Once again the District Hospital Sumve, one hours’ drive from Mwanza, was planned for a visit by two Orthopedic Surgeons. Sumve was chosen because of the new developments there. Dirk and Tineke, the Dutch volunteers who through hard work achieved a lot during their years there, had returned to Holland. They left the Hospital in the knowledge that the new theatre complex would soon be operational. After the usual discussions with the customs officials about the medical equipment that we carried along, we rapidly drove to Sumve on the newly laid road. Now for the eighth time and it felt very familiar. The number of patients was fewer than usual and the pre-selection was less well done. In the past this was arranged by Dirk and Tineke. And for unclear reasons the theatre was not yet ready for use. Nevertheless we were able to help enough patients, mostly children, who, after their rehabilitation, will walk again.
Our next visit was to Selian Hospital, just outside of Arusha. Like Sumve, this is a Hospital we have frequently visited in the past. In the city lies the ALMC Hospital which we used to visit as well. Through the years we noticed a big improvement in the medical care here which is very beneficial to the somewhat more affluent Tanzanians. Unfortunately the tariffs are high so the poorer section of the population travels to Selian Hospital. We therefore focused our work on this Hospital. Dr. Robert Maisu and Dr. Amon work here. They both have good orthopedic knowledge and a lot of experience. In the outpatient department, with little privacy, nearly 100 patients were seen and selected for corrective treatment. Although sometimes it was difficult with the local equipment together with our team we were able to perform all these operations satisfactory. We were able to give these patients a new turn in their lives. The gratitude of the patients as well as the staff was heartwarming. We will repeat this visit next year but maybe with another team from our Njokuti Foundation.