Monday, July 11, 2022

Back to Likuni Mission Hospital

We finally made it back to Likuni Mission Hospital!
Two years ago we raised the money to purchase a point of care ultrasound (POCUS).

A point of care ultrasound allows the provider to make timely diagnoses that save lives. There is no waiting for a radiology technician, radiologist, transporting patients to other parts of the hospital (or to the hospital), firing up the generator, finding the person with the key who can turn on the generator, etc. 

The point of care ultrasound allows the nurse, doctor, medical provider to make diagnoses that are life saving at the bedside of the patient or wherever the provider may encounter the patient.  Rapid diagnosis and initiation of treatment for a variety of conditions including twins, breech presentations, ectopic pregnancies, placenta previas, various life threatening trauma conditions, gallstones, kidney stones, severe dehydration, blood loss, etc.  

Elizabeth and I arrived on a Thursday and spent Friday touring the hospital and meeting the staff. There were many of the same faces but also some new ones. The Matron,  Sister Agnes had returned to Zambia and Sister Chanshi was now the Matron.  Dr. Chiundira, the chief medical officer, is still there and doing well. We were also able to distribute numerous stocking hats there were made by a friend of ours from  our home in Pine Mountain. Saturday we went to Mass and spent the day walking around town and visiting a local Nature preserve.  Sunday we attended mass, The Feast of Corpus Christi, and then spent the rest of Sunday preparing for our presentations.   Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we had 17 participants split up into 3 groups.  We spent those days teaching how to operate and care for the ultrasound.  We also provided copies of an ultrasound manual that has been in the making since our time in Njinikom.  We presented numerous lectures on POCUS, but most of the time was spent through hands-on teaching on POCUS.  

We were able to spend an afternoon at Lake Malawi, one of largest freshwater lakes in the world and has more species of fish than any other lake in the world.  While we did not see any fish it was nice to walk along the beach and look out across the lake. 
We plan on tracking the use of the ultrasound over the next year and we share in the hospitals excitement in the addition of POCUS to Likuni Mission Hospital’s care for the people it serves.
Thanks again for all your support and we look forward to further journeys together!

We planned to take this to Likuni Mission Hospital in Malawi, in 2020 but with the Pandemic the last two years we had to cancel our trips.  This year a window of opportunity presented itself and my daughter Elizabeth and I took that opportunity to travel to Malawi.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Thank you

Thank you all for donating for the handheld ultrasound! 

We have canceled our trip this May because of Covid - 19 

Likuni Mission Hospital is aware we were able to raise the funds and have purchased the Ultrasound. 

 Sister Agnes sends her heartfelt "thank you" and is excited to receive the ultrasound next year.  

Peace to all and please be careful during this time of uncertainty.


Thursday, February 6, 2020

Ultrasound for Likuni

Today, I am posting today to ask for your support in helping us raise the funds to pay for a handheld ultrasound to be used in the medical and maternity ward at Likuni Hospital in Malawi (the hospital has over 3000 deliveries per year).

The total cost, after obtaining the Global Health grant, is $2,000.

Any gift you can provide toward this goal will make a tremendous difference.

We have recently started a GlobalHealth Track with the Rio Bravo Family Medicine residency program in Bakersfield, CA. For the last three years the residency program has been developing an ongoing relationship with Likuni Mission hospital in Malawi. This Catholic Hospital has a long history and relationship with Mission Doctors - the medical ward is dedicated to Msgr. Brouwers the founder of Mission Doctors Association.

Each year we go to the hospital and provide assistance in the care of their patients. This 256 bed hospital is located in the Central Region of Malawi about ten kilometers west of Lilongwe, the Capital City. It was founded as a dispensary in 1940. The Likuni Mission Hospital belongs to the Archdiocese of Lilongwe. It serves more than 168,000 people from within the catchment area and beyond, mostly within the city of Lilongwe.

The impact of this handheld ultrasound will go beyond the here and now. Countless lives will be saved, as ultrasound provides timely diagnoses for various ailments - abdominal and obstetrical emergencies, blood clots, trauma, and more! It will also have an empowering effect that will allow the staff to obtain a sense of control over situations that previously were not.

You can also call the Mission Doctors Association office to make a donation with your credit card – (213) 368-1872.

I appreciate your consideration in supporting our work and look forward to further collaborations

If you have any questions about this or our ongoing work at Likuni Hospital, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Brent Brent

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Dear Family and Friends,

We hope this finds you all well.

