Team: Dr Jean Ndundu, Dr Paul Ntweba (anaesthesia), Prof Dr Gunter Dewin (Urology UZA) and Dr Jan Ardui ( gyneacology).
Nursing : Gonda Martens, Piet Eelen and Jeanne Leën.
Goals of the mission :
- meeting with all local partners: doctors, nurses, all care providers inside and outside the hospital, meeting with hospital administration and management
- development of an action plan for the prevention and treatment of vesico-vaginal fistula
- exchange of (para)medical experiences and provision of support where necessary
- to provide the hospital with all the necessary equipment for consultations, surgery and post-operative care
- share this information with all local employees
- Due to the lack of internet and telephone communication, patients could only be invited for consultation by word of mouth.
- Our nurses taught courses on vesico-vaginal fistula and postoperative care to doctors and nurses in maternity wards and operating rooms.
- Dr. Ntweba (Kisantu), anaesthetist, ran information sessions on "Rachi" anaesthesia. Dr. Ndundu and Dr. Jan Ardui concerted with local health providers about the different channels for reaching fistula patients, and how patients can be selected and followed up. They also visited two health centers further inland to check out the healthcare provisions on site.
A total of 11 women suffering from incontinence were seen for consultation, in the presence of the managing physician, Dr. Serge Ndamamba, and the 4 doctors on our team. Some of them underwent reparative surgery, others were put on the waiting list for a future mission. One of the patients who had been living in isolation for 20 years because of her fistula condition, walked happily through the village after the operation; this was very 'uplifting' for us to see. Arrangements were made for the next mission, with the ZH medical director, the zone chief doctor, the director of care and the nurses in charge of the maternity ward and operating theatre.
Overall, we can conclude that this mission was very successful. The cooperation with the local partners was effective and our mission was well received, so we are all looking forward to the next mission during which we plan to treat our patients put on the waiting list and hopefully many more. The hospital (operating room and patient ward) is certainly adequately equipped to perform the necessary surgical procedures in a safe manner.