Tag Archive for 'bwelle'

This is Africa: Headlamp Surgery

Practicing medicine in the jungles of Africa requires a certain flexibility that is hard to imagine here in the U.S. or western Europe.  However, thanks to the existence of youtube, we can see the challenges that face doctors in remote places all over the world.

This particular video brings back memories of the surgical marathon that went on in Maboye, Cameroon last summer. Dr. Bwelle slept about 8 hours for an entire 48 hour period and at one point the generator went out mid-operation.  Dr. Bwelle had us all turn our headlamps on to light the surgical field and on we continued as the generator was repaired.  That’s the way it goes in Africa.

Ascovime Donations

I just wanted to thank everyone again for donating to Dr. Bwelle’s missions in Cameroon, especially those who heard the story on Dick Gordon’s “The Story” on NPR.  At the moment, he’s stocking up and preparing to start all of his upcoming missions and thanks you all for the contributions.

The jungle surgeons of Ascovime

Due to other previous donations, I was able to wire him $900.00 before Christmas to help buy supplies and medications.  This new series of donations will be essential in providing more of these expensive medications for all the patients Dr. Bwelle helps.  Again, 100% of your donations will go to the people that really need the help!

Keep spreading the word, we’re almost at 100 different donors and $5000!  Go here to donate.

Thanks again!

Big Thanks to Global Links and MediFree

Donations for Christmas!

I traveled to Cameroon, a country on the Atlantic coast of Africa, this past May and June on a medical aid mission.  Upon my return, others have kept spreading the word of Ascovime, Dr. Georges Bwelle’s grassroots medical organization and have also continued donating.  NPR did a segment of “The Story” with Dick Gordon about Dr. Bwelle and Ascovime which helped bring in donations from all over the United States.  Along with many substantial monetary donations, others have expressed great interest in volunteering and donating medical supplies.

School and Medical Supplies

Global Links and MediFree have been generous enough to send two boxes worth of sutures (over 200), gauze, catheters, spinal needles, iodine swabs, as well as school supplies for African children.  This was all facilitated by the work of another small organization called Sutures Are A Human Right.  Please be sure to check these sites out and support.  Thanks again to Global Links, MediFree, and Sutures Are A Human Right!

How Donations Were Used…

I’m sure those of you who contributed to this cause are wondering exactly what kind of an impact you made, and those yet to donate want to see what they can do.  As of today, $2,600 USD have been raised by the people listed here.

First of all I’d like to once again thank everyone who made a contribution, whether it was $3.00, or whether it was $300, because everything counts, especially in Cameroon.  For reference, $3.00 will buy a breakfast, lunch, and an accompanying drink, with a little to spare.  Over 50 people made a contribution – college students, teachers, friends, and people I don’t even know – pretty amazing.  Donations came in all forms as well, via internet, in the mail, hand delivered cheques, and inebriated cash donations at a bar.  So I thank you!  Let me first give you the context of how much value your donations had.

Dr. Bwelle and me: just two regular dudes

Dr. Georges Bwelle, the surgeon who leads the whole organization, is a GI surgeon at the Central Hospital in Yaounde, Cameroon, the capital and second largest city.  Yaounde has 1.43 million inhabitants, more than two Bostons, and would rank as the 7th most populous city in the U.S.  The point is that there are a lot of sick people, and that any person who works in a big city, specifically a doctor will make a substantial amount in the U.S.  It seems reasonable I suppose, there’s a lot of schooling involved, a lot of responsibility, long hours, but doctors don’t really do it for the money, especially not in Cameroon.  Doctors in Cameroon are viewed as civic servants and they are paid that way.  The average surgeon in Dr. Bwelle seniority level makes approximately $500 a month, that’s $6000 a year.  Let’s think about that for a second.

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