Newsletter March 2019

Newsletter 8

Oosterbeek, March 2019


Operation program

In our last newsletter I wrote that 6 patients for heart surgery were referred to the Salamcentre in Khartoum (Sudan). Because applying for a passport and visa took a lot of time and there were also parents who did not cooperate, 3 of these were operated on, of which 1 boy with a high risk. Fortunately, all operations were successful and the children recovered well.
Simon, a young man with a serious heart defect who had been on the waiting list for some time, also appeared to have a severe kidney abnormality, so that the operation risk turned out to be too high.
For him was chosen for treatment with medicines because he would almost certainly end up on the kidney dialysis, which is not feasible in his living environment.
The boy of 4 years, which I talked about last time, has also been operated on, but in another hospital because of the slowness in the Kenyatta Hospital.
Sometimes I find these developments frustrating because you look at them with your western glasses.
I have chosen to focus on the four children who have been helped and have a new future ahead of them.
Our experience with the Salamcentre in Khartoum is very good.
The quality of care is excellent. It takes a long time before all administrative matters are settled, but that is Africa.
If it is politically responsible, as a charity foundation we want to refer a group of children again this year to the “Salamcentre” for heart surgery.

Cardiac follow up

From March 15 to 29 I will stay in Kenya again for control of surgery and examining new patients.

Last year, thanks to the good work of Paolo, our Italian volunteer, we have put all heart patients known to date into the computer. These have been called up for monitoring in Nairobi and Ndugu Zangu. Fortunately, Paolo is here again this year, so we, with Abdi, have the same team as last year.

We hope that more patients will come to check.


The echocardiography training, which Abdi followed with good results, is paying off. He now makes independent echocardiograms of which the images can be digitally transmitted. We can exchange ideas via the app.
I can advise the right treatment and follow the further course from a distance. What a big difference compared to 6 years ago when I started here.

In addition to Abdi, we also have regular contact with Nicolas, a Kenyan doctor, who comes from the Ndugu Zangu area and who worked a lot in the hospital last year as a volunteer. He completes his training as a medical doctor in May 2019 and wants to work in the hospital of Ndugu Zangu for the time being.
For us this is a big improvement because he can also take over a piece of cardiological medical care.
During his training he has had extra training in echocardiography and ECG, which makes him much better employable.
I will meet him during my visit in March in Nairobi to make plans for the future.

Through these training initiatives, we as a board gradually want to transfer part of the cardiological care to Kenyans.
I look forward to continuing these plans in a few weeks’ time.

With warm regards on behalf of the board,

Pieter Stolwijk