
rough road) and though the hospital had an operating theater, there was no doctor on
duty. The nearest doctor (servicing Sanniquellie Hospital about twice weekly) lives in
Yekepa; a 90 minute drive- about 30 miles from Sanniquellie- over very rough road. Dr.
Willicor suggested that he and the anesthetist from Ganta Hospital go along with us to
Sanniquellie so that the surgical procedure could be performed as soon as possible. It
was now about 7:30 pm. David Waines, EQUIP’s representative in Liberia, had a four
wheel drive jeep that doubled as an ambulance. He offered to take the patient in his
ambulance and off we went to Sanniquellie.

We arrived Sanniquellie about 10:20 pm. The hospital workers allowed Dr. Willicor and
the anesthetist access to the operating room AFTER fetching the scrub nurse and lab
technician from their homes in town. The patient was prepped and the c-section was
done. The baby had died. It was now 12:30 a.m. There is no blood bank in the entire
northeastern region of Liberia, so, blood donors are sought as needed. The patient
needed three units of blood and several persons were checked before finding a donor
with a compatible blood type. The patient appeared to be stable.

About 30 minutes later, Dr. Willicor informed us that the patient was still bleeding and
unable to clot, and her heart rate had dropped to dangerous levels. He suggested to the
family that a hysterectomy be performed. The family agreed and after this
procedure, the patient became stable and is recuperating well. The one baby that
survived was placed at the mother’s breast the next morning to receive nourishment.

It was only by the grace of God that this young lady’s life was spared. She did not have
money or any other resources to get from her village to Sanniquellie. She would have
died as so many others have died as a result of the forced closure of Ganta
Hospital on March 29, 2003. Her family would have been able to get her to Ganta
Hospital (even if it meant placing her on a hammock and carrying her) if it was open.

On April 14, as a result of your generous contributions and prayers, Ganta United
Methodist Hospital re-opened. Now, people in similar situations like the young woman
described above can be assisted with emergency and/or routine medical needs. The
fact that Ganta Hospital has re-opened has given great hope to the people in the Ganta
community and surrounding towns and villages. Today, we received a radio call from
Dr. Willicor saying 30 persons showed up today to attend the Out Patient Clinic. Five
were admitted (including one difficult delivery case).

We want to thank EVERYBODY who continue to support the ministry of Ganta United
Methodist Hospital. Your support of funds, prayers, and materials enables us to
respond to the call of God to minister to sick people in this area.

To enable the re-opening, the hospital received generous medical supply donations from
the following local non-governmental organizations: UNICEF, Catholic Relief Services,
AFRICARE, and World Health Organization. We are thankful to United Methodist
Churches in the U.S.A. and Germany and the UMCOR Office of the General Board of
Global Ministries for medical supplies that are “on the way” (in oceanfreight containers)
as we write this letter, and also for operational and renovation funds.

Yours in Christ,
Herbert and Mary Zigbuo
Administrator and Associate Administrator

Ganta Update March 29, 2004
Just a note to let you know that we were unable topen the hospital on March 15 as
planned. During the course of last week, the United Nations Mission in Liberia
Bangladesh Peace Keeping force was in the process of setting up its base (for all of
northeastern Liberia operations) on Ganta Mission Station. We were quite busy trying to
accommodate their urgent needs to enable this. Their presence provides security for us.
Further, the minimal carpentry and plumbing work to restore some of the buildings is a
big task. We underestimated the time that would be needed to complete this. It is at about
75% completion.
We are having a bit of difficulty in locating hospital equipment (microscopes, general
laboratory and surgical tools) in Monrovia. This process is going along slowly but surely.
Some clinics were able to donate some supplies to us and another clinic borrowed us a
microscope until we can get our own.
Finally, there is a need to have the water system and power systems back up and
operating. We must purchase a small generator (75 kva) to enable us operate the OC
donated submersible pumps. We have put in a request for an UNMIL Quick Impact Grant
to purchase the generator. We will not get a response from UNMIL for another two
weeks. The volunteers (carpenters and clean up crew) at the mission station are still very
motivated. The good news for the volunteers is that World Food Program has tentatively
agreed to give Ganta Mission Station food for, the volunteers should be
receiving some food (bulgar wheat, veg oil, corn soya mix, beans salt, sugar) in about 4
weeks or so. EVERYBODY is working hard to get the hospital open.
We thank all of you for your prayerful,networking, material, and financial support. The
school is open with 240 students enrolled so far. Students are returning on a daily basis
as their parents return from Guinea refugee camps or internal displacement. Our new
tentative date for opening the hospital is April 15, 2004. Continue to pray for us. We are
in Monrovia till March 27...then up at Ganta for about ten days. While in Ganta we will
be out of contact. God bless!!
Herbert and Mary Zigbuo

Building supplies purchased with funds from UMCOR/GBGM. Received a $37,000 grant
from UMCOR towards the basic repairs of hospital buildings (to enable the opening of
the clinic) and doctors residences. Thanks to this grant, we are on schedule with our
March 15 opening date.

Christian Blind Mission International visited Ganta Mission a week ago and have agreed
to construct an eye clinic building. This has been in the pipeline for a few years (one of
Dr. Kateh's initiatives).
Three truck loads of medical supplies and building materials for Ganta Hospital. Medical
supplies donated by Americare/Africare and Unicef and other local private donations.
have gone to Ganta.

