PROGRESS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS 2008
2008 was a very busy year and very positive in many ways.
- At the beginning 2008 the focus was to finalize the training of the Board and Management, utilizing CORAT, from Kenya for the training. The level of training was high but was done in a way so that it engaged everyone in dialogue and the principles were able to be grasped and applied to our setting. We were very pleased with the modules and it has been very good for us and very challenging. After the training was completed we held a graduation celebration.
Church leaders training
- In August 2008 we held training for a 80 key Church Leaders and Pastors. This five day event focused on Church and HIV/AIDS, with training in sex and sexuality, four levels of human happiness and HIV/AIDS preventions. The participants were taught on forgiveness and servant leadership which are necessary in dealing with HIV/AIDS in local communities.
At the HIV/AIDS training event considerable efforts went into compiling a teaching team that could communicate in a way that would overcome the hurdles that previously made this teaching impossible. The training was conducted by Dr. Gunnar Holmgren – formerly doctor at MMH, Dr. Okoko – Medical Superintendent at MMH and InterAct’s missionary Basil Woodhouse with experience from work with HIV/AIDS in KwaZulu-Natal.
Materials were obtained and distributed to attendees to enable them take the teaching background to the communities and promote discussions on HIV/AIDS prevention and care of the infected individuals and the children. Ample time was given to group discussion. The response to the teaching was positive. The initial stigma of discussing HIV/AIDS among the key leaders is now on the way to being broken. Looking forward we will need to follow up the participants to see if this has extended into their communities or if we need to provide additional support or encouragement to see that the discussion of mind-set change continues.
As a result of the management training the hospital management defined a vision statement and identified areas in great need of change. The major challenge is the level of care at the hospital. We recognize the need to improve on how we take care of our patients. A change of attitude among is needed. Discussions on how to address this and other weak areas have continued. Several solutions identified have been initiated although much remains to be done. Implementing these changes is a leadership challenge. Several of the networking opportunities of the year have addressed these issues and provided much needed leadership envisioning and training.
Human Resource Training
- 20 Heads of departments were trained in human resources using a local expert, Mr. Changole, working as HR Responsible at ETC Bioenergy, the largest employer in Mpongwe District. He is also a member of the MBA Board. Examples of subjects covered are: Recruiting of New Staff, Compensation, Contracts for Workers and Job Analysis. The training was held for two days, but additional training will be done during 2009.
- Management Training for Hospital Manager: A candidate as future Hospital Manager was sent for training to CORAT in Kenya. The training was for seven weeks dealing with various aspects of hospital management including for example: Finance and Budget planning, Human resources, Drug and medicine management, Aspects of being a Christian Hospital.
- We have begun to identify potential content for coming training modules but much remains to be done in selecting the best content and teachers to carry out the training.
- Hospital administration office renovations were completed, with exception of the registry and files area. The renovations allowed for all of administration offices to be moved in one place.
- MBA office renovations were completed. This created more room for work stations, meeting room and a computer learning area, making more efficient use of the existing space. (Before and During photos)
- Computer training: A local computer training provider was identified and 20 people attended computer training program. The purpose was to equip the computer’s users with the knowledge and skills required to prepare for the coming time when the all the system will be computerized at the hospital and MBA office. Continued support will be needed until skills are to a level that they can use the computers for professional work. (photos are of the first of two groups that took the training).
- During the year purchases included computers and most specifically fully licensed software to get better reliability. A computer training room with barred windows was prepared to enable additional training for the coming computerization process.
As previously noted, computer literacy is limited and different volunteers including the SMC Volunteer have assisted with supporting the team in this field. Much is still needed here.
- Additional efforts went to planning internet connections solutions, preparations and computer network and the coming computerization of the hospital registry and medical filing.
- Reliable electricity has been a problem. Nationwide power outages have caused lots of problems both for administrative offices and the hospital medical care. The cost of running diesel generators is beyond what our resources allow.
- Our isolation is being broken. We have had good results from our initial networking activities. Contacts begun in 2007 led to partnership exchanges in 2008 and have kept us very busy with partners, new and old. Much time has gone into communicating with these people, building relationships and coordinating their visit to come and volunteer here. This website you are reading contains photos showing many of the projects that have been done in conjunction with them. Even many of the photos on the website are taken by these partners.
- We hosted teams of committed volunteer workers from UK, Ireland and Sweden who have assisted in a variety of projects for us which in turn has benefited the community. For example a group from Ireland supplied much needed medicine for the hospital and built a new OPD clinic. A team from UK helped us renovate the hospital kitchen to improve food quality and initiated skill development projects.
- Our newsletter was distributed by e-mail and our list of e-mail addresses has been expanding. This was accomplished with assistance of outside volunteer support. We were unable to complete the planned number of newsletter editions but we have seen the power of this communications tool. In 2009 the team must be trained in how to do this all locally.
- Our interim website has been updated regularly, providing information to current and future donors and volunteers. This was accomplished with assistance of outside volunteer support. Our plan of developing a webpage did not get implemented in 2008. We have identified several web platforms that will allows us to do cost effective and timely updating but did not complete selection and implementation. The decision will include finding a system that can be locally managed and training the team who will be doing this.
- We did not succeed in completing a brochure during the year but this will be done in 2009. We did create and use an introductory letter which led to the positive networking development. During 2008, we also gathered information that can be part of the future brochure.
- Trip to Sweden: The Hospital Superintendent went to Sweden for intensive period of learning and relationship building. There were visits to many different parts of the Swedish Health Care system and included contacts with several partners including Interact, Rotary Doctors and partner churches. Hospitals were visited in several cities including Umeå and Jönköping and several conferences were attended.
Trip to UK and Ireland: The Director visited UK and Ireland, and had intensive weeks of relationship building with multiple partners including the National University of Ireland, Galway and St. Cleers Church in Somerset UK. The partners have shown an impressive increase of support to MBA and the hospital during the year as a result of the networking visit.
Trip South Africa with Hospital Focus: Four people from the Hospital management visited a hospice in South Africa that shares our holistic care giving goals. The purpose of the trip was to build relations and to see how a similar organization is working. Although the trip was difficult, it was an eye opener to see what others are doing. It gave the group specific goals that they could apply to their work and has led to discussions regarding implementing values on a staff level. In addition we visited an care facility for orphans.
- Our ability to communicate with our networking partners has been hindered by continued power outages that limit our internet connection making e-mailing and IP-phone contact limited.
- Additional potential donors and partners have been identified in 2008. In the coming year analysis need to be made how to deepen and improve relationships as well as an analysis of how many partners we can build upon successfully. The partnerships are very time consuming. We need to be watchful of utilizing partners input in a way that still is building sustainability of our own organization, and that we continue to build upon the new mind-set of ownership and empowerment of local efforts.
Our offices and management tools have now been upgraded. The project continued to be assisted by Project Volunteers Mr. Claes Paulsson who visited us in April and supported us with Skype meetings, and Mr Urban Wijk who visited us in April and then moved to Mpongwe in August.
More photos and reports of…