MDCG Physician License Renewal Fees Increase

The Medical Dental Council Ghana has increased retention (renewal) fees for licensed physicians from 200GHS to 400GHS (currently around 100USD). This affects all volunteer physicians who have previously been licensed and wish to return to serve at BMC.

You can see the new fees posted on their website in the Fees and Charges Amendment document (PDF).

Learn about Nalerigu’s Courtyard Poundings

Dr. Haun’s husband William has produced a short documentary about the courtyard pounding events the women of Nalerigu do together. It’s a great look at the traditions of Mamprugu and the spirit of unity in the community.

Tamale -> BMC Shuttle Cost Update

A minor update has been made to the BMC Guesthouse rates in regards to pickup/dropoff from Tamale. The roundtrip cost of 50GHS per person has been increased to 150GHS (40USD) in order to keep up with the cost of vehicle fuel and maintenance involved with the 300km+ drive.

The update has been reflected in the BMC Guesthouse Rates PDF.

BMC’s Dr. Emmanuel Akatibo Gets Married!

Congratulations to BMC’s own Dr. Emmanuel Akatibo on his marriage to Margaret Apini on Saturday, February 6th!

The beautiful ceremony was held at St. Kizito Catholic Church in Zaare-Bolgatanga. A large delegation of BMC staff attended the wedding as well as some of Margaret’s colleagues from Nalerigu Senior High.

After the ceremony, a reception was held at the National Health Service Conference Center in Bolga. There guests congratulated the newlyweds in person as they enjoyed refreshments and music.

We pray that God blesses this matrimony and we look forward to welcoming the newly weds back to BMC soon!

Congratulations, Dr. Haun & Family!

Congratulations to our own Dr. Heidi Haun on her newborn daughter Karen Jane (“KJ”). BMC’s wonderful midwives delivered the child on June 18th at 1:13pm. The beautiful little girl weighed 2.5kg and was 48cm long.

We are happy to report that both the mother and child are doing well and that Trey is very excited to be a big brother!

Videos from Nalerigu’s 2015 Damba Festival

2015 started off wonderfully with the annual Damba Festival’s lunar schedule having it conveniently celebrated on January 1-3. The word “Damba,” or “Damma” in Mampruli, means “that we will come together” and is an event celebrated for centuries in Mamprugu. Chiefs from all across the region come together for one giant “family reunion.”

Here are some video clips from each of day of activities.

Day One

On day one, the highlight was the various ethnic groups (Mamprusi, Bimoba, Frafra, etc…) presenting their unique dances.

Day Two

The central piece of festival came on the second day when the senior King’s drummer, accompanied by a phalanx of royal drummers, sings a list of the names of chiefs and their kingly fathers which begins with the founder and ends with the reigning king.1

Day Three

The final day is actually just a continuation of day two’s festivities. Revelers dance the night away until the Nayiri emerges with his entourage at sunrise. Each of the chiefs are then coaxed out to dance one by one until the Nayiri finally returns into his palace after about two hours.

Christmas Eve Caroling

10-bmc-caroling-2933It has been a tradition of late for BMC’s expat staff and volunteers to go Christmas caroling in the wards on Christmas Eve. In addition to singing songs, the carolers pass out oranges to patients and their families.

This year Drs. Cahill, Coppola, and Haun and their families were joined by Faile Foundation‘s Francis Akom and his family as well as a couple of Ghanaian medical students. The songs and oranges (and stickers for the kids) brought some cheer to those unfortunately spending Christmas Eve in the wards.

Below are some photos and videos from the occasion:

Happy Thanksgiving!

BMC’s American workers celebrated their country’s Thanksgiving holiday together last night. Each person contributed some aspect of the traditional and the sum of all their efforts was a delicious feast of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, pumpkin pie, green bean casserole and even cranberry sauce!

Several Ghanaian friends and other expats were invited and during the devotions they were given a brief history lesson about the holiday and its significance.

We are so thankful for all the volunteers who have come to help us this year. They are such a blessing to the patients and the hospital staff.

Most importantly we thank God for his goodness and enduring love (Psalm 106:1). Our prayer is that BMC continues to make His deeds known among the peoples of northern Ghana (Psalm 105:1).

