By Amin Kef (Ranger)
A team of nine medical specialists, including renowned professionals namely, Dr. Med Lutz Gruhl- Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Bernd Heidemann-Hand/ Trauma Surgeon, Dr. Olaf Weigt-Anesthetist, Dr. Karolina Lischka-Anesthetist, Dr. Franziska von Sievers-Plastic Surgeon, Mr. Nikolaus Brunner- Anesthetic Nurse, Mrs. Andrea Schmidt-Anesthetic Nurse , Mrs. Monika Schäfer- Physiotherapist and Dr. Friedrich Matthaei-Mouth and Facial Surgeon, successfully concluded a mission to provide specialized surgical treatments at Choithram Memorial Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
The initiative, aimed at assisting individuals from humble backgrounds who could not afford such procedures, was highlighted by Harish Agnani, Chief Administrator of Choithram Group, during a Press Conference held on January 22, 2024.
Harish Agnani expressed gratitude to the German Medical Team, highlighting their two-week-long effort to administer high-quality medical treatments on a non-payment basis. He announced that, although the German team is set to return to Germany, two members will remain for an additional week to conduct follow-up work on treated patients. After their departure, Choithram medical personnel will continue to provide ongoing care as needed.
The Chief Administrator credited Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Germany, Dr. Mbaimba L. Baryor, and Interplast Germany for their collaborative efforts in facilitating the German team’s humanitarian mission. He also acknowledged the pivotal role played by Dr. Len Gordon-Harris, Director of the Advisory Board of Choithram Hospital, and Dr. Eric Wongo, the hospital’s Plastic Surgeon.
In addition to delivering medical treatments, the German Team transferred valuable knowledge to local medical professionals. Harish Agnani emphasized that the medical camp received essential support from the Choithram International Foundation, a philanthropic organization funding Choithram Hospital in Freetown.
Dr. Gowrinath M. George, Medical Superintendent of Choithram Hospital, commended the German team for their second consecutive year of providing humanitarian aid. He highlighted the successful completion of 63 surgical operations and praised the collaborative effort of Choithram medical personnel and nursing staff.
Dr. Len Gordon-Harris echoed his appreciation for the German team, particularly praising the high-quality plastic surgery provided to patients, including children. However, he noted challenges related to missing equipment, emphasizing the team’s adaptability.
Dr. Med Lutz Gruhl, the Team Leader, expressed gratitude and considered the local personnel as friends. He commended the organized operating theater and promised ongoing communication with the medical team in Sierra Leone.
Dr. Eric Wongo, the Plastic Surgeon at Choithram Hospital, described the Medical Camp’s organization as challenging but commended Dr. Mbaimba Baryor for facilitating the initiative. Dr. Wongo shared insights into the team’s disciplined schedule and their generous donation of a $15,000 Battery-Powered Dermatome.
The Press Conference concluded with a question and answer session, providing additional insights into the successful mission and the positive impact on the Sierra Leonean healthcare system.