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HEAL Africa provides holistic care for the people of Democratic Republic of Congo
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April 29th 2008 - Plane Crash Update

On April 15th, 2008 a plane operated by Hewa Bora Airlines crashed shortly after take-off from the airport in Goma, with much loss of life. HEAL Africa took the majority of the casualties and treated them for minor and major injuries.

Harper McConnell, an American working at the HEAL Africa hospital, writes from Goma with the following update on the plane crash:

"Arriving at the hospital today I expected to find the hundreds of people who have been visiting their loved ones in the hospital the past few days, but I was surprised to find the number significantly diminished. HEAL Africa admitted 79 patients, both passengers and bystanders, who are still living. 14 people were brought in already dead which makes a total of 93 people who flooded the hospital the day the plane crashed.

The staff was able to efficiently triage all the patients coming in at once and our surgeons performed several emergency burn operations. Many people have already been discharged and all the emergencies successfully treated.  HEAL Africa received the majority of the patients as the government doctors are on strike because the government is not paying their salaries. Government officials, including the head of Parliament, came to visit HEAL Africa yesterday, but did nothing about their failure to pay adequate salaries to state doctors, clearly making health care difficult for the majority of the population.

Despite the massive destruction and loss, we were confirmed in our staff’s ability to handle a massive crisis. The medical director and the head orthopedic surgeon are doing outreach surgery in the rural regions and will not return for two more days. Despite the lack of senior supervision, our doctors, residents, and nurses, showed their capability to handle an unprecedented medical emergency."

The hospital was depleted of medical supplies and continues to support an excess of patients. We'd appreciate your donations.