So much has been accomplished at Kagondo St. Joseph Hospital in the past 6 years. We have instruments and implants to treat nearly all fracturesthat come to us. Last year we brought instruments to allow full skin grafting capability at the hospital. We have a modern digital x-ray system that has greatly improved our diagnostic ability and improved patient care. Your contributions have made it possible to fund prosthetics for the many amputees in the area. The hospital has just started construction of the latest project—collection of rainwater from the metallic rooftops to supply water during the long drought seasons. The hospital has received a $96,000 grant from Rotary International to collect and store 650,000 liters of water in 13 storage tanks made with Interlocking Soil Block Technology (ISSB). By a predetermined formula cement is mixed with subsoil, then with water and compressed into interlocking blocks and then sun dried. Construction with the dried blocks then proceeds as with any other masonry utilizing cement.
The hospital uses large amounts of water for cleaning linen, instruments and operating rooms.
A question is often asked of us: “what is the most common condition that you treat at this hospital?” The answer: “bone infections in children.” In the developed world, common infections of the ear and throat are diagnosed quickly and antibiotics are promptly administered. In developing nations, the diagnosis may not be made and without treatment a lingering and severe infection may continue in the ear and throat or other areas of the body. The infection then can travel through the blood stream and deposit in the growing bones of the child. The infection in the bone develops rapidly and expands, cutting off the blood supply and killing the bone.
We see these children weeks later with the dead bone present and with draining sinuses. Our treatment is to remove the dead bone. Healing occurs in most cases. Sometimes these infections in bone re-occur and the child needs two or three more operations to eradicate the infection. On rare occasion, there is a large portion of the bone missing and we have to do a difficult bone graft. Treatment is always prolonged and the expenses would overwhelm the financial resources of the poor peasant families in this area of Tanzania. This is where your donations are often applied.
In the next few weeks we will notify you of the opening of our new website which will be managed by my daughter, Gretchen Schaefer. Gretchen is a member of our board and her career has been in communications. Website management is a part of her expertise. As with all of our board members, Gretchen donates her time. Ninety-nine percent of all your contributions go directly to patient care. All of the board members and volunteers at the hospital pay their own travel expenses as well.
Your prayers and financial contributions are greatly appreciated and make possible the medical and surgical care being provided at St. Joseph Hospital. Contributions should be made out to the Kagondo St. Joseph Hospital Foundation.
Contributions should be mailed to W.W. Schaefer, P O Box 6374, Incline Village, NV 89450.
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May our Lord continue to rain down His blessings upon us all.
Wend Schaefer, M. D.