For now all the major construction projects at St. Joseph Hospital are finished and functioning well. The water collection system has provided a full supply of rain water for the dry season which has just begun.
The voltage surge protector is fully paid for and installed. We have not experienced any more damage to our electrical equipment since installment. The hospital staff is very grateful for this equipment.
Our main theatre becomes very hot on the sunny afternoons with temperatures rising to over 80 degrees. When that happens, the sweat of the surgeons can drip into the open wounds. I am happy to say that an air conditioner has been ordered and the room is being sealed. Doors that open both ways will be installed. The hospital masons and surgeons will close all unnecessary openings. Completion is only a matter of weeks away.
Last week Dr. Lawrence Inyas, pediatric orthopaedic surgeon from the Bugando Medical Centre, brought another resident orthopedic surgeon in training to St. Joseph Hospital to experience the orthopaedic treatment of crippled children and injured adults. This is the future of orthopaedic care in Tanzania-Tanzanian surgeons assuming care for their own people. The residents are so very grateful for this training which is not available at their main training facility.
Dr. Lawrence has recently started a program for treatment of crippled children on a country wide basis. He has some American backers who should be able him to set up a 501cc corporation. Dr. Lawrence recently conducted his first surgical mission at an area hospital. Dozens of children received necessary surgical treatment. For now we will support this program by offering free care for these children at St Joseph Hospital when Dr. Lawrence brings the program there.
I am obtaining a proposal for my Rotary Club for treatment and prevention of goiters in an area near St. Joseph Hospital. A goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland and is usually caused by a lack of iodine in the diet. In this area goiters are common and sometimes as large as watermelons. In this case the water is contaminated with low concentrations of salt and that prevents the absorption of iodine in the diet which in turn causes development of the goiter.
Goiters can easily be prevented by consumption of iodized salt. This salt is available but the Tanzanians buy regular salt because it is cheaper. Education and perhaps free salt are needed.
The existing goiters will need to be treated surgically. The surgery is high risk and the hospital will need an intensive care unit (ICU) to recover the patients for a few post op days. Ellen Murphy, RN, and board member will train the staff for ICU duty during her visit in November.
I am not planning to return to Africa again as I have concerns about my health. I have volunteered in East Africa 25 times but now that must come to an end. I have very trusted people at St. Joseph Hospital who can identify projects and carry on the work that needs to be done. My corporate board is experienced in evaluating and fulfilling the needs of the hospital.
For the present I will be able to continue my employment in Washington State which will partially supply some of the needs of St. Joseph Hospital. Your financial contributions are still greatly needed. We pay for the prosthetics for the many amputees in the area, as well as for the victims of trauma and for the needs of crippled children. Without your help we could not fill these needs. Never consider you contributions too small. Many small contributions add up, and it means that so many of you are sharing in this great work. Please give freely when you can.
I encourage you also to enroll in Amazon Smile where we get .5% of all purchases you make. Visit https://smile.amazon.com/ to enroll and contact me if you encounter any problems.
I hope you all had a great celebration for the Independence Day of our great country.
All the best,
Wend Schaefer, M. D.
President, Kagondo St. Joseph Hospital Foundation