STIMMA dental team with their patient at Howard hostipal earlier this month (Photo courtesy of STIMMA)

Outside Howard hospital in Chiweshe (Mashonaland Central), drums throbbed as hundreds of local people — who had gathered there earlier in the day to protest a decision made weeks before to remove the hospital’s head doctor — grew violent, some lobbing rocks through the air as others reportedly overturned a Salvation Army truck.

Short Term International Medical Missions Abroad (STIMMA) currently has a team of eleven volunteers from across Canada in Zimbabwe. The team members were going to spend 2½ weeks working at Howard Hospital under the supervision of Dr. Paul Thistle.

Due to the precipitous transfer of Dr. Thistle, the team has left Howard Hospital to ensure their continued safety. The group of Canadians is in high spirits and has traveled to popular tourist destinations where they are better able to assimilate and avoid any persecution, as they await news from the airlines regarding the availability of earlier flights back to Canada.

“We are deeply saddened by Dr. Thistle’s departure, as 270,000 people woke up Monday morning to discover they no longer had access to healthcare. We sincerely hope the Salvation Army will consider reversing their decision to transfer Dr. Thistle and return him to Howard Hospital where he is much loved by the people, as evidenced by their protests, and his absence deprives them of a physician who is both passionate and tireless in his work,” says the organization in a press release of August,

Canadian volunteer Becky in the Neonatal intensive care unit of Howard hospital (Photo courtesy of STIMMA)


For further information, please call Veneta Anand (519) 589-8852 or Linsay Buss (604) 323-6449 or email [email protected]

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