We had a busy summer (African rainy season) enjoying family times, especially enjoying our 12 grandchildren, but flew out to The Gambia with our friends Bjorn & Anne-Marie Pettersen on 29th September for just over a week. There had been a change of President and a certain amount of unrest this last year or so, preventing our return since April 2016, but all now appears to have settled. We reconnected with the local Hospital Team at EFSTH, the Government Hospital in Banjul, and arranged to bring a larger team to treat primarily cleft palate patients just after Easter next year.
Due to a shortage of Anaesthetists, we managed only one day of cleft lip surgery and also operated on a 10 day old baby on the ward. This little one had been born with a sizeable dangly tumour on the gum which was causing significant feeding problems. The lump was removed and all was well!
Below are before and after pictures of one of the cleft lip babies we were able to treat:
We head off on Friday to Dreamland Mission Hospital www.icfem-mission.org/dmh in Kenya for three weeks. There was a contentious Presidential election re-run last week in which the main opposition leader withdrew, saying that the previous election irregularities had not been sorted. There have since been some demonstrations and ad-hoc road blocks reported, but Dreamland Hospital are keeping us well-informed and would organise alternative travel arrangements if necessary. We are told that 36 new cleft patients will await us at the Hospital.
While in Kimilili last November we were each given the Prime Minister’s Points of Light Awards for our volunteering over the years with Mercy Ships.
Thanks for your continued interest in what we do! With love, Ann & Tony