Projects

Kenya, March 2004

The Nazareth Hospital of Kiambu

The Nazareth Hospital of Kiambu lies at 25 km. from Nairobi, offering help to the local poor population working at the tea and coffee plantations. It has a capacity of 220 beds, most of which are occupied by HIV patients. Lately, AIDS has made many victims in this country as well.

The sisters belong to the Franciscan order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They are doing their utmost to keep the hospital running without financial support. Each year, they look forward to the arrival of the ECLPF team. It is enormously gratifying to be able to provide help, with the aid of our sponsors, to the little children.

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In Nairobi the team is picked up by the Nazareth Hospital staff; too much luggage as usual…

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The Nazareth hospital.

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From destinations far and wide, dozens of mothers arrive with the little cleft lip patients for consultation; only a few days later they will be operated.

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Anaesthesia assistants in the OR

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Doctors Defrancq and van de Ven at work in the OR

The Consolata Hospital Mathari of Nyeri

Hidden away in a valley some 90 miles north of Nyeri lies the Consolata Hospital Mathari. The region has a lot of tea and coffee plantations; the local population is very poor with high unemployment rates and HIV incidence.

This hospital also has problems with its funding. Recently, a campaign was started to raise the local population’s awareness of the risks of AIDS. The Italian sister orders support the Mathari Hospital as much as they can.

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This modest fence is the entrance to the Consolata Hospital of Mathari.

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The mission sisters have their own church and monastery.

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As always the sisters catered to our needs. During work and at the meals, Sister Lucy shared her wit with us as well…

Yousouf: An 800-mile journey to get an operation

In the reception area of the Consolata Hospital Mathari at Nyeri, where we stayed for a week to perform schisis operations on children, to our surprise we saw a boy sitting among the crowd of mothers with babies. At the intake of the operation, the boy was shown in by one of the mission sisters. She told the story of Yousouf, who was told by a mission sister in a refugee camp in the south of Sudan that our team would be visiting the Consolata Hospital. Due to his different language and speech defect Yousouf was hard to communicate with, but slowly his story came out. He had been operated for his cleft lip some ten years ago by an American team in the Sudan. It had not been possible to close the cleft palate as well, so he had been going around with an open palate all this time. Two days later, a person speaking his language was found. It turned out his parents as well as his brothers and sisters had been murdered, other relatives were gone too. For years, Yousouf had been on the run with a large group of refugees. He ended up in the camp in the south of Sudan with 175.000 others, where every day 50-100 people died of starvation or were murdered. Since he had nothing to lose, he decided to flee from the camp at night. Hitchhiking on carts and bikes and in trucks, he had finally arrived exhausted at the Consolata Hospital.

After a consultation we decided it was possible to admit Yousouf and operate his cleft palate. The problem of lacking someone to take the responsibility for him was resolved after much debate by one of the local anaesthesia assistants.

After a successful operation Yousouf was kept in hospital for a few more days to recover properly. This extraordinary boy was then released with mixed sad and happy feelings. If there ever was anyone who deserved his operation it had been Yousouf.

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Yousouf pre-op, his cleft lip treated 10 years before by an American team

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Twelve-year old Yousouf, two days post-op with dr. Joel Defrancq.

Pictures from before and after the operation

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Nepal, June 2004

Dr Bart van de Ven (left) and dr Joel Defrancq (right) and the Nepalese organisators.

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Before and after pictures Nepal

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Vietnam, October 2004

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Dr Joel Defrancq operating in the Cuba hospital.

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Outside of the Cuba hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam, 2004.

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Patients room in the Cuba hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam, 2004.

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Dr Joel Defrancq en Eddy van de Velde with some of the parents and their operated children, Hanoi, Vietnam, 2004.

Kenia, June 2005

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Vietnam, November 2005

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Vietnam, September 2007

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From left to right: Eddy van de Velde, Dr. Joel Defrancq and Dr. Bart van de Ven.

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First day: meeting with the parents and the children for a medical check-up.

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New, very modern operating room in the Hanoi Pediatric Hospital.

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Dr Defrancq in the theatre.

Dorte Werner (middle), the organisational and emotional hart of our Vietnam projects, giving presents to the children.

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Patients room.

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Dr Joel Defrancq giving a presentation.

Some before and after pictures Vietnam 2007

Click to enlarge the pictures.

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Vietnam, November 2008

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