The sick baby, the pharmacist

and the hospital that needs you

Claire Bedford is an extraordinary pharmacist, but she’s not superhuman. She could do with some extra help at work, as could her colleagues. This is where you come in.

Claire didn’t have to go into work. It was her day off and it had been a hard week, just as every week is at Guinebor II Hospital near Chad’s capital. But BMS World Mission worker Claire wanted to go in as a courtesy to the facial surgeon holding a clinic. And God clearly wanted her there too.

One of the first patients to arrive was three-month-old Ache*. Her parents had travelled for a day on terrible roads to attend the clinic at the BMS-supported hospital, and they were desperate for help.

Precious little Ache had a huge growth covering her left eye, preventing it from opening, and it was spreading down her cheek. The surgeon knew immediately what was needed to treat the growth – a mass of small blood vessels known as a haemangioma – only the hospital didn’t have the drug in stock.

Ache’s father hurried into nearby N’Djamena to find a supply, but when he returned to Guinebor II there was a problem: the tablets were too large for a baby.

A three-month-old baby with a growth over her left eye is held by one of her parents.
Ache was unable to see out of her left eye when she was brought to Guinebor II.

Everyone turned to Claire for help. She calculated what the baby needed according to her weight, and used a pill cutter she’d sourced in the UK to chop the tablets to the required dose. Ache and her parents went home with the medication and instructions on what to do with it, and Claire stayed on to help more people.

We tell you this story because it demonstrates how your support allows Claire to show God’s love to patients at Guinebor II. But you should also know that only a few days before, Claire was not in the pharmacy, or on a ward supporting sick people, she was deciding what to do with a pit latrine blocked with bottles and nappies. She was the one making the decision because there was no-one else to do so.

And that’s not the only way pharmacist Claire is called to help with the running of the hospital. She recently had to negotiate the cost of tiling the hospital’s new emergency room, while at other times she’s taken on a HR role.

Her colleagues pitch in too, taking on administration work to ensure the hospital can continue taking in patients like Ache, and those from the Muslim-majority community that surrounds it.

Claire Bedford, a pharmacist in Chad, holds two babies while on a hospital ward
Join BMS pharmacist Claire Bedford at Guinebor II Hospital in Chad and you'll be part of beautiful and inspiring work.

But here’s the thing – you can help make things better.

We have a host of important positions available right now at Guinebor II Hospital. We just need the right people to apply.
“The patients aren’t being neglected,” says Claire. “But we could do so much more if the job vacancies were filled.”

Could you help Claire? Check out these vacancies at Guinebor II

General Manager: this critical role needs to be filled so that Claire and her colleagues can have the weight of administration, finance, and building and project management work taken off their shoulders. The right candidate needs to have managed a small to medium sized organisation. If that’s you, get in touch.

Surgeons and doctors: Guinebor II currently sees 14,000 outpatients a year, has 2,000 inpatients, carries out 1,300 operations, and delivers 1,800 babies. The team urgently needs more surgeons and doctors to cope with the demand for healthcare both now, and into the future. If you think you can help, find out more today.

Nurses: we’re looking for nurses who are well qualified and can train others. Find out more now.

Ophthalmologist: you’ve probably got access to an ophthalmologist at your local hospital, but there isn’t one at Guinebor II. If you’re an ophthalmologist and feeling called to serve God overseas, we want to hear from you.

Family GP: the doctor who takes on this role will be providing life-changing care for those most in need. If that’s what you’re passionate about, we want to hear from you.

Obstetrics/gynaecology doctor: there is no reliable gynaecology service for women in the community that Guinebor II serves. We want to change that by filling this position.

Midwives and community health specialists: Chad has one of the worst maternal and child mortality rates in the world. Help change this by working at the maternal health centre we opened in 2015. Find out more about this role today.

Endoscopist: waiting for an endoscopy can be frustrating, but at least most of us can get one. In Chad, you need to go private, which means you need money. If you’re an endoscopist, we really want to hear from you.

Paediatrician: if you’re a paediatrician, then please consider the infants, children and young people you could help at Guinebor II. Find out what to do next here.

You may not be qualified for any of the roles we’ve told you about today, but it’s quite possible you know someone who is. Tell them to find out more. Tell them about Claire. And tell them about Ache – for she was brought back to the hospital recently and Claire got to see her again. She is getting better, and we hope she’ll have full vision soon!

“Her parents were overjoyed,” says Claire. “You could just tell in their faces how happy they were. The father couldn’t stop saying ‘shukran’ (thank you). With my limited Arabic I couldn’t really converse with them, apart from replying ‘afwan’ (you’re welcome).

“It was a humbling experience to know that such a simple treatment was making such a huge difference to this young girl’s life.”

A baby with a growth over her left eye just about manages to see out of it
Ache can begin to see out of her eye thanks to the help of BMS pharmacist Claire Bedford.

Claire and the team at Guinebor II are desperate for more people to come and join them. If you have any of the skills we are looking for, we would to love to hear from you! You could make a huge difference to patients like baby Ache.

* Name changed to protect identity

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