I'm guessing that when most American doctors first visit the Bongolo Hospital, they consider it somewhat primitive. No large air-conditioned buildings, no widespread food or laundry service, no motorized beds and call buttons for in-patients. And though I believe it's absolutely amazing what God has built here and the wide scope of services provided, they're probably right - by American standards, it is primitive.
But today I attended the graduation ceremony and reception of Jean Claude Bataneni, who just completed his surgical residency at Bongolo. He was here with the PAACS (Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons) program. Tomorrow, he and his wife (also a doctor) and his two children are traveling back to his home country, Democratic Republic of Congo (also called Congo-Kinshasa, formerly Zaire), to work at the Nebobongo Evangelical Hospital. Outside of the operating room, there is no electricity and no running water. Compared to Bongolo, Nebobongo is primitive:
The hospital is off the national power grid. So aside from the operating room which has a solar electric unit on the roof, the rest of the hospital has no electricity. They cannot afford the repairs or the cost of the diesel fuel to run the generator they have.
There is no running water outside the operating room. The steam to sterilize instruments is generated by wood fires. There is no sewage disposal system, so the hospital uses outdoor pit latrines.