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Reception of the medical humanitarian expedition to Zambia

Ljubljana, 04/24/2007  |  press release

Click to enlargeThe President of the Republic, Dr Janez Drnovšek received today the members of the medical humanitarian expedition to Zambia, who are leaving tomorrow for a more than two months' voluntary mission in a local hospital at Nangomo.

The Nangomo hospital, which is situated one hundred kilometres from the Zambian capital of Lusaka, was founded in 1986 by the Slovenian priest Father Stanko Rozman, who built a clinic at the mission of St. Joseph. The hospital, which now has 120 beds, is today a state hospital run by missionaries. Slovenian students of medicine have been helping to run the hospital with their voluntary work since 1990, and the hospital now largely depends on their assistance. During the period of their absence, the entire work at the hospital is done by nurses.

Click to enlargeThis time, the medical humanitarian expedition to Zambia includes four young women doctors-candidates for graduation at the Faculty of Medicine of Ljubljana, a female nurse and a male nurse, who will work in the pediatric and internal wards and will, at the same time, treat gynecological (including parturient) and surgical patients. They will also play an important role in providing information and training to the local population about the spreading of contagious diseases, particularly AIDS, hygiene and adequate nutrition.

The Tropical Medicine Section of the Faculty of Medicine of Ljubljana has organized as many as one hundred similar expeditions since 1990 with a participation of 220 students to the following destinations: Zambia, Kenya, Madagascar, Uganda, Papua New Guinea, Malawi and India. As the Section's President, Tadeja Kotar, M.Sc., put it: "We return home from these expeditions as different, braver doctors with an awareness of why we have chosen our vocation." In order to ensure the continuity of expeditions to Zambia, they have also drawn up a long-term project "Slovenian hospital in the Tropics, Zambia".

Click to enlargeThe President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Janez Drnovšek expressed his acknowledgement and support to a committed and self-sacrificing work of the young Slovenian doctors and nurses. "I am glad to see that young people are interested in participating in the provision of this kind of assistance; there is no doubt that you will leave an indelible mark on this mission and thus represent our country in the best possible way" he said. In his belief, it is invaluable importance that students of medicine, university college of health care, as well as doctors engage in field work in developing countries with an inferior level of health care, and help those in need to the best of their ability. They may then employ their newly acquired interesting and rich experiences to make a significant contribution to the training of new generations at home, raising, at the same time, the awareness of Slovenia's public about the importance of solidarity and shared responsibility for fellow inhabitants of the Earth.

At the end of the reception, President of the Republic, Dr Drnovšek, wished the members of medical humanitarian expedition a safe journey to Zambia and a successful work in the hospital in that country.
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