15 September 2021

First outreach to St. Walburg's Hospital in Nyangao since the Corona Pandemic.


At the end of June, a team consisting of 2 doctors (Dr Anna Borys, Benedictus Hospital Tutzing and Dr Silke Rausch, Artemed Clinic Munich South) and 2 engineers (Henrik Rausch and Felix Strey, both Rohde & Schwarz, Munich) set off for Tanzania. It was the first mission since the Corona pandemic and until departure it was always uncertain whether the team would actually be able to travel to St. Walburg's Hospital in southern Tanzania. 48 hours after the start of the journey in Munich, the team arrived in Nyangao and was welcomed with great joy.

On the same day, work began and many tasks awaited the team. To find out the status, what is the status of the respective projects? What is going well - where is support needed? Starting new projects or projects that had been planned for a long time. It quickly became clear that all the support via videoconference, email, telephone, etc. helped the colleagues a lot, but could not replace on-site assignments.

The two doctors Dr Anna Borys and Dr Silke Rausch were on the road throughout the hospital. In the operating theatre, the focus was not only on operations and anaesthesia, but also on the processes involved in sterilising instruments, cleaning and reprocessing materials, testing equipment and assisting with everyday procedures. On the wards, the hygiene project started shortly before the Corona pandemic was continued with two trained staff members Joyce (nursing) and Brigitta (cleaning). Problems were discussed, solved immediately if possible, and a cleaning concept was developed. Additional cleaning material had to be organised, which is only available in the capital. In the warehouse, stored material and instruments were compiled into wound care sets together with the surgical colleagues. Urgently needed monitoring monitors for the anaesthesia and intensive care units were handed over. In the laboratory, the pharmacy, the outpatient department and the paediatric clinic, further tasks were waiting, such as the inspection of equipment, procedures for handling blood products, preparation of disinfectants, etc. In all areas, the topic of hygiene and implementation of the hygiene concept was a major task (including availability of disinfectants, soap dispensers and water).

Difficult tasks awaited the two engineers Henrik Rausch and Felix Strey, combined with great expectations of the staff in Nyangao. In 2019, the hospital management and Artemed Stiftung agreed on a mammoth project, namely the construction of a stable, uninterruptible and sufficient power supply for the entire hospital as well as the installation of an IT network. Last year, the implementation of the plans was halted by the Corona pandemic. It was possible to send a container full of technical material (cables, inverters, batteries, servers etc.) to Nyangao despite many difficulties. The boxes were opened, the material and equipment checked - everything was complete and nothing was damaged.

Together with Mr. Deo (technical director of the hospital) and his technical team, the installation of the power supply was prepared. Cable routes for the power supply and LAN cables were planned, cable runs were drawn, the inverters and distributors were mounted on the wall in the battery room, and the main distributor in the generator house was cleaned and secured. The existing power grid was analysed again and up-to-date measurements were taken. In the end, the technical team was in every room throughout the hospital. In between, they were told about defective equipment, such as a surgical drill which is used for operations on broken bones. This was repaired along the way and the trauma surgeons were happy.

With the technical team of the hospital, all the work for the assembly of the delivered materials was discussed, so that the installation for electricity and network can be started directly at the next assignment of the engineers in September.

Overall, projects that had already been started could be resumed or continued, new projects were started and there was intensive cooperation with colleagues. Problems were identified and, if possible, solved on site or brought back to Germany as a "to-do" on the long list of suggestions, ideas and wishes for further work and planning for future assignments.

"It was an intensive, exhausting mission and at the same time it was very nice to finally be able to work with the colleagues in person on site again. The next missions are already planned, there is a lot of work waiting and we are looking forward to being there again soon, because it was great fun and the first little flames are burning..."

Dr Anna Borys, Dr Silke Rausch, Henrik Rausch and Felix Strey

Share this post


Support Artemed Stiftung in its mission "Helping to heal together" and give people in need the gift of health with your donation!


Other articles that may interest you