Last spring, CMMB began construction of a much-needed operating theater, maternity ward, and blood bank at the St. Therese Hospital in Nzara, South Sudan. We’ve come a long way since we broke ground and laid the first, ceremonial block! 

Over the past year, we have received constant updates from our volunteer – project lead and engineer – Martin Rubino. In each, he reflected on the hard work and dedication of his team, as well as the challenges that come building in an under-resourced area. Here are a selection of photos that highlight just how far they’ve come. 


What do the grounds look like today?

“I thought about the generations of patients, doctors and nurses who would be using the facilities for many years to come. I owe it to all of them to ensure the hospital is as well constructed as possible.” – Martin

Maternity Ward: 

Maternity ward as of April 2019

All but two columns are are left to be completed at the maternity ward!

The maternity ward, painted and with a roof

Painting of the undercoat is nearly complete, including the columns. The final metal door has been installed!

“So too, the construction workers at St. Theresa Hospital and in a general sense, the people of South Sudan, are living out quietly noble lives.” – Martin

Surgical Ward:

Outside of surgical ward May 2019

Undercoat painting is complete inside the Surgical Ward and nearly so outside. Electrical is underway.

Surgical Ward as of May 2019

The bases added to the columns will be both decorative and functional in protecting from bumps.

“The astonishing fact is that this hospital is being built almost entirely with hand tools and muscle power.” – Martin

Operating Theater: 

operating theater as pf April 2019

The walls, ceiling, and veranda have been painted! We are excited to share that the plumber and electrician have set up the temporary power supply for the theater!

a look inside the operating theater as of May

The two tilers are working hard to floor the many rooms of the Operating Theater.

A look inside the operating theater in Nzara, South Sudan

the outside of the operating theater in Nzara, South Sudan

The front veranda of the Theater is tiled and the cement rendering of the outer apron has commenced!

“Ups and downs are accepted in stride here. The people know how to continue moving forward even when plans do not fall as neatly into place as we would like.” – Martin

Blood Bank

outside of the blood bank in South Sudan

The pouring of the veranda columns has been completed at the Blood Ban and the final courses of brick walling are nearly complete.

image of the blood bank in south sudan during construction

The 1 x 8 timbers arrived and the bottoms of veranda form-work were installed for the entire hospital side of the building.

Where We Started

Breaking Ground

Bishop Eduardo signs the first brick as the construction process begins

Bishop Eduardo signs the first brick as the construction process begins.

“CMMB has made history today.” – Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala, Catholic Bishop of Tombura-Yambio

Sister Laura leaving her mark at the ground-breaking

Sister Laura leaving her mark.

Looking Back at Steps Along the Way

There is nothing easy about building in a place like South Sudan. It’s hot, hard to get supplies, and water and electricity aren’t easy to come by. But our team overcame many obstacles to get to where they are today. Let’s take a look at some of the steps along the way.

The foundation being set in Nzara, South Sudan

“Just as St. Therese hospital refuses to compromise the quality of the healthcare they offer, so too, we cannot allow limited resources to lower construction standards.” – Martin

Martin on the job site at Nzara Hospital in South Sudan

“Every shovel full of earth, every wheelbarrow of mortar, brings us closer to our goal!”- Martin

A photo of sister Jane and another photo of two workers at the expansion site of St. Theresa Hospital in Nzara.

Sister Jane, a Comboni Sister serving at St. Therese Hospital is pictured on the left.

Support Martin and other international volunteers today