bongo county, Liberia
In 2007, Dr. Jeffrey Freed began working with Phebe Hospital in Bongo County, Liberia, after a 20-year civil war decimated the healthcare facilities.
Phebe, Bongo County is located in the north-central portion of Liberia, and boasts a major regional hospital: Phebe Hospital and Nursing School and Phebe Dunbar Hospital, a maternity facility.
As of 2008, the population was 328,919, making it the third most populous county in Liberia. The county is approximately 8,772 square kilometers (3,387 sq miles). The average citizen makes $2 a day.
In 2014, Liberia was subjected to the Ebola epidemic. It's believed to be safe and clear as of now.
Dr. Freed, in association with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, has brought surgical teams to Phebe Hospital since 2007. At the time, there were less than 35 doctors in the country.
The teams have included surgeons, obstetricians/gynecologists, gynecologic oncologists, urogynecologists, plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, radiologists, radiological technicians, nurse educators and assorted supportive personnel. In eight missions, we performed approximately 100 surgeries, ranging from accident trauma to gynecologic issues.
Trips were suspended from March 2014 - January 2017 due to the Ebola outbreak.
Nurse educators have worked with Liberian nurses to improve bedside work, documentation, long-term planning and efforts to decrease infections. These efforts resulted in new policies and procedures, and were assimilated into the teaching program at the associated nursing school.
We've supported the Radiology Department by repairing old machines and teaching technicians about maintenance, and how to read uncomplicated x-rays and sonograms.
Additionally, Health Ministry began a program, sponsored by the World Bank, to educate surgical, gynecologic, pediatric and medical residents. As part of that program, we teach obstetric and gynecology residents the general surgery part of their training.