KSJHF News, January 2021

Year End Fund Raising

In the fall we raised money via GoFundMe and the campaign was met with limited success, yielding a little over $2,000.

One of the successful fundraising techniques used by many charities is to offer to match any contributions from prospective donors. Such an offer was extended to our potential donors in December and this has become the most successful fund raiser for KSJHF to date. More than $10,000 was raised and matched by our board members.

Annex to Prosthetic Center

Early in 2020 we received a discount offer from Swiss Limbs to purchase 80 mechanical portions of lower extremity prostheses. The offer was brought to us by Sengi Magogwa, our leading prosthetist after he attended a Swiss Limb seminar in nearby Mwanza. Mechanical parts included the artificial knee joint and the foot ankle cushion heel (SACH). This compresses the heel portion with heel-strike to simulate more normal foot and ankle motion in an artificial limb. The SACH is the standard in the developed nations of the world. The result is more normal and efficient gait for the amputee and a more durable artificial limb.

New methods to manufacture artificial limbs created a need for more space in the amputee center. In addition, there were no latrines available to patients and relatives of the patients who presented to the amputee center.

Construction will begin for the prosthetic center annex later this month. The construction will be done using ISSB (Integrated Stabilized Soil Block) technology as was used for construction of our 13 water tanks a few years back. For those of you not familiar with this type of construction we refer you to a past newsletter.

Prosthetics provided in 2020

The number of artificial limbs and braces was much reduced in 2020 compared to 2019. The center was closed down for ten of the twelve months of 2020 due to the COVID19 pandemic. We created six artificial limbs for children; these prosthetics were paid for by FOCA, a British charity. We also funded artificial limbs for twelve adults and 16 arthroses (braces) for adults and children.

Awards ceremony

Later this month Mr. Josue Joseph, head of special projects at St. Joseph Hospital, will hold an awards ceremony to present three employees of the hospital with $500 each for their outstanding service. The awards will go to Angelo Rwziwa, a physical therapist who runs the orthopedic service most of the time, Dianna our head surgical technician and to Josephine who does a variety of tasks in the operating room and on the surgical services. The awards will greatly improve the morale of our entire staff.

The future of St. Joseph Hospital

St. Joseph Hospital needs to find a sustainable income for the future. Fees for services from patients to the hospital will never make much of a dent in the hospital budget deficits. Mr. Joseph, several members of the staff and an orthopedic surgeon from Mwanza are developing plans to establish advanced orthopedic training to registered nurses and to physician assistants. Preliminary plans for the construction of several new buildings, which will include classrooms, a home for a residence for an orthopedic surgeon to head the program and a dormitory to house up to 40 students are already drawn up. The tuition from these students should allow the center to be self-funded in four years.

The population of Tanzania is rising rapidly and even with the establishment of new medical schools, the health profession cannot keep up with the needs of the people. This new training program will help close this gap in health care being provided in many of the areas of the Kagera Region and perhaps throughout the whole country.

Sincerely,

Wend Schafer, M. D.

President, Kagondo St. Joseph Hospital Foundation