House Notes: Caring for Women, Sierra Leone (Part 4: Kissy United Methodist Hospital—Up to the Present and Beyond)

Kissy United Methodist Hospital went through a period of decline in the late 1980s, and like Rotifunk, was affected by the civil uprising in the last decade. But even as the civil war raged in other parts of the country, the Indiana Conference of the UMC in the United States provided salary support for Dr. Dennis Marke to take over as Kissy’s administrator and head doctor. Dr. Marke, born in Sierra Leone’s Northern provinces, showed the same tenacity as his Brethren in Christ predecessors. He dug in to stay.

Thanks go to United Methodists from Indiana and Sweden for ongoing support; and to United Methodists in Ohio and Baltimore-Washington who sent Dr. Hatfield and Dr. Silver to join in support of this work as well. In addition, in 2009, The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) received a USAID American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) grant of $450,000 to improve Kissy Hospital’s Maternal and Child Health unit facilities.

How can you support medical work in Sierra Leone? There are a number of ways, from financial support for the hospital, Kissy General Hospital, Advance #14536A, to support for Beatrice Gbanga, who coordinates work for a few other health centers in addition to Kissy Advance #13108Z, to volunteer work. Contact Global Ministries’ mission volunteer office for information about how to volunteer for medical work in Sierra Leone.

And you can always support UMCOR’s Hospital Revitalization Program, Advance #983168, which undergirds the work of many different United Methodist-related hospitals around the world.

In my next blog entry, I will visit one more hospital in West Africa—Ganta United Methodist Hospital in Liberia. Burned to the ground in 2003, all that was left of Ganta was a small building that housed the leprosy ward. Neither the rebels who overtook the hospital grounds, nor the government soldiers who drove the rebels out and set up their own military base, would touch that one. Virtually all other buildings were shut up, bombed, and leveled. But from those ashes arose a phoenix—another United Methodist story of resurrection.

Till next time…


Christie R. House


New World Outlook



Christie House

Christie House is the editor of New World Outlook, the mission magazine of The United Methodist Church, and an active member of St. Paul and St. Andrew UMC in Manhattan.

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