Dear Friends of Kagondo St. Joseph Hospital,
A few staff changes will be occurring this year at Kagondo St. Joseph Hospital (SJH) but will not impact service to the people of the area. Sr. Paulina will be stepping down as the administrator of the hospital and will be replaced by another sister from her order. Much has been accomplished under Sr. Paulina’s leadership, and we thank her for her service.
Dr. Deodatus Katunzi has been appointed chief medical officer at SJH and is showing great leadership ability. Josue Joseph will continue to lead in the development of special projects at SJH.
Our special project this year will be combating thyroid disease in the nearby Muleba District. We have been aware of massive goiters found in the Muleba district for a number of years. A recent government survey also revealed that the children in the area are often hypothyroid which in its most severe form is “cretanism,” a condition manifest by both physical and mental disability.
The cause of the hypothyroid condition is the drinking of water with mild saline content. The salt content of the water blocks the uptake of iodine which in turn causes these thyroid conditions. Prevention is achieved by using iodized salt, but because of the poverty in the district the people are reluctant to spend money for the iodized salt.
The problem here is one of education. Jim, O’Brien, our financial officer, has written and submitted a grant to Rotary International (RI) requesting more than $120,000 for education of the people of Muleba District. If approved, RI will fund 63% of the grant with our Rotary Club and our Rotary District will be responsible for the rest of the funding. If this grant is successful the project will be published in an African medical journal and the project repeated in other iodine-depleted areas of Tanzania.
Goiter surgery will be performed at SJH by an otolaryngologist from nearby Bugando Medical Centre (BMC). Our board member, Ellen Murphy, RN, has already begun the training of our nursing staff in the post-op care of patients who will undergo thyroidectomy for removal of the goiter.
The BMC is the largest hospital in northern Tanzania and is also the location where our orthopedic surgeons who serve at our small hospital are based.
Health Volunteers Overseas/Orthopaedics Overseas
Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) has approved the re-establishment of Orthopaedics Overseas (OO) at BMC and a program director has been named. This program will allow short-term placement of orthopedic surgeons from the developed world to spend weeks or months at BMC and SJH to assist in the training of orthopedic residents.
Dr. Inyas Lawrence, head of the orthopedic department at BMC, is making the final arrangements with HVO. It is also anticipated that the volunteers from OO will be able to provide some of the equipment and supplies needed at both hospitals.
Be sure to visit our website at www.ksjhf.org.
Sincerely, Wend Schaefer, M.D.
President, Kagondo St. Joseph Hospital Foundation
We continue to pay for the admissions of orthopaedic patients and amputees at the hospital. Donations whether large or small are needed and greatly appreciated. Financial contributions should be made out to
Kagondo St. Joseph Hospital Foundation, and mailed to
W W. Schaefer, M. D.
P O Box 6374
Incline Village, NV 89450
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