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Only one more month until I leave Rwanda for a year in the USA!
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One Month!     
      Wow, my last newsletter from Rwanda for this four year term!!  I recently read over my plan for the NICU that I wrote after I got here in 2012—the problems and things I hoped to change.  Well, I didn’t get all my list done, but a lot.  Where we started and where we are now—I never dreamed we’d get as far as we did.  
     We’re nowhere near perfect!  There are a lot of little things that could be improved to make things even better.  But for now, I think the nurses are in a good position to take over and carry on without me during my one year home assignment.  Of course, they’re anxious about being on their own, but it’s time.
I am going to miss my cat "helping me" with my projects.
Another Record!
     This week our NICU had 40 babies—the first time we tipped over into the 40s.  Forty babies with three nurses during the day and one or two at night is not safe.  An American NICU nurse would be horrified at that patient/nurse ratio.  ☺  Here we don’t like it, but there’s no choice.  The babies are sick and need care and there’s nowhere to transfer them, so we just dig in and take care of them.  
     If the NICU carries on at the current rate, by December 2016 we could admit over 900 babies—more than 2015 and way more than 2014.  Admission statistics suggest that in past years a lot of babies probably died at home because the community didn’t have hope that such tiny or sick babies could live.  Now there’s hope as mothers hear that babies brought to Kibogora Hospital are living and, for the most part, doing well.  Statistically for all of Rwanda, 20% of babies discharged from a NICU go home and die there.  That’s a high number and a challenge to work on decreasing.
My Schedule
     I’ll be in the USA for one year and would love to come share at your church, kids’ program, or other functions.  Please let me know if you’re interested.  I have a number of dates open for the late summer, fall, and winter. 
Two Weeks
     My last two weeks here, I’ll orient the new folks coming to take my place, doing my work at the mission station (not hospital) while I’m gone.  I want to get all my other projects done before they arrive, so I can focus on helping them get started.
Babies of the Month:  Babies Justine
     Justine had premature twins at 36 weeks—not real premature, but the problem is their mama.  She functions at a low IQ level, and twins are more than she can handle.  Mixing formula is too hard for her to figure out, so she feeds her babies orange juice instead.  
     We had a meeting with her and the father, but their ideas of how to deal with the problem were not really solutions.  So Monday we’ll work with the hospital social workers to set up a safe home environment for the babies.  Is there a neighbor who can help, a community health worker to check in on the babies, other ideas?  The little ones deserve a chance at life, but the way things stand right now, I’m afraid for them.  Please pray with me that a safe solution can be found!
Cleaning House
     I leave in one month on May 3rd.  My house is a mess as I clean and pack.  A woman coming to work at the mission for one year will live in my house while I’m gone.  I hope to get the house painted and clear away all my personal stuff before she comes.  The guest bedroom, dining room, and main bedroom are almost done except for last minute packing.  The next room—my office!  Ugh, that’s going to be a big job!
Prayer Requests
This April as Rwanda remembers the 1994 Genocide
My last month 
Nursing staff as they adjust to working without me
Folks coming to take my place
 
Praises
Growing hope in the community
Progress in plans for a new maternity and NICU building
Friendships that I have around the world
Copyright © 2016 Julie Yerger, All rights reserved.


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