Supporting Colorectal Surgery in Tanzania: A Glimpse into Medical Aid in Africa

June Medical have a longstanding track record of charitable donations of the Galaxy Retractor, an instrument allowing better access and improved vision for surgeons in a range large of specialities. In January 2024, June UK had the honour of supporting Mr Mark Chapman, Colorectal surgeon and Joint Lead Cancer Clinician at University Hospital’s Birmingham as he generously shares time and expertise to help patients in Tanzania.

Donated Galaxy Retractors arrive with Mr Mark Chapman to Dr. Ayesiga Herman, a dedicated colorectal surgeon at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in Moshi, Tanzania.

Mr Chapman tells the story of how this work has developed:

“For the past few years, I’ve had the privilege of supporting Dr. Ayesiga Herman, a dedicated colorectal surgeon at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in Moshi, Tanzania. Situated as a tertiary referral University Hospital, KCMC serves as a vital healthcare hub in the region.

Dr. Herman’s journey to becoming a colorectal surgeon is remarkable. Originally from Tanzania he trained in Cape Town and brings a unique skill set to Tanzania. In a country where specialized medical professionals are scarce, Dr. Herman stands out as one of the few colorectal surgeons. While many general surgeons handle colorectal cases, having a specialist like him significantly enhances the quality of care available.

My involvement in Dr. Herman’s work has been both humbling and fulfilling. I’ve made several trips each year to support him, particularly with challenging cases. Through generous donations, I’ve been able to provide essential equipment, including specialized colorectal tools like Galaxy Retractors. These contributions have played a small but significant role in improving surgical outcomes and patient care at KCMC.”

Global Donation Program

Tanzania has prioritized investment in healthcare, maternity, and education, and great progress is seen in areas of surgical care. Mr Mark Chapman regularly visit to perform the more complex surgical cases to continuously transfer much needed knowledge and expertise.

Angela Spang, Inventor of the Galaxy Retractor, and the driver behind June Medicals wide ranging charitable donation program adds: “Tanzania, often described as a gentle country, stands apart from many African nations due to its history of avoiding civil conflict. Despite facing economic challenges, the country has prioritized investment in healthcare, maternity, and education. The influence of female leadership has been evident in these efforts, contributing to a positive trajectory in life expectancy. However, like many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Tanzania grapples with a lack of access to surgical services, resulting in preventable deaths.

While progress is being made, there’s still much work to be done to bridge this gap and ensure that all Tanzanians have access to essential surgical care when needed. The work from Mr Chapman and others like him is an outstanding way of sharing the knowledge and skill we sometimes take for granted in more developed countries.”

Building Sustainable Healthcare Systems and Saving Lives

Mr Chapman continues: “Supporting medical initiatives in countries like Tanzania is not just about providing aid; it’s about empowering local healthcare professionals, building sustainable healthcare systems, and ultimately, saving lives. Dr. Herman’s dedication and the collaborative efforts of healthcare supporters serve as a beacon of hope for improving healthcare access and outcomes in Tanzania and beyond.”

The team at June Medical is dedicated to continuing the charity work, and has pledged that as Galaxy Retractor sales across the world continue to grow, more retractors will be donated to support the type of work surgeons like Mark Chapman do.

Every contribution, whether big or small, has the power to make a difference in someone’s life. Let’s keep supporting the incredible work being done in Tanzania and other underserved regions, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to lead a healthier, happier life.

 

Read more about our Company Purpose and why we do what we do., and see why we also donate to help cure fistula.