About Ganta United Methodist Hospital
In a country recovering from 14 years of civil war with a population mired in extreme poverty, Ganta United Methodist Hospital works to provide affordable, quality, healthcare for poor, rural subsistence farming families throughout northeastern Liberia.
The town of Ganta, home to Ganta United Methodist Hospital, is located in northern Liberia, just south of Guinea. The long civil war has devastated Liberia's economy: Unemployment is a staggering 85%, the farming sector is very weak, food is difficult to obtain on a consistent and adequate basis, and most of the country's capital and infrastructure has not yet been restored.
History of Ganta Hospital
Ganta opens as a small health post
Ganta grows into an 80-bed hospital subsidized by funds and material assistance from United Methodist Churches in the United States, Germany, and other parts of Europe. Non-governmental organizations such as USAID, UMCOR, and Christofell Blindenmission have used the hospital as a focus for several special medical programs for orthopedics, ophthalmology, and other disease-controlling programs.
Ganta staff and community members are forced to flee the war for a year, abandoning the hospital.
Ganta staff and community return to find a looted and severely damaged hospital. However, in spite of the difficulties the hospital opens and serves 15,000 patients before the year ends.
Clean up efforts continue while the hospital carries on serving a population of about 450,000 people. By mid-year the prenatal center, laboratory, outpatient clinic, pediatric unit, general wards, and the eye clinic were all open.
Ganta United Methodist Hospital provides a range of primary and preventative
healthcare services including the following:
- general medicine
- basic surgery
- women's health
- tuberculosis (TB)
- malaria and leprosy treatment
- HIV testing.
In addition to Liberians, the hospital serves people from the neighboring countries of Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire, who seek the quality care offered at Ganta United Methodist Hospital.
Malaria, a parasitic disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes, is the most comment ailment of patients seeking the hospital's services. The disease produces flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever, and vomiting, and becomes deadly if the infection progresses to the stage of killing red blood cells, resulting in anemia, and clogging the blood vessels that circulate to the brain.
Malaria is a serious issue: 3,500 children in Liberia die each year from the disease. To address this issue, the Ganta Hospital staff is developing a malaria control program to work towards combating this harmful disease in their community.
The maternity ward is by far the busiest unit at Ganta United Methodist Hospital. In addition to assisting childbirth, the hospital's three doctors perform life-saving Caesarian sections and surgeries for women experiencing difficult deliveries.
The prenatal clinic monitors the health of the mother and child through the pregnancy and includes HIV-testing and a prevention of mother to child transmission, program for women with HIV/AIDS.
Hospital staff also works with traditional birth attendants to teach them more effective birthing techniques and to make sure that women with life-threatening pregnancies or symptoms are referred quickly to the hospital.
Ganta Hospital has a committed and hardworking staff of 115 persons, which includes the three doctors, registered and primary care nurses, midwives, an anesthesiologist, nurse aides, and various support, technical and administrative staff. Ganta United Methodist Hospital boasts of a strong and talented staff that works very hard not only to treat hospital patients, but to educate and care for the entire community. The hospital's dedicated staff overcame incredible post-war challenges to resurrect the hospital and once again provide loving, faithful, and quality care to this struggling community.
GBGM missionaries Mary and Herbert Zigbuo add to Ganta's staff. Click here for their missionary profile.