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Report of the 19th Mission to Burundi (Medical Services, inauguration, donation of cows)

On Sunday, the 25th of October 2009, two members of “Heart Doctors” left Athens and travelled by air to Bujumbura, via Cairo and Nairobi.

The purpose of the mission was to offer medical services to sick people, to inaugurate officially the hospital complex at Gisuru and the water supply project at Buramata, to offer cows to very poor and needy families at Gisuru and foodstuffs to a group of orphans living together near Bujumbura. On Tuesday, 27.10.2009, 4 more members of the Organization arrived in Burundi.

The hospital complex at Gisuru was inaugurated by the Vice President of the Democracy of Burundi on the 29th of October. Present were the Minister of Health, the Governor of the Province of Ruyigi, the Provincial Medical Officer of Ruyigi and the local authorities. Crowds of people gathered for the ceremony and all were very happy to see a big hospital and the school “Heart Doctors” had just completed at the community of Gisuru. The Vice President of Burundi spoke to the gathering and thanked Greece and “Heart Doctors” for their essential assistance to the people of Burundi. Mrs. Helen Sotiriou addressed the large audience and assured the officials and the people that Heart Doctors and Greece will keep offering relief to the needy population of Burundi. Mrs. Kalpaktsoglou, a member of “Heart Doctors”, spoke also for the event. Traditional songs and dances followed.

All the units of the hospital were inspected by the officials present:

              General Medicine Clinic
              Surgery clinic and Operational Theater
              Pediatric Clinic
              Maternity Clinic
              Microbiological Laboratory
              Doctors Residence Unit
              Administration block

Electricity and water supply have been secured for the hospital. The necessary equipment and instruments have been supplied to the operating theatre. Most of the furniture and bedding required has already been provided.

After the inauguration ceremony “Heart Doctors” distributed 50 cows to 50 very poor and needy families. The purpose of this donation is to give the families the opportunity of having some milk to feed their little children and thus save them from starvation.  The cows together with 3 bulls were purchased by “Heart Doctors” from various parts of Burundi – the local community will look after the bulls.

The team offered medical services at the hospital of Gisuru to the crowds of sick people who had gathered at Gisuru from all over the area around.
On the 30th of October the team moved to Karuzi, the capital of Karuzi Province (Εastern Burundi). This province is very poor indeed ( 88% of the inhabitants live below the poverty line ). “Heart Doctors” found an old and practically empty government dispensary at Karuzi and decided to repair and expand it into a provincial hospital. At this dispensary the team examined a large number of sick inhabitants and gave them the necessary medication.

On 31.10.2009 the team worked at Bugenyuzi, a village of Karuzi province. The sick people gathered at the play ground of the village.

On 2.11.2009 “Heart Doctors” left Karuzi and moved to Buramata to inaugurate the water supply installation of the community. The water is pumped out at a place located 2 kilometers from Buramata and is channelled through water pipes to big tanks at the settlement.

The team worked at the school building “Heart Doctors” have built at Buramata and examined there crowds of local sick people. Serious difficulties were met with the impatient crowds ( they could not stay in queues and finally rushed into the school building squeezing even babies and old age people ). 

Writing books and pencils were distributed to school children at Gisuru and Buramata. Foodstuffs were provided to  the refugee camp at Bubanza Ryange near Buzumbura ( rice and beans were offered ).

Diseases more frequently observed were malaria, infections of the respiratory system, gastroenteritis, elminthiases lower back pains, hypertension, epilepsy, skin diseases, diseases of the eye, chronic wounds.


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