All hand pumps on the mission station were looted. As of a little over a week ago,
mission station residents had to walk about 1/4 mile to fetch water. A pump now is at the
site of the hospital. OC has sent funds to also purchase submersible water pumps but they
can only be used when we are able to restore power. The submersible pumps pump water
to four reservoirs on the mission station. For now, the two hand pumps are all that we
have. Water is obtained from the hand pumps, placed in storage containers, carted (by
wheel barrows) to houses, hospital, school. We are gratefulfor the pumps.

MARCH 1, 2004
With the reassuring presence of The United Nations Peace Keeping Force at Ganta since
February 2, many people have returned to Ganta and the surrounding towns and villages.
Food is still difficult to come by. Most farmers were unable to plant their farms during
2003, so there is nothing to harvest. People exist by hunting, trapping, and gleaning old
gardens and farms. There is much malnutrition and there have been many deaths as a
result of extended poor diets coupled with the fact that people have had to live in crudely
made structures for prolonged periods of time. This situation is both pitiful and urgent.
One wants to do all that is possible to open the hospital to enable some much-needed
medical assistance.
For more than seventy years, Ganta Hospital has provided both on-site and outreach
medical care to the more than 400,000 residents of northeastern Liberia, as well as Ivory
Coast and Guinea border towns. The people of northeastern Liberia are subsistence
farmers. Their yearly income is equivalent to approximately USD$400.00 to $600.00.
For most subsistence farmers, it is an overwhelming effort to cater to the family’s basic
needs (food, clothing, and shelter). Families are hard stressed to try to cater to medical
needs. Ganta Hospital provides affordable and often times charitable health care for the
residents of northeastern Liberia.
Since Ganta Hospital is the only referral hospital in northeastern Liberia and since it
caters to a population of over 450,000 persons, and since the health situation in
northeastern Liberia is CRITICAL, the United Methodist Church is making all efforts to
resume medical services to the people of northeastern Liberia during the month of March.
 During 2004, the hospital will provide limited medical services while it seeks to put the
appropriate mechanism in place for the rehabilitation and subsequent opening of full
hospital services. The hospital will use a skeleton staff (two doctors --one surgeon and
one surgeon/ophthalmologist--, one drug dispenser, 2 laboratory technicians, 2 RN’s, one
Midwife, 1 anesthetist, 3 Primary Health Care workers, 2 ophthalmology nurses,
administrative personnel, technical personnel, etc. to include 35 persons. The hospital
will provide outpatient, primary health care, eye clinic, emergency and obstetric services,
and surgical services on a limited scale with 30 beds for emergency surgery patients and
short stay patients.
The church is now in the process of doing some very basic patch-up work to our
buildings to enable us occupy them. This patch up work is a temporary measure to allow
us re-open to cater to the urgent health needs of the community and the entire
northeastern region of Liberia. However, in the future, there is a need to fully renovate
the existing structures to allow for maximum hospital and nursing school operation.
To enable the re-opening, we selected areas to be used for operating the clinic.
Following is an outline of the various areas to be utilized to provide the limited services
as the hospital seeks to re-open:

One theater for now
             To be used for:
prenatal care
           To be used for Labor Ward
To be used for short-stay in-patients and to be converted to:
female ward
male ward
pediatric ward (the rooms will become peds area)
To be used for:
out-patient department
injection room
store room for drugs/medical supplies
To be used for :
Primary Health Care
Storage areas
Mission Station Office

Operation Classroom and Holston Conference have raised funds to enable the
revitalization of the water system. Holston Conference is in the process of gathering
supplies to send a 40ft container for Ganta Mission Station. A church in Illinois
Conference has donated a generator and a 40 ft. container of drugs and medical supplies.
Churches in North Carolina Conference have raised funds to assist with general mission
station revitalization . North Carolina Conference has also donated a 40ft container of
general relief supplies and used clothing. The UMC in Germany is in the process of
sending a 40 ft container of drugs and medical supplies. The Christoffel Blindenmission
(a German-based humanitarian organization) continues its commitment (which began
about five years ago) in sponsoring the Eye Clinic and has committed to building a new
Eye Clinic complex at Ganta Hospital. UMCOR continue to provide emergency support
funds and technical advice and support. Many churches and individuals throughout
America have raised funds and/or have been very instrumental in seeking out donated
supplies, equipments, materials to send for the use of the hospital and school. Local
humanitarian organizations have committed to assist with emergency medical supplies
and equipments to enable the re-opening of the hospital.

We appreciate all who continue to support the ministry of Ganta United Methodist
Hospital. During our annual conference session in February, Bishop Linda Lee of
Detroit Conference preached to us from Matthew 7: 7-12. We encourage you to read the
text in Matthew. During Bishop Lee’s sermon, she reminded us that our Lord desires his
people to have “good things”. We are grateful to all of you who are willing to give of
your time, your resources, your prayer support, and your intellect to enable the people of
Liberia to have “good things” during this period of desperation and great need. Your
response is a testimony to the faithfulness of God.

If you would like to donate to the ministry of Ganta United Methodist Mission Station,
you may use the following General Advance Special numbers:
 Ganta United Methodist Hospital, Emergency Program Support……….#10009A
 Ganta United Methodist Hospital, Emergency Support………………….#10010T
          Operation Classroom, Ganta United Methodist
For further information, you may contact us by email at:

In Christ,
Herbert and Mary Zigbuo

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