We came back from Cameroon in May to resettle in the US so we could be closer to our families. This summer we had the great opportunity to travel around the US by car for 2 months visiting many family and friends and seeing many sights. We appreciate all of you who were so hospitable and generous with time, resources, and places for 6 of us to stay as we travelled along.

Since August we have been living in Frazier Park, CA,  about an hour from Jennifer's parents. It is a small rural community of about 2000 people nestled in the Los Padres National Forest at an elevation of 4,600 feet and a few miles off I-5.

The children are going to a small public charter school called "Peak to Peak" that sits surrounded by national forest at an elevation of over 6200 feet. It has a total of 80 children in K - 8th with multiple grade levels in one classroom. Christopher and Elizabeth are in 8th grade, Julianne is in 6th and Nicholas is in 4th. All of them are really enjoying their new school and making new friends.

Brent and Jennifer are working with Clinica Sierra Vista.  This is a very large federally qualified health center system in California (third largest the the nation) with over 1000 employees operating out of 70 sites in Kern and Fresno counties. The clinic we are working at is in Lebec, CA. Besides the two of us (who share one full-time job), there is a pediatric nurse practitioner who comes twice a week and a OB/Gyn who comes once a month. The communities that the clinic serves are anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours from any other healthcare services. So, for as close as we are to LA, the location is relatively rural.  There is one flashing red light on the 17 mile road connecting the 5 mountain communities. Reminds us a bit of the rural places we've lived in other countries.

We are enjoying the work and slowly coming around to the electronic medical record.   Clinica Sierra Vista is very interested in allowing us to continue our mission service and will allow us a month off (in addition to vacation time) to return to the missions every year.  In addition, we are hoping to start a global health track with the family practice residency program that is associated with the Clinica system in Bakersfield.  

While we miss many things from the mission field, we are grateful for our new life in the US and the opportunities to put service into action here. We are profoundly thankful for your prayers and support over the past 6 years while we were with Mission Doctors Association. Please continue to support MDA and their work to support missionaries around the world.

God bless you and your loved ones. We hope the holidays bring peace and joy.

Brent, Jennifer, Christopher, Elizabeth, Julianne and Nicholas

Friday, May 6, 2016

Dear family and friends,

We will be returning to the US in mid May 2016.   We are going back to be closer to our parents who are growing older. It is hard to leave Cameroon, but we feel that it is important for us to be at home at
this time.

We want to thank all of you for your support over the last 6 years. When we arrived in Guatemala in February 2010, we never imagined the gifts that God would bring to our family and to each of us individually as we've tried to answer God's call.  Thank you for allowing this to happen. Through your prayers and support we have truly seen God's presence here on earth. 

Our time in Cameroon has been very special. We have been inspired by the witness of the Tertiary Sisters if St. Francis in their service to the sick and poor.

We will especially miss the patients and friends we have made here. The patients are so grateful. Out of their small resources they often show their gratitude with a bag of corn or beans or avocados. We will miss the rain, mangos,ndole and ground nut soup. We will miss living so close to the hospital, school and church that we can walk to each in less than 10 minutes. We will miss feeling needed and wanted in our work. We will miss the faithfulness of the people. We will miss the slower pace of life and having more family time. We will even miss homeschooling.

Please continue to pray for God’s healing to come down on the patients in Guatemala and Cameroon, for the staff as they continue to serve those in need, and for our family as we move back to the US.

Again, thank you for making this life changing experience possible for our family. We will continue this blog during our transition back and invite you to continue following us.

Peace and love to you and your loved ones,
 Brent, Jennifer, Christopher, Elizabeth, Julianne and Nicholas

May 2010, not long after our arrival in Guatemala

February 2016, family photo at the Sonshine Christian Academy in Cameroon

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Nelly is a 6 year old boy who presented with measles. It is not common to see measles in the US or
even here in Cameroon due to vaccination.

Besides the measles, he was secondarily infected with pneumonia. He was very sick, requiring oxygen for several days. He is better in the photo although still looks sick. His 3 and 4 year old brothers were also admitted in the same room, also with measles and severe secondary infections.

They all recovered and at discharge were back to normal.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Yaya is an 8 year old child who was recently admitted with fever and vomiting and found to be unconscious and anemic. He began to have seizures shortly after admission.

He was diagnosed with cerebral malaria and severe anemia, given IV fluids, malaria treatment, antibiotics, anti-seizure medication, and had a blood transfusion.

After about 5 days of waiting and reassurance to his parents, Yaya began to wake up. A few days later, he was talking, playing, eating, and walking without difficulty.

It is amazing how fast children can bounce back after a serious illness!