Vancouver charity brings much-needed relief to patients in Liberia
They're services many of us take for granted: someone to answer our 911 call and an emergency crew to rush to our aid when we need it most.
In Liberia, people often don’t have access to either – but a Vancouver charity is trying to help.
Volunteers with the Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation were in the West African country recently, providing a proper ambulance and training for the health care professionals.
"What they have are 'ambulances,' but they have no equipment on them, so they're just glorified taxis," said Majorie Ratel, a neuroscience nurse who founded the charity.
"[Patients] would be picked up off the ground if there's a traffic accident and put on the back of a motorcycle to the hospital where they would likely die or die en route."
The foundation is focused on improving the care for those impacted by debilitating brain and spine diseases in West Africa.
While volunteers were there, they also helped perform the country's first spinal fusion surgeries.
"Some of them were telling us with tears in their eyes how they've been searching for answers on how to stabilize their backs and there was no help for them," Ratel said.
The charity, which has been helping people for nearly two decades, now needs some help of its own.
Its Fraser Valley warehouse will no longer be available and it will need a new home to store its medical equipment.
"If anybody has any space that can be donated, we'd appreciate it," Ratel said.