I woke up early this morning in my favorite room at SMA Regional House in Bwiru district of the city of Mwanza. In a couple of minutes two young Polish surgeons will land in Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and then after a couple of hours they will board the Precision Air flight to Mwanza. They are expected to land here in Mwanza at 9.20 A.M. I will pick them up and we will drive straight to Kiabakari, hopefully, God willing, reaching their final destination around lunch time. Then after a short rest and settling down in their rooms, we will have a first meeting with the staff of our health center, to get to know each other, prepare the theater, newly purchased autoclave machine (I brought it from Dar es Salaam especially for this project; it is brand new and never used so far), other operating tools (brought by the surgeons themselves) and select employees who will work directly with the surgeons. We will set up procedures for the upcoming hernia surgeries and will hope that people affected by this ailment will shop up starting tomorrow, Monday, September 2.
The government of Tanzania via District Medical Officer of Butiama District will finance the procurement of all needed medicine and dressings. We, as the health center and Foundation Kiabakari, will sponsor internal health center costs, so instead of paying a lot, the patients will contribute as little as 15 Euros (of course the will pay in Tanzanian shillings) for the surgery.
Sławek and Przemek will have only two weeks to perform as many surgeries as possible. On my part I did everything that was possible under circumstances and with the financial resources I had in my disposal, posting announcements everywhere in the Region, spreading word through friends channels, via Radio Victoria and government and church healthcare institutions. We will see if this effort brings some effect.
As always, I count very much on your kind prayers and well wishes for the success of the project. And it is my hope that this Inguinal Hernia Project in Kiabakari will be the beginning of the new chapter of healthcare in Kiabakari - opening the avenue of visiting doctors and specialists of various kinds according to the priorities of health problems of our communities in Kiabakari, Butiama District, Mara Region and beyond. Already people ask for cardiologists, dentists, eye specialists, gynecologists, physiotherapists, diabetic specialists etc to come. The needs are huge. Let's spread the word about this. It is a noble cause!
For Polish readers (but you can also use Google translator) an article on our surgeons adventure in Kiabakari (click here).