Refugee Relief International After Action Reports

After-Action Report: Tanzania 2015

In mid-August, 2015, A Refugee Relief International, Inc. (RRII) team returned to the Lake Tanganyika islands of western Tanzania to offer medical and surgical assistance to the refugee communities and medically underserved of that area. Supported by a generous donation from the Draper Foundation, the team included surgeon David Mohler, MD, Physician Assistants (PAs) Vicki Chan-Padgett and John Padgett, student doctors Lauren and Florian Schmitzberger, PA Students Megan Sadakane, Anthony Ambrosino, Kepeng Lu, and Dode Cairncross, and volunteers Alex Possl from Austria, ad Jorja Kahn from the US.

The RRII team visited the islands of Uwili and M'vuna, both isolated islands in Lake Tanganyika, where there is no access to medical care, and where transportation across the lake and inland to the nearest medical facility is prohibitively expensive.

On the islands and during a brief stay at the hospital in the mainland village of Kirondo, the team conducted medical civic action, to include treating patients with tropical disease, parasites, GYN infections, respiratory disease, abdominal complaints, musculoskeletal problems, etc. Minor surgical procedures were accomplished, and patient education conducted.

While benefiting the patients, the student doctors and student PAs received exposure to and training on conditions that they would not have been able to experience in their schools in Europe and the US. They came away with experience in treating the underserved, and new attitudes as to what that means as clinicians and human beings.

RRII will continue to offer medical and surgical treatment to the victims of armed conflict and the underserved, and training those that care for them. As ever, your support is greatly appreciated by us and those we serve.



In Karenge, scores of patients wait to see the RRII clinicians
Dr. Mohler demonstrates a field expedient inhalation chamber, made to allow a pediatric patient to inhale asthma medication.

 

In an open air clinic on Ulwile Island, PA Padgett monitors a PA student examining a patient
PA Padgett and PA student Carincross take a medical history with the aid of translator Chibani.

 

A refugee mother and child wait their turn to see the RRII clinicians at the district health center in Kirondo
An RRII volunteer sets up the outdoor pharmacy while others see patients under the tree in Uwili village.

 

A refugee mother and child wait their turn to see the RRII clinicians at the district health center in Kirondo
PA student Ambrosino examines a child in the open air clinic on Uwili Island.

 

A refugee mother and child wait their turn to see the RRII clinicians at the district health center in Kirondo
Student doctor Lauren Schmitzberger (top) and Volunteer Jorgia establish the RRII pharmacy in a spare room in the Kirondo hospital.

 

A refugee mother and child wait their turn to see the RRII clinicians at the district health center in Kirondo
PA Chan-Padgett (L) delivers health education through a translator to a patient while PA students Carincross and Lu look on.

 

While her child sleeps nearby, a patient receives advice from  PA Chan-Padgett through a translator
RRII's surgeon Dr. Mohler sets up his kit for minor procedures using a charcoal grilling wire for support.