Lambuth Hospital at Wembo Nyama
Lambuth Hospital at Wembo Nyama was established in 1914 by missionary Reverend Lambuth of North Carolina. At that time, as elsewhere in the tropics of the Congo, diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) ravaged the population. Rev. Lambuth set out to integrate health ministry into the work of the Methodists in the Congo.
Almost 100 years later, Lambuth Hospital at Wembo Nyama is one of the oldest health facilities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and its outreach of training medical professionals and providing patient care has extended throughout the country. Located in the Wembo Nyama,the 85-bed hospital serves a population of roughly 70,000. Wembo Nyama village is home to 10,500 of the total population served.
Six doctors serve on the staff at Lambuth Hospital, including Dr. Pierre Manya, OB/GYN an United Methodist Missionary. Dr. Manya also serves as the Episcopal Medical Director of the Central Congo Conference. 62 nurses are employed at the hospital as well as 17 support and maintenance staff.
Wembo Nyama is a very isolated mission station in Kasai Orientale Province. The roads are virtually impassible by cars or trucks. Walking, bicycles and motorbikes are the main forms of transportation. There is a river and the waterway is used to transport goods into and out of the province.
Health services offered by Lambuth Hospital include the following: General surgery
- Internal medicine
Before the civil conflict that ended in 2002, the hospital also had a laboratory, an emergency room, a pharmacy, ophthalmology services, dentistry and medical imaging. These units have not yet been restored.
Primary health care is provided for outpatients by way of immunizations and pre- and post-natal care for mothers and children. The primary illnesses seen by hospital staff are malaria, tuberculosis, acute respiratory infections, malnutrition, intestinal parasites and diarrhea (which is the #1 killer of children under 1 year old).
Work Continues Despite Shortages
The situation at Lambuth seems grim, but the staff continue to provide care to the best of their ability in spite of these challenges. All seven buildings on the hospital campus need the roofs replaced or repaired. Water is supplied by four wells, but there is significant need for two reservoirs to provide adequate water at all times to the hospital. The plumbing needs to be replaced in all seven buildings, as do the 20 latrines located on the campus. Electricity is provided by a generator.
Essential drugs are in short supply at Lambuth Hospital at Wembo Nyama. While some medicines are bought locally and are expensive, the supply is usually inadequate to treat the number of patients attending the hospital. The most needed drugs include antibiotics, anti-malarials and anti-parasitic. Basic supplies such as gloves, gauze, cleaning detergents and antiseptics are most needed to improve infection control in the hospital and are always in short supply.
How You Can Help
In such a challenging environment, the need for increased assistance is urgent. If you are interested in meeting specific needs at Lambuth Hospital, contact UMCOR Health.