Else Kröner Fresenius Award for Development Cooperation in Medicine 2019

October 17, 2019: The Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung foundation honors a project for emergency medicine and intensive care in Tanzania.
Dr. Martin Rohacek during an examination

In 2019, the Else Kröner Fresenius Award for Development Cooperation in Medicine is being received by the project:
“Establishment and Organization of an Emergency Department at the St. Francis Referral Hospital in Ifakara (Tanzania)” conducted by Project Manager Dr. Martin Rohacek from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and the Emergency Department at the St. Francis Referral Hospital in Ifakara, Tanzania.

Through the award a project is being acknowledged that serves to improve medical care in an outstanding way. The award is endowed with 100,000 euros – money that is utilized directly for the project. This year the focus for awarding the prize was placed on emergency medicine and intensive care.

Project description: “Establishment and Organization of an Emergency Department at the St. Francis Referral Hospital, Ifakara, Tanzania”
Since September 2015 the Swiss internist and emergency-care specialist Dr. Martin Rohacek has been implementing the project “Establishment and Organization of an Emergency Department in Ifakara” in cooperation with the St. Francis Referral Hospital in rural Ifakara and the Ifakara Health Institute.

The project manager from the Swiss TPH has established an emergency room and ward station there, including a triage system along with the diagnosis and treatment of 36,000 adults and children each year. The St. Francis Referral Hospital is an assignment center for a rural poulation of roughly one million people. Most of the patients suffer from infectious diseases, an illness in the abdominal area, cardiovascular diseases or have had some form of trauma. Thanks to the triage system, seriously ill patients are immediately cared for in the shock room, where all of the necessary equipment and emergency medication are available. The emergency department operates on a three-shift basis, 24 hours a day, and is run by local physicians.

Dr. Judith von Heusinger
Medical-humanitarian Development Cooperation (humanitarian Funding)
Portrait Dr. Judith von Heusinger
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Dr. Martin Rohacek
,
Project Manager

These people, most of them seriously ill, need help in a hurry. The longer one waits with the diagnosis and appropriate therapy, the worse the prognosis for the patient.

Hospital in Ifakara
Patients waiting
Emergency Dept. at St. Francis Referral Hospital, Ifakara, Tanzania
Dr. Martin Rohacek at work
Training at the patient’s bed: A doctor from the Emergency Dept. conducts an examination using ultrasound under the supervision of Dr. Martin Rohacek.

Dr. Rohacek also trains medical staff there in the fields of emergency medicine, ultrasound technology and echocardiography, and equally conducts clinical research projects. Quite a number of readily trained professionals are now the ones training additional colleagues. To date, around 100,000 patients from three districts in a 150-kilometer radius have benefited from the project.

Dr. Martin Rohacek
,
Project Manager

The staff handles the equipment quite confidently. That’s a result of the intensive training, which is another core element of the project.

The team wants to use the prize money to acquire another ultrasound unit and a number of spare parts – yet above all to set forth and intensify training. The medical staff in Ifakara is supposed to receive training on a long-term basis while more local instructors are trained in emergency medical care and ultrasound technology.

Dr. Martin Rohacek during an ultrasound examination at a patient’s bed.
Child in the Emergency Room
Work in the Shock Room: The specially schooled nursing staff provides medical care for a patient.
Emergency Ward in Ifakara
One of the youngest patients
Dr. Martin Rohacek at work

Award Ceremony on October 17, 2019 at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (“BMZ”)

The award ceremony took place on October 17, 2019 in Berlin at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (“BMZ”) and was accompanied by a speech by Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary for Economic Cooperation and Development, on the topic of “Development Cooperation in the 21st Century”, as well as a keynote speech by Prof. Dr. Uwe Janssens, President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, on the topic of “Oversupply here – Lack of resources there.”

You can obtain more information in the Press Release from Oct. 21, 2019.

Dr. Martin Rohacek together with his wife, PD Dr. Maja Rohacek-Weisser, Dr. Fr. Winfrid Joseph Gingo (Director, St. Francis Referral Hospital), Dr. Faraja Wilson Kitila (Head of the Emergency Department) and Dr. Victor G. Myovela (Assistant Radiologist)
Dr. Martin Rohacek thanks his team: Dr. Fr. Winfrid Joseph Gingo (Director, St. Francis Referral Hospital), Dr. Faraja Wilson Kitila (Head of the Emergency Department) and Dr. Victor G. Myovela (Assistant Radiologist)
Dr. Dieter Schenk, Chairman of the EKFS Foundation Council, hands over the certificate to Dr. Martin Rohacek accompanied by Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary for Economic Cooperation and Development, spoke about “Development Cooperation in the 21st Century”.
In his keynote speech Prof. Dr. Uwe Janssens, President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, addressed the subject of “Oversupply here – Lack of resources there.”
Prof. Dr. Paris, Head of the Department of Medicine (Swiss TPH), described his friend and colleague Dr. Rohacek as a person “who recognizes a problem and tackles it, who takes pleasure in doing so and passes that pleasure on to his colleagues.”
Dr. Martin Rohacek during the laudation.
The award-winner with his wife, PD Dr. Maja Rohacek-Weisser, and his team of physicians (center
Impression of the Award Ceremony 2019
Brita Pohl, who had accepted the award on behalf of the association PHASE Austria in 2017, is visibly touched.

Downloads

Else Kröner Fresenius Award for Development Cooperation in Medicine 2019: Speech for the Award Ceremony on 17 October 2019
Else Kröner Fresenius Award for Development Cooperation in Medicine 2019: Laudation