Cris Zimmermann, Dr. Gottfried Lemperle and Rev Balibanga Katambu (2018)
In the middle of Goma, on the grounds of the Nazarene Church, is the simple outpatient clinic with five treatment rooms without light and with few medicines. It is run by four doctors and seven other helpers. Apart from the prescription of pharmaceuticals in emergencies (painkillers, antibiotics, blood pressure lowerers and diabetes therapies), however, they can do nothing. There is currently neither a laboratory nor an ultrasound or X-ray device. Since 2015, 5 Interplast teams have operated on> 600 patients with the surgeons there. The absolute necessity of building a small hospital for the needy people in the surrounding area was recognized.
THE NEW HOSPITAL
The initiator and coordinator of the project Dr. Gottfried Lemperle and his son Andreas Lemperle (architect) designed a one-story surgical ambulance together with other architects and doctors on site. After completion and commissioning, this can be supplemented by two additional floors if the financing is available.The planned Goma Hospital - Rehema Center Medical (Rehema for Mercy in Swahili) received planning permission from the building authority and the Ministry of Health in July 2020. The hospital will initially have a capacity of 16 beds and have an operating room, sterile room, 24-hour outpatient department with 3-4 doctors and various monitoring rooms.
The foundation stone for the exterior building was financed by donations and laid in early 2021 (Photo: Pastor Balibanga, architect Linda Styve and surgeon Dr. Kimona laying the foundation stone). The first interior fittings and furnishings are also guaranteed by donations. The building should be ready for occupancy in early 2022. For the purchase of the necessary medical equipment and the further training of the local doctors, further financial means have to be collected.
NECESSARY TREATMENTS FOR THE NEEDED
The Goma Hospital aims to reach people in the immediate vicinity who live in the poorest quarters of Goma in the simplest of circumstances. The four volunteer doctors and seven helpers currently treat around 300 to 500 patients per month. Many are given medication or vaccinations, and some with minor wounds are treated. All difficult cases must currently be referred to the five large hospitals - by patient transport by motorcycle.
The aim of the Goma Hospital is to reach the 90% poor residents and their families who cannot afford treatment by a doctor or in one of the five larger hospitals. First of all, basic care is sought, which should also include vaccinations and awareness-raising campaigns for girls and pregnant women.
The diseases that the outpatient clinic treats now and in the future are the infectious diseases malaria, typhus (salmonella), gastritis and urinary tract infections. After the renovation has been completed, surgical cases will also be treated (hernias, peritonitis, prostatic hypertrophy, goiter, hyperthyroidism and plastic surgery, as well as gynecological diseases and obstetric interventions). Here, too, the need is enormous. About 1% of the Congolese with tumors and the consequences of burns require plastic-reconstructive treatment - the North and South Kivu catchment area comprises a total of 12 million inhabitants. The west of Rwanda and all of Burundi can also benefit from the planned special hospital.
After 24 years of experience with the Nepal Hospital (www.nepalhospital.de) founded by Interplast Germany, the most important prerequisite is the reliability and commitment of the doctors there in the country with 100 million inhabitants, which is characterized by difficult circumstances and forgotten by the West.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH LOCAL TRAINING
AND INTERNATIONAL APPLICATIONS
In the Goma Hospital, permanent further training is to be set up by Interplast teams and other specialist doctors from Germany. At the same time, the first doctors are to be sent to Rwanda and Uganda for further training in their hoped-for specialist areas. There Prof. Lemperle personally convinced himself of the great difference in medical training in contrast to the medical emergency in Goma and in the whole of the Congo. In numerous conversations with the pastor of the Church of the Nazarene and the medical director Dr. Zibona and the Frankfurt “Church in Action”, which has been active in Goma since 1992, began a cooperation over the past five years. The aim of the cooperation is to improve surgical care for the people in Goma. So far, the training of three doctors to become surgeons in Benin, Kinshasa and Bukavu has been financed by the B. Braun Foundation, as well as the medical studies of eight students via Interplast.
However, the prerequisite for the further training of local doctors to become specialists and the simultaneous further training of local doctors, midwives, nurses and mobile nurses is a functioning hospital, which can perform its outpatient and inpatient tasks after completion of the construction work from autumn 2021.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” (LaoTse)
This philosophy of sustainability also applies to the foundation of the hospital, for whose lasting benefit and effectiveness we provide.
DR. CHRISTOPHE KIMONA
DR. EPHRAIM ZIBONA
Director & Laboratory
DR.VOTE LWANGO KIBISHWA
PETER BULAMBO BALIBANGA
VALERIE NAMBULA WASSO
PASCAL MBALE BALIBANGA
DR. GOTTFRIED LEMPERLEPlastic surgeon
Plastic surgeon and founder of Interplast-Germany eV, initiator of the Goma Hospital since 2015
REVEREND BALIBANGA KATAMBU JACQUESInitiator
Initiator of the Rehema Center Medical and the Work by Church-in-Action and Interplast teams in Goma
REVEREND BUGESHI IGILIMA DESIRESuperintendent
Superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene North Kivu District and organizer of the building land for the Rehema Center Medical
Founder and Pastor of Church-in-action in Frankfurt am Main
DR. ANDRÉ BORSCHEPlastic surgeon
Plastic surgeon and Chairman of Interplast-Germany eV
Head of the Interplast Nepal Hospital since 2000, Project support and funding
DR. MARTIN LEMPERLEMain sponsor
Founder and CEO of FormMed AG
ANDRÉ GRAJEWSKIProject support
Member of the Church in Action
PARTNERS & SPONSORS OF THE PROJECT
"INTERPLAST Germany - a non-profit association for plastic surgery in developing countries eV" was founded in 1980 by Prof. Lemperle. The association takes care of needy patients worldwide with plastic-surgical problems such as burns, malformations and tumors and brings patients with difficult disfigurements to Germany. Under the current chairman, Dr. André Borsche, Head of Plastic Surgery in Bad Kreuznach, Interplast-Germany has grown into an organization that sends out around 70 teams every year to operate around 4,000 patients with plastic surgery problems in developing countries.
“Church in Action” in Frankfurt also sends work teams to schools, refugee camps, homeless people etc. all over the world and supports the Goma Hospital, among other things, by sending volunteer specialists. The founder and pastor is Cris Zimmermann. His grandfather Dr. Richard Zanner founded the Zanner Institute in 1992 under the care of the "Church of the Nazarene", the first private Christian high school in Goma.
The organization “People-in-Action International” (PAI) was founded in 2001 as an independent non-profit association and has been registered as an NGO with its headquarters in Goma (North Kivu Province) since 2018. PAI pays special attention to people in Goma and the surrounding area who need plastic-reconstructive care. PAI is also committed to women and girls who have been victims of violence and provides psychosocial and economic support.
MSP Concept GmbH & Co. KG, based in Berlin, Germany, is an ISO 13485 certified manufacturer of urological medical products of the PeniMaster brand. The devices are used for plastic-cosmetic purposes and for the treatment of Peyronie's disease.
Some interesting reports about the project