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Missionary Surgeon Dr. Dan Poenaru.
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But Dan Poenaru doesn't buy it. Over the
course of his eight-year medical practice in
Kenya, he and a cadre oflike-minded surgeons
Still, surgical interventions are low on
government and donor priority lists. The
procedures are too costly, goes the argument-
an unaffordable luxury.
"Why didn't you take your studies more
seriously?" he asked. Isaac explained that
teachers couldn't stand his presence in the
classroom. Everything he learned was from
an outside window looking in.
Children's surgery is barely practiced in Mrica.
Medical facilities are few and far between, and
only about 100 pediatric surgeons work on the
entire continent (and even these are heavily
concentrated in Nigeria, Egypt and South
Mrica). This gives a rough ratio of about 1
pediatric surgeon to five million children.
Almost half of Mrica's population is under
the age of 14.
"I vividly remember seeing him before surgery,"
says Canadian missionary Dr. Dan Poenaru.
"He wouldn't even look me in the eye."
In chatting with the young man, Poenaru
was shocked to discover he had completed
just two years of elementary school.
saac had suffered for 18 years when he
arrived at Kijabe Hospital, in Kenya.
Because of a birth defect, Isaac's bladder
constantly leaked urine. The stench was
overpowering. But because his family was
poor, a surgical cure was beyond reach. In
fact, it had taken Isaac three years just to
raise the $15 bus fare to reach Kijabe.
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Please use the enclosed response card and
return envelope to send your gift to the
BethanyKids Surgeon Training and
Placement Fund.
All gifts are tax deductable.
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at the BethanyKids pediatric wing of Kijabe Hospital have developed an ambitious
dream. "Right across the Mrican continent, there are lights-," he says, "-centres
of hope and healing where surgeons care for children and share Christ."
Africa Inland Mission is working with Poenaru and BethanyKids to turn this vision
into a reality. With an initial focus on five Mrican countries (Tanzania, Sierra Leone,
Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda), AIM will help train an equal number oflocal surgeons
who will establish paediatric surgical wings where none existed before.
"Our vision avoids bricks and mortar," explains Poenaru. "We partner with pre-existing
hospitals so we can invest in people as much as possible."
Once trained, surgeons will be equipped to treat debilitating conditions such as spina
bifida, hydrocephalus, brain tumours, and cleft lip and palates.
By God's grace, Isaac was able to receive expert surgical care. "The surgery went well,"
says Dr. Poenaru. "I keep a picture of him. He stands proudly, for the first time
clean and dry."
When it comes right down to it, Poenaru says his aim is to serve people like Isaac:
"the least of these my brethren" (Matthew 25:40). This Thanksgiving, we
invite you to support Dr. Dan Poenaru and his team by giving to
the BethanyKids Surgeon Training & Placement Fund.