Friends, here is an update from Dr. Jerry Rusher who has been working this winter/spring at Kibuye Hospital in Burundi. We thank God for the ways Dr. Jerry and others have sacrificed and served in Kibuye while no doctor has been stationed there full time.
Letter from Dr. Jerry Rusher, April 29
Dear friends and family,
I would send more frequent e-mails except for internet access being 25 miles or so away. I hope that all
is “calm back there on the western front” and that everyone is doing okay. I am somewhat cut off from
what is going on in that part of the world.
I am looking forward to Dr Gary Stanley joining me here in two weeks. I have many surgical cases stored
up for him and a lot of stories to tell him as well. What I share here is just a small part of what happens.
We are currently in the middle of a devastating malaria epidemic that is especially attacking viciously
young children and pregnant women. I just came from the hospital after pronouncing as dead a
beautiful 7 month-old boy from severe malaria. Shortly before that I had just evaluated a 10 month-
old boy with a temperature of 42 degrees C. ( 107.6 F) and probable severe malaria. Fortunately
the treatment given here for malaria with IV Quinine is effective and most recover. We probably
have 20-25 children being treated in the hospital for malaria now. Ezekiel, my cook who some of you
know ,had three of his children in the hospital being treated for malaria. One required a transfusion
for a hemoglobin of three, but they all recovered okay. One of the bad effects of malaria is in causing
stillbirths in effected women. We have been having a stillbirth nearly every day lately. It’s enough to
remind me to take my Mefloquin pill today (a malaria preventative pill).
Trauma cases have also been keeping us busy with many automobile, motorcycle and bicycle accidents
resulting in fractures and often head injuries. This last week we had several children fall out of trees ,
one with a fractured femur and another with a bad back injury. An interesting young man I saw Wed had
fallen and dislocated his left elbow four days previously which is more of a delay in seeking treatment
than I like to see. Fortunately with the help of our strongest medical student, Armel and anesthesia I
was able to reduce it after a lengthy tug of war. What made the situation interesting was the fact that
he had fallen a year ago and dislocated his right elbow but not sought treatment and consequently
couldn’t bend it. If we hadn’t been able to reduce his current dislocation, he would have been in a sad
state. He would not have been able to feed himself, brush his teeth , wash his face or even scratch his
Easter Sunday we enjoyed going to an outlying church at Butemba.It was a beautiful service with lots
of singing and rejoicing over Jesus victory over death. Their singing generally includes lots of rhythmic
movement with dancing and accompanied always by talented rhythmic drummers. I was told that some
of that style of singing and dancing they had learned from Christians in Tanzania. I was asked to preach
as white missionary guests usually are and God helped me find time to prepare a sermon. We were very
warmly greeted and treated to a nice meal after the service. And, oh yes it didn’t rain and we didn’t get
stuck as we certainly could have as we traveled some bad roads up steep hills.
The work load continues to be quite heavy and I would appreciate your continuing prayers. The devil at
times attacks me and tries to discourage me, but God’s Word has been a big help ; specifically this week
Isaiah 40:29-31 and Psalms 121.
In Him, Jerry