Hadassah Convention Told of Medical Welfare Services to African Lands
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Hadassah Convention Told of Medical Welfare Services to African Lands

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The Hadassah Medical Organization is helping African nations meet their pressing medical and health needs “in a strenuous effort to save human life, which is being wasted needlessly for want of trained medical personnel and adequate health facilities,” Dr. Kalman J. Mann, director general of HMO, told the 46th national convention of Hadassah today.

He said that Africa needs at least 60,000 physicians “immediately” to meet the “urgent” health problems confronting the continent’s population, estimated at from 200,000,000 to 250,000,000 persons.

Dr. Mann said that the number of native born African doctors ranges from “none in the Congo, which has a population of 15,000,000 to 314 in Ghana–the most medically advanced country–which has a population of 6,500,000.”

Dr. Mann addressed more than 2,500 delegates and guests, representing Hadassah’s more than 318,000 members. He said that Hadassah was now seeking “international funds” for a stepped-up program to educate Africans as physicians, nurses and pharmacists. Dr. Mann, who is also a member of the committee of Specialists of the World Health Organization, declared:

“A comprehensive program of undergraduate and of post-graduate training for medical students and physicians, nurses, dentists and pharmacists should be launched immediately under the auspices of the World Health Organization with the cooperation of international funds and the world’s leading medical institutions.

“Within this scheme, the Hebrew University-Hadamah Medical School would be ready to do its utmost. The Medical School has already begun the nucleus of training undergraduate African students in medicine and nursing.”


Dr. Mann said that at the requests of the Governments of Ethiopia and Liberia, Hadassah has already surveyed the medical and health needs of these countries. As a result, he added:

1. A limited number of Ethiopian medical students are new being trained at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem.

2. Liberian nursing students are now being trained at Hadassah’s Henrietra Szold school of nursing in Jerusalem.

3. A special hospital has been set up in Liberia to combat eye diseases. A Hadassah ophthalmologist is now in Liberia to supervise the work of this hospital.

Dr. Mann said that the Hadassah Medical Organization is also cooperating with the Israel Medical mission in the Congo.

Earlier, in behalf of Hadassah, Mrs. Nathan D. Perlman, national chairman of the Hadassah Medical Organization in the United States, presented Dr. Mann with a “surgical stapler” developed in the Soviet Union. The mechanical instrument, designed for joining the ends of blood vessels and nerves, will be taken to Israel by Dr. Mann for use by surgeons of the Hadassah Medical Organization.

At the session devoted to a review of Hadassah’s medical work in Israel, Professor Bernhard Zondek, head of Hadassah’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, reported on the results of five years of experimentation which led to his discovery of a method of determining whether a fetus is in danger during the last four months of pregnancy. Dr. Zondek, internationally known as the co-discoverer of the Ashem-Zondek test for pregnancy and for his work on female endocrinology has spent more than 30 years in his search for such a method.

Dr. Amiel Adler, head of Hadassah’s department of physical medicine and rehabilitation, reported on his research in the use of short wave radiation for treatment of arthritis and allied conditions.

Mrs. Mortimer Jacobson called upon the leaders of Hadassah to undertake a campaign to “re-educate the total American community on the true meaning and philosophy of Zionism.” Mrs. Jacobson asserted that “too many unfriendly sources have been trying to befuddle the lofty objectives of Zionism, especially now that the State of Israel is established.”

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