BMC Turnover to GBC Ceremony

This week was a major milestone for the Baptist Medical Centre in Nalerigu, Ghana. The hospital and its property were officially handed over from the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board to the Ghana Baptist Convention.

The hospital has been a partnership between IMB and GBC (then Foreign Mission Board and Gold Coast Baptist Convention) since its conception at the GBC’s 9th annual session in 1955. Over the decades that followed, the IMB has progressively turned over the reigns to the national leadership. For the last few years, the hospital has essentially been managed completely by the GBC.

IMB trustees voted to approve the handover earlier this summer in Richmond, Virginia. This week’s ceremony marked the final legal step in the turnover process as the lease on the land was transferred to GBC.

Dr. Earl Hewitt greets the Nayiri

Before the ceremony a delegation from the IMB and GBC visited the Nayiri and nearly a dozen sub-chiefs to explain the details of the handover. Former BMC doctor, Dr. Earl Hewitt, was in attendance and gave his full support to the transition. Hewitt presented newly appointed IMB missionaries Rev. William and Dr. Heidi Haun and their son Trey to the Nayiri. The Hauns are career missionaries that will be residing on the BMC campus for many years to come. Dr. Haun is a general surgeon who will begin practicing at the hospital early next year when she receives her Ghanaian medical license and reaches certain Mampruli language proficiency levels.

Kris Riggs and Dr. Cindy Shumpert hand over the legal documents for BMC to the GBCThe George Faile Foundation was also represented by its vice-president Dr. Cindy Shumpert. The Foundation has been managing the guest houses for volunteers for several years and will continue in that capacity in partnership with GBC.

The ceremony was well-attended by residents of Nalerigu, hospital staff, GBC representatives, government officials and the traditional Mamprusi leadership – most notably the Nayiri himself. As in all public appearances by the Nayiri, there was much celebration and dancing.

Our prayer is that the Baptist Medical Centre can continue to have an impact on the peoples of Ghana’s Northern Region – both physically and spiritually. May God be glorified as the hurting are healed and name of Jesus Christ is proclaimed!

Group photo of IMB, GBC, and BMC leadership after the ceremony

The Nayiri’s Arrival at BMC

Damba Dance Group Performs

Medical Work Begun, 1957

Commission Magazine vol 20 - 1957This is the first in a new series of posts featuring articles, stories, and photos from the BMC archives. This article entitled “GHANA – Medical Work Begun” was published in the December 1957 issue of the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board’s Commission magazine vol.20

Download the original article

Under a burning tropical sun, a few curious Africans gathered in Nalerigu, Ghana on September 16, for the groundbreaking services for the Baptist hospital. The text for the service was “The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build” (Nehemiah 2:20); and the Africans were told that the medical work now beginning is an expression of Christ’s compassion and love.

Two weeks later Dr. George M. Faile, Jr., Southern Baptist missionary, and his African helper, Samuel Olawumi, began outpatient clinics with the aid of a mobile dispensary. The Leprosy Service is also turning over to Dr. Faile’s care some 2,000 leprosy patients now attending clinics near Nalerigu. But, he says, “we cannot begin development of a central leprosy settlement unless another doctor comes. And it seems to be a dream only to expect a missionary nurse.” He adds that an administrator-chaplain could multiply the evangelistic effectiveness of the medical work.

There are about 83,000 people in the vicinity of Nalerigu, and about 8,000 leprosy cases within a 40- or 50- mile radius. Dr. Faile is the third doctor in an area of more than half a million people.

The missionaries have made contact with a small group of Yoruba Baptists living in this predominantly Mamprusi area. This group wants to begin having services, and Mr. Olawumi, who is now living in Nalerigu, will be their leader. “We are eager to have these few Baptists join us in a great missionary effort by conducting their services in the language of the Mamprusi people,” says Dr. Faile.

The Nayiri, paramount chief of the Mamprusi, was sick with “Asian flu” at the time of the groundbreaking, but he did go to the site in the missionaries’ car. His son, Natumah Baani, clerk of the Nalerigu local council, turned a spade of dirt in his stead.