Dear Friends of St. Joseph Hospital,
For the current year our goals will be to continue financial support for hospitalization and surgery for victims of trauma and those with orthopedic conditions. We expect to improve the physical condition of the hospital compound as well.
In addition, we will begin the process of establishing an advanced orthopedic school for non-physicians in health care.
Tanzanians involved in health care are aware that the orthopedic needs of the country are not being met in many areas in spite of the establishment of new medical schools, more physicians and more well-trained orthopedic surgeons.
The Tanzanian population is growing rapidly, but new physicians and physician specialists tend to establish practices in cities and urban areas, just as they do in developed nations. There are many non-physician health care workers in the remote areas of the country that will better serve the areas where they work, if their knowledge in orthopedics and trauma is enhanced. With care being offered for orthopedic problems and trauma, the patients in need will turn to health care providers rather than “traditional healers” who are not able to offer any appropriate treatment and delay treatment.
The hospital-based committee has been laying the plans to establish a school of orthopedic surgery at St. Joseph Hospital for the last six months. The committee is composed of hospital employees, hospital administrators, diocesan representatives and representatives from the Bugando Medical Centre (BMC) in nearby Mwanza. The plan for this school has originated and been developed entirely by Tanzanians themselves. It is what they want for their country.
No such school exists anywhere in Tanzania. Similar orthopedic schools have been successfully established in other African countries and have substantially improved health care.
Dr. Inyas Lawrence, chairman the of Orthopedic Department at BMC, will be in charge of the development of the curriculum. Dr. Lawrence will also appoint the orthopedic surgeon who will be the director of the school. Dr. Lawrence and other members of the St. Joseph committee will travel to Dar es Salaam to obtain certification of the program by the Ministry of Health. Mr. Josue Joseph will serve as administrator of the school.
Three new buildings will need to be constructed. The first building will be a residence for the orthopedic surgeon who will serve as the director of the school. The second building will provide the classrooms and offices for the director, the administrator and a secretary. The third building will be the residence for the students and will contain cooking facilities. The construction of these three new buildings will be done by a community-based company utilizing local skilled workers. Additional water tanks will be built for collection and storage of more rainwater. The construction of all of these structures will utilize Interlocking Stabilized Soil Block (ISSB) technology which we used a few years ago to construct our existing 13 water tanks.
Through Rotary International we have found a new friend, Dr. Ann Evans RN, FNP, Dr. PH. Dr. Evans is a retired family nurse practitioner with a doctorate in Public Health and a focus on Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiology.
Dr. Evans will obtain funding for the container which we will fill with beds, office supplies and orthopedic implants and surgical instruments for the hospital. Our organization will fund and arrange for the container over land to St. Joseph Hospital after its arrival in port. These furnishing will make us ready to receive the new students when the new buildings are completed.
We are proceeding with this plan today, our most ambitious plan to date. Your financial help is more important than ever before. Please consider donating what you can afford to launch this project.
We will continue to finance orthopedic admissions and surgical procedures for those patients needing care. The current guest house needs some plumbing updates. The driveway entrance to the hospital needs resurfacing and a better drainage system for protection from rainwater runoff.
Please consider making a donation to help us get started with this important project.
Wend Schafer, M. D.
President, Kagondo St. Joseph Hospital Foundation