Inside EMI web feature & photos by Anna Seeley / EMI Global / USA
EMI’s long-term partnership with Dr. Doreen Babo has been helping the Faith MediPlex hospital group in Nigeria to grow for over 12 years.
As comfortable with her hospital staff as she was in front of thousands at church on Sunday morning, Dr. Doreen Babo is an extraordinary woman. With her husband, Dr. Mark Babo, the Doctors Babo have been serving the Church of God Mission in Nigeria since 1989. They are responsible for the administration and planning of the Faith MediPlex mission hospitals. With a background in hospital administration and an avid interest in hospital architecture & construction management, God has ideally placed Dr. Doreen to serve this mission.
Dr. Doreen has partnered with EMI for over 12 years, hosting three teams in Nigeria. It started with the master plan for a Faith MediPlex branch hospital in Abuja in 2003. After that, EMI visited the main campus in Benin City on two different occasions to plan for expansion. On her side, Dr. Doreen has been a volunteer on two other EMI hospital projects in Kenya. She acted as a liaison between hospital staff and the EMI team. She explains: “I am glad to be able to use my background and experience in Nigeria to help other ministries cast vision – and avoid the same mistakes.”
The EMI team photo in the Big Ben Children’s Hospital Annex in Benin City. EMI USA team leader Dirk Anderson on far left.
In Abuja, Dr. Doreen consults with her on-site construction manager.
Recently, EMI sent a third team to Benin City to assess the Faith MediPlex facilities. These included Big Ben Children’s Hospital Annex designed by EMI in 2006. EMI team leader Dirk Anderson was especially excited to walk through Big Ben – the building he helped design as a volunteer. One of our structural engineers, Paul Okungbowa, was from Benin City. His niece was born at Big Ben and he went out of his way to make us part of the Nigerian family. Dr. Doreen was excited to see the involvement of several West-African design professionals like Paul on our team. She spoke of the positive message sent by the exposure to missions EMI gives: How the opportunity to use professional skills to serve the Kingdom of God will energize people. This is the very thing God has led her to focus on in her own setting. She is raising up capable hospital managers and staff which can be sent out to serve in new locations. Dr. Doreen’s vision for Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa is to see a multiplication of successful mission hospitals like Faith MediPlex.
The Faith Mediplex ramp addition designed by EMI was recently completed at the Benin City campus.
After the EMI presentation to the hospital staff and board, Dr. Doreen gives more explanation about the design to these nurses.
The latest EMI team’s design task was to create a new, multi-story maternal & child-health building for the Benin City campus. The original plans for Big Ben quadrupled the number of labor and delivery beds at Faith MediPlex. But this development of the property has resulted in growth far beyond the expected. Hearing from the hospital staff, it became apparent that almost every department is bursting at the seams. Over the course of the week, our team surveyed a neighboring parcel of land and assessed several buildings for demolition. We created the multi-phase master-plan that will guide this hospital into the future.
Over the years, Dr. Doreen has had the unique opportunity to see different sides of EMI. Having herself led many medical mission and construction teams, she has continually been impressed by the fortitude of teams from EMI. She told me, “Your teams don’t come just to sight-see, but make the effort to set aside time to bring your attention back to God... In countries without accountability, EMI gives ministries the confidence that the design is thorough and cost-effective.” This is one example of the work God can do through long-term partnerships with people like Dr. Doreen and ministries like the Faith MediPlex hospital. ■