Bulape, Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Bulape Presbyterian Medical Center is remotely situated in the small Congolese village of Bulape located south of the equator, 380 kilometers east of Kinshasa and 180 kilometers northwest of Kananga. Work in Bulape was begun in 1915 when missionaries came to bring the Gospel to the people of the Bakuba Kingdom. Twelve years later, a full-time medical program was instituted, but it was the late 1930s before the first permanent hospital buildings were constructed. Expansion continued throughout the next 20 years. Today Bulape is a viable and dynamic institution, providing general medicine, surgical, pediatric and maternity services and an extensive community health program serving more than 100,000 people.
The Bulape Presbyterian Medical Center includes an operating theater, maternity unit, pediatric ward, laboratory, outpatient dispensary and a pharmacy. A nursing school at Bulape includes classrooms, a library, dining hall and dormitories. Graduates of the nursing program staff the hospital and the 20 primary health centers in the Bulape Zone.
While it has grown considerably, Bulape Hospital still struggles to provide services under difficult conditions. Many of the buildings are dilapidated and need major improvements. Repeated cycles of economic turmoil and political unrest have prevented the hospital from adequately maintaining and equipping its facilities. The hospital has no access to any power grid and therefore is totally dependent upon solar power and diesel generators for electricity.
Despite its challenging circumstances, Bulape has long maintained a very good reputation, and its staff, led by Dr.Kambala Ngindu, remains dedicated to providing health services to the poorest people of the region. At church hospitals in the Democratic Republic of Congo patients are never turned away for lack of ability to pay.
A broad range of public health services are provided through 13 health centers, a mobile vaccination unit and a nutrition center. Bulape is also a reference hospital for the Congolese Government's SANRU health zone system. The hospital is part of the health ministries of PC(USA)’s partner, the Presbyterian Community of Congo.
Bulape Hospital is assisted by PC(USA) Extra Commitment Opportunity Account #051711.