Working visit Tanzania, may 2023

Working visit Tanzania, may 2023

Travel report René van den Wijngaard and Ron Onstenk

At the end of May 2023, Ron Onstenk and René van den Wijngaard left for a mission to Arusha and Sumve in Tanzania. The last visit had been in 2018.

You need a tourist visa to enter the country. In addition, you now need a work visa to perform medical procedures. After showing the necessary papers and the necessary dollars, we could move on to the next obstacle. On request, we had 4 luggage suitcases per person full of medical supplies, cuddly toys, t-shirts and shoes. The import of the cordless drills in particular caused some delays, but after some phone calls we were able to continue our way.

In Arusha we were again warmly welcomed by the well-known Dr Robert Maise of the Selian Hospital. We were given a tour of the renovated nursing department and were introduced to a new young doctor, Endesh. After a brief introduction to the rest of the team, she led us past the patients present. This could make a good orthopedic surgeon! We then jointly examined the patients who had arrived at the outpatient clinic. In the following days, several patients were successfully operated on.

Werkbezoek mei 2023

The weekend was used to recover a bit, charge the battery and travel to Sumve. We arrived on Sunday afternoon where, to our surprise, an outpatient clinic had already been scheduled! After meeting the team present, consisting of 3 enthusiastic young local primary care doctors, patients were seen in 2 rooms. For the most part, these were older people with osteoarthritis of their knee or hip. This was a great opportunity to teach the young doctors the art of injecting joints with corticosteroids. There were so many patients that at 8:30 PM it was decided to see the rest of the patients the next day.

In the following days, we spent several hours examining patients from the outpatient clinic in the morning, followed by a comprehensive and varied surgical program. Fortunately, we were able to work in 2 operating rooms at the same time, so that all planned patients could be helped.

After several long days of intensive collaboration, we said a satisfied farewell to the team from Sumve. Fortunately, after 5 years, a good foundation had been laid for the collaboration with Njokuti. The patients were better selected during this visit and we were able to make a significant contribution to increasing knowledge about the treatment of older patients with wear and tear. Although Njokuti mainly focuses on younger patients, the elderly are also happy if their situation can be improved through better research and through the knowledge of some basic orthopedic skills. The medical staff also wants to pass on this knowledge to other local doctors and nursing staff, hopefully gradually improving orthopedic care in Sumve.

The next mission is planned for the end of 2023. Then a plastic surgeon will also accompany you.

Ron Onstenk and René van den Wijngaard

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