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

Sumbawanga, Tanzania

Interplast Germany e.V. has carried out 23 missions since 2010 on a voluntary basis. The teams operated on 3,864 patients successfully and with few complications.

M. Strotkötter from Interplast Germany e.V. - Section Munich
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Information to the Munich Section from Interplast Germany e.V.

There is only one surgeon in the Rugwa region, 600 km from Sumbawanga. There are no other disciplines. That is why we have decided to specialize in plastic surgery (severe burn contractures and oral and maxillofacial malformations), visceral surgery (thyroid disease, inguinal hernia), orthopedics (club feet, broken bones, periostitis), physiotherapy, orthopedic technology, gynecology and obstetrics in the context of To hold operations.

Medical care in Tanzania has developed rather poorly than better in recent years. In 1994 there were still 23 specialists (doctors and nursing staff) working for 10,000 people, there were still six in 2012. This is an unsatisfactory situation. We have decided to support the project in Sumbawanga permanently.

Our local contacts, Oberin Sr. Yasinta Rugabadi, Dr. Kenneth Yona and Dr. Salum Jipemba prepare the missions. We are in daily contact. Our contacts have set up a registration office for patients. This is followed by a preselection. This leads to an average of 250 patients who are patiently waiting for us when we arrive. Often all money is spent to get to Sumbawanga. The clinic and team members support the patients who have no money for the return trip. As a rule, the patient would have to pay US $ 450 for an operation. The operations are carried out by us free of charge.

Since 2010, we have successfully operated 3,864 patients in 23 operations. The teams consist of a strong, experienced core team, supplemented by younger specialists. In Bonn, Munich, Dresden and Berlin we now have a pool of 50 active friends who actively and passively support us. Everyone takes vacations for the assignment and works voluntarily and free of charge, never less than 14 hours a day.

The physical equipment of the clinic is very modest. Children under 5 years, adults over 65 years, pregnant women and HIV-positive people are treated free of charge. This is at the expense of the overall budget. In terms of our work, this means that for 140 to 180 operations per operation, we would use about 80% of the hospital's annual needs. Against this background, we repeatedly collect material in Germany and bring it to Tanzania or procure it directly on site. Without these donations, the stakes would not be possible.