Due to the upcoming departure of the volunteers Dirk and Tineke from Sumve, in the Winter of 2015 we had already decided that a team of surgeons from Njokuti would visit Sumve in the Summer of 2016. For the last time we would be able to enjoy the fruitful cooperation with Dirk and Tineke and we could discuss arrangements with those who take over their work. Dirk and Tineke will leave after a period of 9 years in which they have put a lot of effort and energy into the improvement of the District Hospital, but also in several boreholes which are functioning properly in the Sumve area now.
In the clinic many patients were waiting for us. We saw children with leg abnormalities, bone infections and patients with old, not well-healed fractures. We were able to surgically treat more than 15 patients during the following days. This time we have still been working in the old theatre, but hopefully during our next visit we will be able to use the new theatre.
We flew back over the wonderful Serengeti, where at this time of the year the great migration of thousands of wildebeast and zebras was going on. The second part of our mission took place at the ALMC/Selian hospital in Arusha. Their clinic was also filled with children, mostly refered to us by the Plasterhouse (www. theplasterhouse.org), many of them with legs that needed surgical correction. Surgeries were divided over the two hospitals, ALMC and Selian, where two theatres had been allocated to our team. A large part of these surgical interventions were carried out by local surgeons: Dr. Benson, Dr. Roberts Maise and Dr. Daniel Otieno. A very enthusiastic team, and moreover very eager to learn! This way we have not only contributed to the rehabilitation of these children; we were also able to share our professional knowledge and expertise among each other.
An area of concern is the increase in costs that we have to pay for the medical registration and the special visa, which now amounts to more than € 500 per visit. The question is whether we can and want to afford such an amount for a 6-7 day period and 3-4 missions per year.
Travelreport to Tanzania by Peer Poelmann en Ron Onstenk