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Report of the 31st Mission to Burundi (Medical Services, inauguration of the Paramedical School at Gisuru)

On Friday, 11.2.2011, a six member team of Heart Doctors traveled to Burundi through Cairo and Nairobi.

The main purpose of the mission was to offer free medical services to sick people living in remote villages of Karuzi province and participate in the inauguration of the Paramedical School at Gisuru. The mission and all the relevant activities had been prepared and organized locally by Mr. Bucumi Moise, Mininster of Energy and Mineral Resources.

At first, the team visited Buramata to inspect the medical center, the schools and other infrastructure works Heat Doctors have created in that area. Everything was found to work properly people continue to gather in the area o Buramata because of the educational, medical and other facilities existing there. Then the team moved to an area near the lake Tanganika, 80 kilometers south of Bujumbura, to inspected the construction of the Olympic athletic stadium which is a project financed by Heart Doctors.

The villages visited were Masabo, Mugogo, Nyabikere and Gazera. Thousands of sick people were medically examined and given the required medicines.

More frequent were malaria, gastroenteritis, parasites and skin diseases. Many babies suffered from kahexia because their mothers had no milk to breastfeed them. Heart Doctors gave the mothers milk to feed their babies and thus save them from dying of humger. 

Clothing was distributed to naked children by the Greek Rescue Team (the members of the team had transferred from Athens clothing for this purpose ).

The communes and villages ( hills, collines ) in the province of Karuzi which were visited by the team to treat medically the sick inhabitants were the following:

Monday, 13.2.2011: Mutumba Commune, Kibuye village ( colline )
Tuesday, 14.2.2011: Nyabikere Commune, Rurwiza village ( colline )
Wednesday, 15.2.2011: Shombo Commune, Rusi village ( colline )

On Thursday the 16th of February, the team moved to Gisuru; it inspected the Paramedical School to prepare the inauguration ceremony. Many patients from the area of Gisuru were examined and treated in the  hospital complex constructed by Heart Doctors.

The official inauguration took place on Saturday the 18th of February. The President of the Democracy of Burundi came to Gisuru for this event. Present were also the Minister of Health and other ministers, Governors of provinces and local government officials, the Christian Orthodox Archbishop of Rwanda and Burundi, the Honorary Consul of Greece in Bujumbura Mr. G. Coucoulis, other officials and local crowds of Burundians. The President of Burundi spoke and thanked Heart Doctors for financing the whole project of the Paramedical School; Mrs Helen Sotiriou the Vice President of Heart Doctors and Mrs. Paraskevi Kalpaktsoglou, member of HeartDoctors, spoke also. Traditional songs and dances followed. The inauguration ribbon was cut by the President of the State. 

Heart Doctors offered foodstuffs to poor families suffering from malnutrition; clothing for children was also distributed to young boys and girls.

More frequent were the following diseases: malaria, infections of the respiratory system, gastroenteritis, skin diseases, diseases of the eye and epilepsy. Many people suffered from malnutrition and many children were cachectic.

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