WEST AFRICA FISTULA FOUNDATION
UPDATE – March 25, 2008
I have just returned from Sierra Leone and would like to give you an update. This is my first trip to Sierra Leone after Mariama’s death and since the newly elected officials have taken office. I found Sierra Leone to be as beautiful and friendly as ever but obviously still in tremendous need for the most basic medical care. Our organization is still very committed to helping the people of Sierra Leone and we will continue to do what ever we can to see this through.
We took a trip 5 hours upcountry to have a rally in the City of Bo for the VVF patients. We saw over 120 patients many that we had successfully operated on, many that needed more advanced surgeries and many new first time patients seen with VVF and RVF. It was extremely gratifying to see many of the urinary diversions that we had operated on doing quite well and very happy to finally be dry. Unfortunately we saw 4 patients that had very advanced cervical cancer as bad if not worse than Mariama’s and one with the worst rectal cancer I have ever seen. We had to tell them to go back to their village to die as we do not have any form of treatment for them.
I was fortunate to have meetings with newly elected and appointed local officials. I met the President’s wife Her Excellency, Sia Nyama Koroma I thought for the first time but after introducing myself to her she looked at me and said Dr. Darius you don’t remember me? We sat together on the same plane from Sierra Leone to London in 2005 when I attended my father’s funeral. You told me all about Obstetrical Fistula the entire flight to London. What a coincidence. By the way she is very willing to get involved helping us in any way she can. I also met Dr. Kabia the newly appointed Minister of Health that had practiced Nephrology in Atlanta Georgia many years but left a thriving practice to go back to his homeland to help his people. I also had a great visit with Ambassado June Carter Perry from Texarkana Texas the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leon along with Lt. Colonel Leslie Bryant with the U.S. Embassy (Oklahoma born but from Fort Worth Texas). Both of these outstanding women have a desire to get involved.
We have included a few pictures from this last visit and would again want to thank you for your continued support.
I would encourage each one of you to visit our NEW website www.westafricafistulafoundation.org and go the What is fistula? Scroll down to fistula video and view the most touching video on these women I have seen up to date. Be sure and turn on the volume as the back ground music starts about 1/3 of the way through the video. Amanda Counce a young lady that took care of Mariama during her last several weeks of her life was so touched by Mariama’s story that she took a few of my 2500 plus pictures and made this video on her own. What a talent and inspiration she has been to our program.
Darius R. Maggi, M.D. 3621 Pottsboro Road #150 Denison, TX 75020 903-463-9400 Office 903-819-7250 Cell