The rainfall in the Kagondo region is very heavy during the two rainy seasons. When the rain stops in May, it often does not rain again until November. During that dry season the bore hole (deep well) sometimes goes dry. Thankfully, our corrugated metal roofs make water collection possible. Thanks to a $96,000 grant from Rotary International, the hospital began the construction of thirteen 50,000-liter water storage tanks in April. Workers are shown below digging a hole to be filled with concrete to support the weight of these tanks. The concrete must be several feet thick to support the weight of a filled tank. The concrete supports have now been completed and will be dried for two weeks before the actual construction of the tan ks begins. We expect the project to be completed by the end of October. The major sponsors of this project were the Rotary Clubs of Tahoe Incline, San Luis Obispo, Santa Ynez and Solvang along with several other individual Rotarians. The tanks will be constructed utilizing “interlocking stabilized soil block technology” described in our last newsletter.
Our website is now live. Visit www.ksjhf.org to catch up on all that is happening at Kagondo St. Joseph Hospital. Gretchen Schaefer, a member of our board, has led development of the website which encourages those making contributions to do so through “Amazon Smile” so that Amazon.com will donate 0.5% of all eligible purchases to our organization. The first donation from Amazon has now been received. Be sure to visit our website.
Two major projects at St. joseph Hospital are now in the planning stages. The first project will be the development of a school to train non-physicians as orthopedic officers on the care of fractures, dislocations and other trauma and orthopedic conditions. When graduated, the orthopedic officers will be placed in locations in Africa that are underserved in orthopedic care. Josue Joseph, head of special projects at the hospital, will visit Mulago Hospital in Uganda to inspect their program and obtain a copy of their curriculum. The proposed school will need a residence for the director and two new classrooms.
The second major project will be the development of capability to perform total joint replacements. In the area around our hospital patients needing joint replacements usually travel to India for this surgery, if they can afford it. Our operating rooms are clean enough to perform these procedures but some improvements are necessary. We will soon close off the main operating room to any outside air and install air conditioning. Some of our surgeons will need further training in joint replacement. We will also need an RN trained in joint replacement to supervise these procedures.
Some improvement of our electrical supply is also needed. During the frequent interruptions of our electrical supply we rely on our generator for power that is in need of some repairs. When our power supply resumes, we are subject to electrical power surges that can be 50% greater than the standard 220 volts. These surges can damage our electrical equipment.
So many of you have helped support improvements to our hospital. Your contributions are greatly appreciated by all of us and by the Africans in need of the care that our hospital provides. This is an opportunity for you to provide directly to the needs of people who live in poverty and can afford little in the way of health care. Beyond financial support, be assured that your prayers are carrying forward the mission of our organization.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”. Mathew 25:40.
Wend Schaefer, M. D.
President, Kagondo St. Joseph Hospital Foundation