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Sumbawanga/Tanzania: medical teams are providing new quality of life

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Section Saxonia of Interplast Germany operated since 2010 within 15 camps 2.800 patients successfully.

M. Strotkötter from Sektion Sachsen Interplast Germany e.V.Write a message

Interplast info

Information of the section Saxony of Interplast Germany e.V.

In the Rugwa region, within a radius of 400 km from Sumbawanga, there is only one specialist in surgery. Other disciplines do not exist. Therefore, we have decided to hold specialists in plastic surgery (severe burn contractions and oral and maxillofacial malformations), visceral surgery (thyroid disorders, inguinal hernia), orthopedics (club feet, fractures, periostitis), physiotherapy, gynecology and obstetrics during the assignments.

The medical care in Tanzania has been rather worse than better in recent years. In 1994 there were still 23 specialists (doctors and nurses) for 10,000 people in use, there were six more in 2012. This is an unsatisfactory situation. We have decided to support the project in Sumbawanga on a permanent basis.

Our contact person on site, Dr. Ing. Ignas Dandah, OSB, and dr. Jipemba Salem, prepare the missions together with Sabine Wetter and Marcus Strotkötter. We are in weekly contact. Dr. Dandah is the coordinator of the Diocese of Sumbawanga and is responsible for 22 outpatient facilities and 6 hospitals. Dr. Jipemba is the Chief Operations Officer for Dr. Ing. Atiman Memorial Hospital. Both take care of the preselection in advance of the missions. This pre-selection leads to an average of 250 patients who are patiently waiting for us on arrival. Often all the money will be spent to get to Sumbawanga. The clinic and team members support the patients who have no money for the return trip. Usually, the patient has to pay US $ 450 for surgery for surgery.

In the 15 missions since 2010 we were able to successfully operate 2,800 patients. The teams consist of a strong, experienced core team, complemented by younger professionals. In and around Dresden, we now have a pool of 40 active friends who actively and passively support us. From North Rhine-Westphalia, NL and Austria, another 15 members join. We are very grateful. Everyone takes leave for work and works voluntarily and free of charge, never less than 14 hours a day.

The material equipment of the clinic is very modest. So are children under 5 years, adults over 65 years, pregnant women and HIV-positive people are treated for free. This is at the expense of the general budget. In terms of our business, this means that we would consume about 80% of the hospital's annual needs for 140 to 180 surgeries per mission. Against this background, we are constantly collecting material in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands and bringing it to Tanzania. Without these donations, the stakes would not be possible.

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