Dr. Gebeyaw Tiruneh the CEO of the Gamby Teaching Hospital in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia was in Vancouver for a conference in early July. He made a special trip to Kelowna to reconnect with the RESTOR team. Over 70 volunteers and donors attended the event on July 10 in Jean Bird’s home, to hear Dr. Gebeyaw Tiruneh speak about the impact that RESTOR has had on the patients and families in the Bahir Dar community.
RESTOR has TRANSFORMED the lives over 100 children and young adults in the last two surgical missions to the Gamby Hospital. In addition RESTOR has provided continued education to medical professionals at the Gamby hospital as well as students and doctors from the Medical and Nursing schools in the surrounding areas.
Dr. Gebeyaw Tiruneh was very inspirational and based his presentation on the acronym of RESTOR’s name stressing EDUCATION on all the levels of service that we provide. He emphasized that RESTOR is one of the few NGOs that actually asks, “What is it that is needed locally?” RESPONDing to specific requests for help.
He described the impact of our financial support in establishing the foundations of a SUSTAINABLE burn center, by sponsoring surgeries referred from the public hospital for children that require burn grafting to treat recent burns as well as some burn contracture repairs.
RESTOR also sponsors Dr. Einar Eriksen, a Norwegian Plastic surgeon living and working in Ethiopia, who is one of the top burn contracture surgeons in all of Africa. He oversees the surgeries performed by Dr. Daniels, a local Gamby surgeon. Through our collaboration with Dr. Eriksen, we have been able to have 5 complicated burn surgeries performed at the Cure Hospital in Addis Ababa, at no cost to the patient or RESTOR. This year RESTOR sponsored 20 surgeries and hopes to do the same in 2018.
While Dr. Gebeyaw Tiruneh was in Kelowna, he was very interested in seeing some of our state of the art medical equipment and facilities. Colin Pritchard, a well known philanthropist and supporter of the Kelowna General Hospital, was able to take him through the Simulation center which Colin funded. He was also able to see some of specialized viral diagnostic equipment in the KGH Microbiology Lab. Dr. Gebeyaw Tiruneh has a rudimentary but, efficient lab at the Gamby Hospital. Needless to say, he was very impressed.
The Director of Oncology for the BC Cancer Agency’s Centre for the Southern Interior gave Dr. Tiruneh a tour of the facility. Dr. Tiruneh hopes to provide these services to the residents of Bahir Dar in the future.