In October 2016, Operation Broken Silence launched the Heart of Nuba Campaign, an online fundraising movement focused on supporting Mother of Mercy Hospital in the war-torn Nuba Mountains of Sudan. This is a brief update about Dr. Tom, the hospital, and your progress so far.
People in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan have been living in emergency conditions since June of 2011, when the government of Sudan launched a relentless campaign of terror and death against their communities. The Sudanese government has officially banned all aid and media organizations from the Nuba Mountains in an attempt to cover it’s crimes. The deteriorating situation here has become a forgotten conflict for much of the world. Click or tap the map for a visual.
A fragile ceasefire is currently in effect in the Nuba Mountains, but many expect it not to last.
In the warzone sits Mother of Mercy hospital, one of the only medical facilities in the region. This life-saving facility is led by American Dr. Tom Catena and a small local staff. Dr. Tom and the Sudanese staff refuse to leave and do their best to save lives in the midst of carnage and terror, treating as many as 400 patients a day at Mother of Mercy Hospital. Access to basic medical supplies is extremely limited and the hospital is frequently in financial crisis. The hospital depends entirely on fundraising and donations to treat the wounded and train the staff.
Heart of Nuba Campaign Update
The Heart of Nuba Campaign is the official online fundraising effort of The Heart of Nuba film, a feature-length documentary about Dr. Tom and the staff at Mother of Mercy Hospital. Funds raised through the Heart of Nuba Campaign go to supporting the amazing work being done everyday at the hospital. You can watch this short video to learn more:
To date, 15 fundraisers and 5 fundraising teams have raised over $25,000 from 129 donors through their fundraising pages. So far, $19,000 of these funds you have already raised have been sent to the hospital! Great work!
Here's a note from Dr. Tom himself:
So far, 2018 has gotten off to a pretty good start. In this part of the world, that means we are not being bombed by the Sudan government airplanes and there are no truckloads of wounded showing up at 2 AM. However, this relative stability has allowed more freedom of movement and thus has led to a very busy outpatient clinic, inpatient wards and operating room.
To make all of these departments work well and to treat patients in the manner they deserve, we need well trained staff. This includes everyone from medical doctors to laboratory technicians to nurses. Since we are a 435-bed referral hospital, we need lots of them. We have already sent off and received back several trained personnel. We currently have 23 of our former staff in some type of professional school. We have 11 in nursing/midwifery school, three in medical school, three in laboratory school, two in pharmacy and four in clinical officer (physician assistant) training.
We are currently facing a severe financial crisis. The two main things one needs to run a hospital are medicines/supplies and money for salaries. We found out in late 2017 that there was no donor to pay for either of these items. We are by far the biggest employer in the Nuba Mountains. Our 234 staff depend on us for their livelihoods. Nearly all of our staff are the sole wage earners for large extended families. To pay this large staff, we had to come up with nearly 30,000 US dollars per month. We are planning to reduce the salaries by a modest percentage, but to pay even a reduced monthly amount is a daunting task. However, I am happy to report that we will be able to pay salaries through 2018.
We are a mission hospital, a member of the greater church and therefore part and parcel of the life here in the Nuba Mountains. We are not here for our one or two-year project to help the poor in Africa but are here to establish an institution staffed by local professionals that will go on long after we are gone. The challenge remains how to continue to provide for salaries and supplies over the long haul. I firmly believe that God is with us and that together with the help of many people of good will, we will continue to provide excellent care to this beleaguered population in Nuba.
With great appreciation and on behalf of the people of Nuba, a very heartfelt Thank You to you all.
Dr. Tom Catena
And in case you missed it, Dr. Tom was recently interviewed on CNN about his work, the hospital, and Sudan. WATCH HERE »
Mother of Mercy Hospital is a large facility and the only hospital for hundreds of thousands of people in the Nuba Mountains. Without this critical healthcare facility, people literally have nowhere else to go. The hospital's impact is truly incredible despite the obstacles faced here. In 2017 alone, the hospital saw 42,000 outpatients, admitted 5,000 inpatients, and performed 1,800 surgeries.
Here are three effective ways you can help support Dr. Tom and the incredible team at Mother of Mercy Hospital:
1. Start Fundraising. You can start a personal fundraising page for the Heart of Nuba Campaign and ask your friends and family to give. This is the best way to support these classrooms and get your community involved as well. START FUNDRAISING »
2. Give Monthly. This is the easiest way to support the lifesaving work being done every day at Mother of Mercy Hospital. Signing up takes less than a minute, and you'll be effortlessly providig consistent support. LEARN MORE »
3. Give. If you're not ready to make a monthly giving or fundraising commitment yet, making a one-time donation to the hospital is the perfect next step for you. GIVE HERE »