2013 Marangu, Tanzania

Mission Report

34 volunteers from 8 different states left Oct. 11 for Marangu, Tanzania. We were hosted by the Ngaruma Lutheran Church of Marangu and we worked at the Marangu Lutheran Hospital. Marangu is on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro at 5,000 feet, so it was a very comfortable working area and had great views of the mountain.

The hospital gave us a wonderful area in which to work and the church provided great interpreters, great food, and great hospitality. We worked for four days and had planned to see 500 patients per day, but ended up seeing 2700 total patients! We even got done working early on a few days which practically never happens! The patients were great to work with, very quiet and grateful, and also very poor and in great need of our services.

We referred 78 patients for cataract surgery, and are in the process now of raising funds to pay for the surgery. At $20 an eye, a few dollars goes a long way! After our work we went on a four day safari into several of the game parks of Tanzania and saw breathtaking sights. We were fortunate to see all of the big game animals, including lions, leopards, rhino, hippos, zebra and many, many others.

Our thanks go out to so many for making this trip possible, but a big thank you goes to Steve and Laurie Gilseth of St. Charles who made the ground arrangements. Steve spent several years living in Marangu as the son of Lutheran missionaries. Thank you guys a bunch!

Following the recent mission to Marangu, Tanzania, the mission volunteers donated enough additional funds to finance cataract surgery for 105 eyes!

On VOSH missions, we often see people being led in by family members because their cataracts are so advanced that they are functionally blind. This will literally return sight to 105 people of Tanzania. Thank you!!

Submitted by Jim Hess, O.D.

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