MY BURUNDI EXPERIENCE – Bubanza Hospital | January 5-19, 2020

Yet another fantastic experience in Burundi. While not easy and with a thousand difficulties, it was also full of joy and satisfaction! I shared this time with friends, Francesco, Achille, Stefano and Anna, a scrub nurse, whose enthusiasm, competence and humanity was a precious contribution. All happy and filled with what this land and its people give, but all too aware of the limits dictated by contingency and by the various local situations. There was not and certainly would not be, a manifestation of clear-cut orthopedic procedures. We all know that the reality we find is more like a war zone. We must consider the immense limitations an African hospital, which, regarding this facility, is at a good level. A really nice group, joined initially by Patrizia and Gianluca, was enthusiastically surrounded by a constant whirl of smiles, supported by the unforgettable messages of love from, above all, the children, the orphans, the patients and their families who repaid our work with expressions of gratitude that are priceless and that no one can ever take from our hearts. Thanks to all our “group” you were really great.

Cosimo Tudisco




Expectations: helping people in difficulty.
Reality: mixture of events and emotions were so many in so few days and were difficult to sort-out.
The introduction to the infirmary of the nuns of Mother Teresa of Calcutta was tough. I learned immediately not to be scandalised by disease, pain, or the awareness of the inevitability of some situations.
The hospital in Bubanza provided a steep learning curve for me. I learnt (or at least tried to learn) to stay in my place, do my part, with the awareness of having little to give, but knowing that little would be really useful.
The streets, the school, the orphanage was painted with a reality that after 15 days I began to feel as mine. My team was my home and my example. I had the chance to observe doctors at work from another perspective; they acquired in my eyes even more esteem, respect and admiration.
“This Is Africa” or TIA is a phrase used to help people adjust their expectations of Africa. Africa for me will remain the place where suffering and smiles, sweat and fatigue, tension and fun, introspection and conviviality, hope and resignation, pretension and gratitude, wealth and poverty have taught me to sort out my own existential priorities, to be grateful, to be proud of my profession and grateful to have had this opportunity to question myself and above all to understand what is ASSISTANCE. I know for sure that I have received more from Africa than I have given.

Thank you, See you soon

Anna  Tagliaferri



A New Mission was made this past December to the Hospital of Bubanza by Stefano Carbone, Fabio Barbanti and Pietro Ortensi

Christmas in Bubanza. We had the pleasure of experiencing the charm and magic of the most important Christian holiday at the Diocesan Hospital of Bubanza. The sung mass, celebrated at the cathedral, is one of the most important socialising occasions for all – mothers elegantly dressed, cheerful and festive children, the men dignified and composed – and us, who although certainly integrated, are always the object of a certain amused curiosity.
Our mission was very productive as 21 operations were performed on various orthopedic pathologies. I would like to note the importance of our treatment of Osteomyelitis (OM). Operations were executed on new patients and follow up surgeries, consisting of the removal of the antibiotic cement, were carried out.
We also brought purchased material for the hospital, three new stainless steel containers used for the sterilization of surgical instruments, an emergency light for the operating room and various sterile material like dressings, and medication kits consisting of gauze, and disposable plastic pincers.
We also brought clothing and toys for the children of the orphanage run by the nuns of Mother Teresa of Calcutta and writing supplies for the school of Bubanza. We returned to Italy on December 30th with the desire to return soon to Burundi to continue our work.

Pietro Ortensi



News from theIAPCO | May 2018
The Bubanza Hospital, supported by FIMAC, International Foundation of Doctors for Central Africa, is a major institution dedicated to the health of the local community. IAPCO endorsed and supported FIMAC’s work at this hospital contributing to the management and care cost of hospital beds. In addition, as part of the strategy to improve healthcare and wellbeing, a basketball court was built, funded by IAPCO members, and completed in 2017.





News from www.iwacu-burundi.com
Joanna Nganda






In Burundi due ortopedici italiani aiutano l’Africa a tornare di nuovo a
I medici romani provano a ridare un futuro ai piccoli di quel paese. Intervengono su patologie endemiche e sui traumi lasciati dalla guerra. Hanno costruito un ospedale. Portano a Roma i casi più gravi, operano e assistono. Grazie a due fondazioni e alla generosità dei donatori.
di Mario Pappagallo






Solidarietà. La straordinaria esperienza di un ortopedico volontario in Burundi.
“E’ un impegno massacrante, ma alleviare il dolore di chi non ha nulla è più rigenerante di una beauty farm”, racconta Francesco Falez, Primario e Ricercatore di fama mondiale.
di Rita Cenni




Why Africa?

What happens to a trauma victim of a serious leg fracture when it is not “reduced” leaving the bone stump piercing the skin? Or a burn victim with a hand injury that is left untreated, destroying the surrounding skin, leaving exposed tendons and bones? How far behind will an adult be who is living in the middle of the third world with severe lameness due to uncorrected “clubfoot”? Consider that his congenital deformity could have been treated when he was a child, perhaps, as in many cases, without surgery. For a doctor who practices in Italy you can only imagine the answers, perhaps with the help of images of some old textbooks. In Burundi, you can experience the answers. There you can see the natural evolution of a trauma, an illness, a congenital defect left without the treatment that medicine can offer. In our countries basic care is assured. Doctors and health centres support a system that does not leave patients without care. In countries where we operate, the presence of a doctor, a nurse and the necessary equipment is a rare thing and can make the difference between life and death. From these considerations, it is easy to imagine the usefulness of our presence in Burundi and the great satisfaction we derive from our work.

                                                                      Dr. Pietro Ortensi


Under the guidance and company of Professor Monti, I started going to Burundi about two and a half years ago, when my father suggested that I try this experience. Since then, I have been there four times, going twice a year, and in about a month I will go on another mission. I cannot stay away more than six months from the land, from the people, from that world totally different from the one in which we live. Of course, when I go there and spend almost three weeks (more or less the duration of each mission) I cannot wait to go home, because it is not easy to be away from one’s normal life and loved ones. But invariably, after a few months, I cannot wait to take that uncomfortable Ethiopian Airlines flight and throw myself heart and soul into what I like to do best, without any ulterior motives – being a doctor.

 Dr. Stefano Carbone



French, Italian