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Report of the 2nd mission in Angola

On the 4th of July 2009, a five member team of the Organization moved through Brussels to the capital of Angola Luanda. The purpose of the mission was the offering of medical services to the inhabitants of the north-east site of the country.

There have been long-standing negotiations between Heart Doctors and the Angolan Health authorities through the embassy of Angola in Athens, before this mission could be approved. It was the first official contact of our Organization with the Angolan government, which welcomed this offering with some skepticism, probably because of previous experiences with other NGOs. The curricula vitae of the doctors have been requested together with a brief report of the activities of Heart Doctors, indicating the careful selection of the Organizations, which are willing to offer medical services to the people of Angola.

The members of the mission were received at the airport by a representative of the ministry of Health, and were transported to a hotel to spend the night. A convenient mini bus had been rented for the transportation of the team throughout the entire duration of the mission.

Next day, Heart Doctors were received by the minister of Health, who outlined the health problems of the country, especially in the north, because of a lack of doctors and medicines. The discussion   was very enthusiastic; the minister expressed his gratitude for the offering of Heart Doctors to the pour people of northern Angola and outlined the program of the next days.

From the 7th to the 11th of July, the team visited the following villages/districts of Kwanza Nord of the north-east Angola, where medical services were offered in local health centers.
On the 7/7 in the Heath Center Kibata of the village NDalatando.
On the 8/7 in the Health Center Zavula of the village NDanatolo.
On the 9/7 in the Health Center Kilombo Kia Puto of the village Golungo Alto.
On the 10/7 in the school building  Pampa da Curva of the village Lucala, and
on the 11/7  in the Health Center  of the village Alto Dondo.
The population of the above named districts had been notified previously about the coming of the team and was approaching the health center peacefully, contrary to the experiences in other African countries.

Most frequent health problems were malaria, parasitic diseases, gastroenteritis, infections of the upper respiratory tract, schistosomiasis (with increased frequency in the area NDanatolo), arthralgias, low back pain, gastritis and other. It is worth noting the low frequency of HIV positive cases (mean frequency 2% according to government sources).

At the end of the medical activities, the local health and government authorities expressed their gratitude to the members of the team, impressed by the large number of patients examined and treated each and every day.

In some villages, a number of problems had been noted concerning the condition of the buildings of health centers and schools and the lack of medicines in district hospitals. The medicines which have not been used during the mission were donated to these hospitals.

The members of Heart Doctors proposed to the government Health Officials to address to the Greek Ministry of foreign affairs a formal request for the financial support of the restoration of school buildings and health centers, which Heart Doctors visited and verified the need. The team promised to hand over the request to the appropriate personnel of the Greek ministry.
The team returned to Greece on the 12th of July.



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