Through your generous giving, St George’s Church Baghdad provides much more than simply Sunday Services and vital Christian Community. As well as the church, the St George’s compound contains the St George’s Clinic, a Kindergarten and a cultural centre. An Anglican primary school was opened in the grounds of St George’s last year (Church Times). However, despite providing food and medical assistance to the poorest, it receives no governmental funding.
Healthcare at The St George’s Clinic
Your donations directly help many thousands through the St George’s Clinic each year. It can sometimes be hard to imagine the real lives this helps every day. In last week’s weekly update we told you how your support impacts St George’s Church. Today we focus on St George’s Clinic. Digest the latest numbers and explore the stories of the Clinic patients themselves.
To understand how vital this Clinic is, you have to sense the backdrop of the wider situation in Iraq. Healthcare in Iraq is in stark contrast to many Western countries. Estimates indicate that over 96% of Iraqis are without health insurance. There is no public health insurance system so many rely on government-run health care, usually hospitals dealing with the worst emergencies. There is little advocacy or diversity of treatment options.
Sick Baby’s Dramatic Recovery
Baby A, seven months old, had been ill for over a month. He came into the St George’s Clinic suffering weight loss, was lethargic and generally in a bad way. His father told us: “The clinic is famous due to the honest medical treatment, we can trust the doctors here.”
Following medical investigation, Baby A was found to have a lactose intolerance. The St George’s Clinic prescribed lactose free milk as well as vitamin and mineral supplements. The Baby is now well on the way to full health. His father continues: “…We come here not only because it is free, but also we feel it is safe to bring our baby here who is the most valuable for us.”
“The clinic is famous due to the honest medical treatment, we can trust the doctors here.”Baby A’s Father
The St George’s Clinic in Numbers
The hugely important medical care at the Clinic has benefitted over 1,800 people each month in September, October and November of this year.
Over 700 children were seen at the Clinic between September and November. Many adults attend for general health whilst the centre also provides for gynaecological treatments, antenatal treatments and early life care to mention a few. Others get vital access to care for chronic conditions such as arthritis or asthma. See the full numbers attending the St George’s Clinic below and read on for more stories.
Young Woman Saved from Severe Fever
Mrs Z, 35, presented at the Clinic recently with high grade fever. She’d been suffering with laboured breathing and cough. On examination she was looking ill and had shortness of breath. She was sent for chest X-Rays.
The scans and then blood tests also confirmed a form of pneumonia. Over the next week she visited the clinic for regular IV treatment. Thankfully, she has now made a full recovery.
Did you know the Clinic includes a Dentist? Dental health care is vital to prevent wider disease and maintain good nutrition. It can be so easy to take for granted. Around three hundred people per month visit the dentist at the St George’s Clinic. Their dental treatments range from light care – cleaning and fillings, through to root canal and full tooth extractions.
Relief After Months of Pain
Mr H, 65, presented at the Clinic with chronic joint pain. He visited the Clinic having been soldiering on for over three months.
Observations, tests and further blood investigation gave him a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. This clarity has meant Mr H could be treated via anti-inflammatory medication and physiotherapy. After just a month, he is already responding well to treatment.
Please continue to pray for the team that staff the Clinic, serving the local population, whether Christian, Muslim or otherwise. Pray for safety around the Clinic and for access to care for those who need it most. Please pray for the witness and practical care provided through the St George’s Church and all the facilities at the compound.
All of this great work comes at a price. Our funding for St George’s Clinic will total over £220,000 in 2019. That’s over £4,000 per week. We cannot do this without your continuing support. In 2019 we had to run a special appeal to maintain the funding. We will have to do so again in 2020. We hope you feel this is ‘worth every penny’. It makes a huge difference to thousands of people and is deeply appreciated. All the work of St George’s comes under the auspices of the Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf. Thank you for all you have done in 2019 to enable this amazing ministry. If you do not already give a regular donation perhaps you might consider doing so. Details for setting up a monthly gift can be found here.
Please help us to continue to support St George’s this Christmas
You can make a donation via our donate page (there are numerous options for how to donate). Alternatively, you can send us a cheque made out to ‘FRRME’ to: FRRME, PO Box 229, Petersfield, Hants, GU32 9DL, United Kingdom. American supporters wishing to make a donation can do so here.