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1st Mission GUINEA

On Wednesday, 4.12.2019, a six member team of “Heart Doctors” departed from Athens for Conakry, the capital of Guinea, through Istanbul. As a matter of fact, friends of “Heart Doctors” from Israel, of the ABK VENTURES – SARL Group, who run business in Guinea, invited the humanitarian Organization “Heart Doctors” to visit the country and offer free medical services to remote communities. 

After a six hour flight, the team was received at the airport of Conakry by members of the Israeli organizers, who helped with the quick arrangements through customs and police authorities and brought the team of doctors by car to an hotel to spend the night. Next day an interview of the team members was programmed with the local TV, to analyze the purpose of the humanitarian mission and the location where the medical activities were to take place. The authorities of the Ministry of Health had been informed in advance and had requested all appropriate documents of the participating doctors, in order to issue a working permit to perform medical work in Guinea. In addition to that,  the doctors of the team were provided with a special card from the local Medical Council, which allows them to enter the country without visa any time and as frequently as wonted.

The “Heart Doctors” team departed in the early afternoon hours, with destination northwards, to the village KANSAN, at a distance of 600 kilometers from Conakry, escorted by two members of the organizers. This distance was covered in approximately 19 hours, due to the bad road conditions, to the necessary stops for resting and spending the night, for taking  some food and to the crossing of a river by an improvised primitive vessel (a kind of raft), moving manually by long pieces of wood. The team reached the village KANSAN (where the medical activities were going to take place) in the night hours. Accommodation had been programmed in newly constructed buildings in the suburbs οf the village, without running water, common toilets (at a distance of 50 meters from the residence building), and a primitive construction for shower in the open air. The necessary items for the accommodation were provided by the local people from what was available.

Next day, 7.12.2019, following the necessary welcome addresses by the local authorities, the medical camp started working in a building close to the accommodation place; the first sick people gathered from a large area around the village were attended. During the entire time of “Heart Doctors” presence, the daily time schedule was 8.00 am - 2.00pm with an intermission and continued from 4.00pm – 6.30pm. The organizers of the mission provided daily bottled water, bread and other food items; they were available during the entire duration of the mission.

Most frequent health problems were malaria (not effectively treated due to absence of appropriate drugs and medical personnel), intestinal parasites, severe anaemia due to iron deficiency, gastritis, low back pain and joint pains, infections of the respiratory tract, hypertension, severe chronic traumas and skin infections, eye problems, osteomyelitis, leprosy and malnutrition of children.

In the evening hours, children were gathered near the team’s residence building and were chanting apparently religious prayers learned at school, and continued with dancing and singing close to an open fire, the African way. Women also participated in the dancing.

On 12.12.2019, the team returned to Conakry following the same  route and was informed that the local TV news had covered the humanitarian medical activities - the government expressed its gratitude for the medical services offered to the people in that remote area in the north of the country.

Heart Doctors wish to express sincere thanks and gratefulness to the organizers of the mission ABK VENTURES – SARL Group, for the perfect organization and coordination, and for supporting all the relevant activities,  as well as for the hospitality offered to the team members; without their support, this mission would not be possible.

Return to Athens: on 14.12.2019.

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