A team of 40 surgeons came to Turkana in northwest Kenya recently. The team have been been coming to the region for the past 20 years at the invitation of members of the Missionary Community of St Paul the Apostles (MCSPA). Check ups, treatments and surgical procedures take place at Lodwar County Referral Hospital and Kakuma Mission Hospital which is run by the Catholic Diocese of Lodwar.
Last week, the team of 40 surgeons spent the weekend at Nariokotome Mission, the motherhouse of the MCSPA prior to opening their surgical camp.
Scholastica Wamalwa, a member of the MCSPA, welcomed them all and introduced them to the other missionaries living and working in Nariokotome.
Dr Carmen Hernandez warmly thanked everyone for the effort they had put in to ensure that people with medical and surgical cases in Turkana could be attended to. In the past 20 years the team have carried out 9,500 medical consultations and 4,900 surgeries and set up several mobile clinics. The impact on the local community has been tremendous.
The following day, after a colourful Eucharistic celebration, presided by Fr Zacchaeus Okoth, they attended to 53 patients at Nariokotome Dispensary. The patients were from the different villages around the area. The mobilization team did an excellent job in ensuring that many people with different medical issues received information on the surgeons’ visit at the dispensary; the turnout was very good!
Memories of experiences and of a friendship and cooperation that stretched over a long period of time were shared over the weekend.
The MCSPA would very much like to commend the efforts of the ‘Cirugía Turkana’ programme that was initiated by Dr Elena Mendia and others, now lead by Dr Carmen Hernandez Perez, whose husband, Joaquín Vazquez, together with many others have worked very hard to change lives for the better in Turkana.
It is always an honour for the missionaries to host these surgeons!