The reestablishment of the volunteer organization Orthopaedics Overseas (OO) at the Bugando Medical Centre (BMC) in nearby Mwanza is good news. With great support from the orthopedic staff and director at BMC, the program was reestablished a few months ago following a visit and evaluation of the site by a OO representative. The first volunteer will visit BMC in January 2020 and deliver our SIGN intramedullary rod system used for fixation of long bone fractures. The volunteer also is planning to spend some time at St. Joseph Hospital where so much orthopedic care is now being delivered.
Dr. Schaefer was program director at BMC for OO from 1993 to 2005 when it was discontinued. During that period there were no orthopaedic surgeons at BMC. Teaching was directed to medical students, interns, physician assistants and general surgeons. With this new program the teaching will primarily be directed to the orthopaedic residents and staff. OO volunteers will also bring needed instruments and other implants to the BMC as well as educational materials such as orthopedic textbooks.
Tanzanians helping each other
A previous newsletter reported that most of the orthopaedic care and surgeries at St. Joseph Hospital are now being delivered by native Tanzanian orthopedic surgeons. There are also two Tanzanian charities that are supporting treatment at St. Joseph Hospital. The first of these is “Saving the Children, One At a time” an organization started a few years ago by Dr. Inyas Lawrence, our pediatric orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Lawrence visits St. Joseph Hospital for a week each month to hole clinics and perform surgery on the children that he attends. Our organization pays the hospitalization costs including surgical procedures as most of the children are from indigent families.
Within the last six months a second charity has been founded, The Awaited One Hand Organization ( This charity was started by Mubaarak Abdulla, a long-time friend of St joseph Hospital. The new charity contributes transportation and lodging for amputees while Kagando St. Joseph Hospital Foundation (KSJHF) pays for the artificial limbs. Glorious, pictured in the organization’s newsletter, is the first amputee fitted from this new charity.
Jaipur Prosthetic Center
After a slow down a few years ago when we lost local funding, the Jaipur Center is again finding the means to reach out to the amputees in our area. In the first half of this year we fitted as many amputees with a prosthetic as we did the previous year of 2018.
Mathew McIlvenna is a British citizen who has worked in Africa for several decades. He obtained a UNICEF grant for the Jaipur Center to supply prosthetics to children when we first opened. Mathew is now in the process of obtaining a second grant of $3,000 for the Jaipur Center from his sponsoring organization. The grant will be deposited to our bank account for us to distribute.
We sent our leading prosthetist, Sengi Magogwa, to Mwanza to attend an educational seminar in prosthetics sponsored by Swiss Limbs. He studied the Swiss version of the myoelectric above elbow prosthetic device. Sengi also brought us a proposal from Swiss Limbs for the building of 80 prosthetic limbs for our amputees. This proposal will use the soft ankle cushion heel (SACH) for the foot and ankle part of the prosthesis. The SACH will be a big improvement over what we have supplied our amputees. The proposal is for $21,363, $12,818 for which we will pursue funding.
The Jaipur Center is also planning on improvements in 2020 by adding a latrine, expanding the building and installing new equipment. The project will primarily be funded by St. Joseph Hospital and the diocese. We also are asking English Rotarian Don Short to assist us in funding this project. Don selected St. Joseph Hospital as prosthetic center several years ago. Our charity organization is not planning any major funds to support this project.
Many of our dedicated hospital staff have little formal education and have been primarily trained “on the job.” A year ago our board members Ellen Murphy and Jim O’Brien funded one of our staff to go to school to become a pharmacy tech. This student did well in his first year of study, and funding will be continued. A second person has gone back to school and just finished taking her final exams in Form Four, which is equivalent to our high school graduation. If she passes, she wants to go to school to become an RN. We will consider funding her if she passes, as she is a valuable surgical technician in our theatre.
The risk is that once these people graduate that they will forget their promise to work at St. Joseph Hospital for a specified number of years. Once certified, the graduate may find a higher paying job and not return to us. The Africans that we have seen sent to the USA never return to their native countries. Each of these requests is very carefully evaluated before they are funded. This advanced education program expands our mission, so we will be seeking some funding from educational charities.
Ellen Murphy, R.N.
Ellen Murphy is proud to finish her career by serving as a member of our Board of Directors. Ellen possesses BS and MS degrees in nursing and a JD in law. Immediately after her BS she served as a lieutenant in the US Army Nurse Corps where she learned and specialized as an OR (Perioperative) nurse.
After her military service, she served in progressive positions from staff nurse to director of surgical services at University hospitals in Colorado and Wisconsin. Most of her career was spent teaching nursing and health law and health policy in the UW-Milwaukee College of Nursing and School of Business. While there, she authored and co-authored more than 100 books and publications on these same topics. She has taught American and East African students in Kenya and Tanzania for more than 30 years. She has also delivered invited papers and individual classes worldwide.
We hope Ellen will continue to serve on our board for many years to come.
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. We receive many donations throughout the year, indicating widespread support for our mission. 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, please designate KSJHF as your favorite charity through Amazon Smile. 0.5% of your purchases will benefit KSJHF as a result.
Be sure to visit our website at www.ksjhf.org.
Sincerely, Wend Schaefer, M.D.
Wend Schaefer, M.D.
President, Kagondo St. Joseph Hospital Foundation