KSJHF News, September 2019

Repairing our equipment
At St. Joseph Hospital we have saws, drills and other medical equipment that sometimes is in need of repair. If we have volunteers at the hospital, the volunteers will bring the instruments back in their luggage and send them to me. I take them to Puget Sound Surgical in Tacoma, WA (where I occasionally work) for repairs at reasonable rates.
We ship the repaired instruments back to St. Joseph by DHL, which is expensive. Since these instruments are the property of the hospital there should not be any tariffs, but that is not usually the case. Josue Joseph, Special Projects Manager at the hospital, had to travel to Mwanza and pay $59 charge for our last returned shipment to the hospital. Josue had to enlist his member of parliament to get this low rate.

There were also five batteries in the shipment which were repaired by Bramstedt Industries in WA without charge. A big thank you to Jerry Bramstedt for this donation.

Many of our power instruments were purchased by our board member Tom Marsh, RN.

Early this year we purchased a year’s supply of implants (plates, screws and pins) from a company in Kampala, Uganda. They are made in India and we are able to have them shipped duty free.

Our financial limits
St. Joseph Hospital is nearly 100 years old. Recently we were asked to purchase new laundry equipment, but we were unable to fulfill the request. We continue to pay for orthopedic and trauma-related surgeries, and for prosthetics for amputees. We do not have the resources to maintain the hospital equipment, but we occasionally make exceptions.

This year we bought an infusion machine so that the hospital could manufacture intravenous fluids and sell them to other hospitals. We learned that the old machine had been purchased in 1942 and had finally broken down in 2014. We formed a partnership with the diocese and the hospital sisters to purchase this machine which is now providing income for the hospital. Some of that revenue has been used to purchase new laundry equipment.

More needy patients
A new Tanzanian-based charity has sprung up in Bukoba. Many years ago, I had a conversation with Mubaarak Abdulla, a young friend who sought to work with a charitable organization to help improve the health of the people in the Kagera area. Since there was no such organization in the area, I suggested that Mubaarak form his own.

Last month Mubaarak’s new charitable organization became active when his health team traveled 200 km to Karagwe to hold a clinic. Mubaarak shared with me 50 photos of Tanzanians who need surgery. Some of the patients are amputees and we can offer them immediate fabrication of artificial limbs. Some the patients are children who will need soft tissue releases and skin grafts for their burned hands. Our board member, cosmetic surgeon John Felder, may need to address the burned hands when he makes his next trip.

This new charitable organization fits in with our long-term goals of having Tanzanians solving their own problems. With most of the orthopaedic surgery now being done at St. Joseph Hospital by Tanzanian citizens, we have made big steps in that direction.

How you can help
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

If you use Amazon, be sure to find the Amazon Smile website and sign into KSJHF as your selected charity. The donations from Amazon will continue to increase because of your participation.

Your support is greatly appreciated.

Wend Schaefer, M.D.

President, Kagondo St. Joseph Hospital Foundation