As the team try to settle back into normal life - I would like to share the results from the mission.
In total they saw 78 patients during this mission. Of these 17 were brought in from the Geita region where AngloGold Ashanti operate a gold mine - this is part of their support for the local community, they also provide transport and food for the patients and provide the team with transport during the mission as part of their support of Rafiki.
The other 61 patients come from the community around Mwanza, either from word of mouth or referral from the Secoue Toure hospital where they may be in patients - as was the case with two of the most horrific cases I saw; Joseph's burned hands and Aqualina with the infected breasts.
54 operations were carried out from the 78 people screened by the team; many of those that did not have an operation had keliod scars which would grow back without ongoing treatment so were not worthwhile. A few babies with cleft lips were also denied operations as they were too small. Two of them were put on the list initially in the hope that they would put weight on during the first week; unfortunately they did not and their mothers were devastated and crying when they were sent home; which was pretty tough for Shannon who had to deal with. However, the Rafiki team do a great job at ensuring that they will be contacted and come back in the next mission - only 6 months to wait. There were a few cases that were too "big" for the team; in that intensive care, blood transfusions, ongoing care, etc maybe required; the one of these that constantly haunts me is Rashid - the cutest little boy with that terrible tumour we are hoping we maybe able to arrange something special for him and a few others.
The operations carried out were:
- 16 burns
- 20 cleft lips/palates
- 18 others I would like to pass on thanks for support to the following organisations who support with medical items, in addition to the many donors to Rafiki:
-St John of God Subiaco Social Outreach - they donated all the consumables and pharmaceuticals
- d.s. Medicals - they repair the suction machines and dermatome free of charge every time the team go to Tanzania. They also sharpen all the surgical scissors free of charge every time.
-St John of God Murdoch CSSD department - they sterilised all the drape bundles / packs
Taka, the mission co-ordinator advised me that the team would struggle greatly without this assistance.
Finally, after the mission I joined my family for the most amazing safari which was part of our "prize" and was only possible due to very generous donations by Serena Hotels, &Beyond, TTT Worldwide travel agents, the Seacliff Hotel in Dar Es Salaam, Qatar Airways and of course Lily & Didier. The trip was outrageously luxurious and the animals we saw were incredible. I will leave you with some images - Tanzania is certainly an amazing country to visit, the people are very warm, proud and keen to progress. If anyone wants to learn more about my trip or Rafiki feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|View from our tent at Kirawira Luxury Camp|
|Can I help you?|
|Just waiting for the wildebeest to walk underneath|
|Me with Charles, my favourite maitre-d at Kirawira, Serena|
|Elephants visit the pool while we have breakfast at Four Seasons Serengeti|
|The fabulous - Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, &Beyond|
|So many cute cubs at Ngorongoro Crater|
|Only a few months old|
|Final sunset in Zanzibar|