Non-profit specialty hospital rises in Davao

Subscribe Now November 04, 2014 at 08:28am

Famine, war, disease, and poverty exist starkly against Africa’s breathtaking natural landscapes and colorful culture. But where such ills spring, so do hope and humanitarian response, as an American missionary couple has proven by establishing what has turned out to be the largest provider of pediatric surgical care in the developing world.

“My wife, Sally, and I started CURE International when we saw firsthand the overwhelming devastation experienced by disabled children and their families in Malawi,” relates Dr. Scott Harrison in the non-profit organization’s website, referring to his medical missions to Africa in the late 1980s.

As an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Harrison knows that the children’s conditions, such as hydrocephalus and club foot, are treatable and curable. This inspired him and his wife, who is a registered nurse, to start CURE International in 1996. The organization initially recruited American and British doctors to provide free surgeries to African children with disabilities in local hospitals.

A full-service medical facility was put up to meet the needs of the growing number of children. CURE’s first hospital was established in Kenya in 1998.

The 30-bed AIC-CURE International Children’s Hospital in Kijabe serves approximately 8,000 children per year, including those through its mobile clinics deployed in remote regions of Africa. The second CURE Children’s Hospital opened in Mbale, Uganda in 2000. It has been recognized as a global leader in hydrocephalus treatment, saving more than 5,000 lives since it opened.
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“With our hospitals and other health programs, CURE now has presence in more than 30 countries and we have more than 1,500 employees worldwide,” says Leron Lehman, executive director of Tebow CURE Hospital and former director of the CURE Hospital in Niger. “We’ve performed approximately 170,000 surgeries and seen almost 2.5 million outpatients.”

In 2011, CURE formed a partnership with the Tim Tebow Foundation to establish the first hospital in Southeast Asia, to be located in Davao City, in the Southern region of Mindanao.

Not many people are aware that Tebow, a US college football superstar who was drafted into the National Football League, traces his roots in the Philippines. He was, in fact, born in Makati City and spent his formative years in Davao together with his missionary parents.

Tebow found the partnership with CURE as a valuable opportunity to give back to the community and the people he has grown to love and care for, which happens to be an area of great need for medical assistance. “Mindanao was identified as the island in the Philippines with some of the least developed and poorest communities, many of which are indigenous peoples,” explains Lehman. “We have a significant opportunity to make a difference here.”

The six-storey, 30-bed Tebow CURE Hospital in Davao City is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.


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