RIP Dr Joop Jansen
On 16th December, at 11 in the morning, Dr Joop Jansen died at the age of 67, only a couple of days after he returned home from Katete, Zambia.
Joop Jansen suffered from an incurable cancer. He accepted his fate with admirable resignation. Faithful friends lovingly cared for him during his last days and he was able and strong enough to see his children to bid them a final goodbye.
Joop Jansen came to Katete with a mountain of experience. He had worked in Africa for over 30 years: in Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia (west Zambia and Minga, Eastern Province).
‘Doctor Joop’ as everybody called him, cared for his patients, worked hard and was a very able doctor, especially in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology.
He moved mountains.
He made a professionally important step by training with Dr Tom Raassen, an expert surgeon in the field of VVF (Vesicovaginal Fistula) surgery – a complicated procedure to repair the urogenital fistula. This is a devastating condition due to an abnormal connection between the urinary and genital tracts, a severe physical trauma following abnormal heavy labour and always leading to social stigma and isolation.
Joop Jansen introduced the ‘VVF-camps’. Women, suffering from this trauma and who were consequently leading ‘hidden’ lives, were called upon on radio to come to the hospital to undergo surgery. Many of them were thus given a second life.
Joop Jansen was also, from 2009 till 2015 chairman of Chaz, (Churches Health Organisation of Zambia, umbrella organization for the Mission Based Hospitals in Zambia ), and in this capacity he did a lot for the health care in mission hospitals.
Joop Jansen lived the good life, he liked to cook and eat and chat. When his Dutch compatriots of the Medical Support Group visited, they could count on a big meal that Joop had diligently prepared in his small kitchen, or else, at the end of a long working day, they would receive a text message what about a beer? and then would sit for hours at Tikondane bar.
Throughout the years Joop Jansen was the continuous factor, for the Dutch Medical Support group and for St Francis’ Hospital. Expatriate doctors came and went. Doctor Joop stayed.
The death of Dr Joop Jansen saddened us, board members of MSG, greatly. But for all those depending on adequate medical care at St Francis’ his decease is a sore blow.
Thank you ever so much, zikomo kwambiri doctor Joop. Rest in peace.
Book of Condolences
A Book of Condolences was opened by the Hospital Management for staff and friends in honour of Dr. Joop.
I am saddened to learn about the death of Dr Joop. My heartfelt condolences to his family. I had a great working relationship with him especially during the VVF surgical camps. He was compassionate about his work with patients. He will be remembered for his great contribution towards OBGY.
I have shared a picture here that we took last year during a VVF camp with Dr Raassen.
I first met Dr Joop back in 2001 in Kalaba, Western Province, Zambia. He had arrived from Mpongwe district (in the Copperbelt) to work at this small district hospital after another Dutch doctor had left. Later he moved to Sesheke district within western province.
A few years later after I had moved to St Francis hospital we met again and it was a wonderful reunion.
Cool, and always ready to help is what he was. I will personally miss him greatly. Rest in peace sir.
As friend of Joop and as Chair of the Medical Support Group of St Francis’ Hospital I am sad to hear Joop has passed away. I met him several times during my visits to the Saint Francis’ Hospital, and also met him several times in the Netherlands where he explored possibilities to find support for the hospital. Joop was trained to do complex surgery to help woman with VVF, the surgical repair of the gynaecological fistula that gave life back to numerous women, who were, because of this ailment, shunned in their villages. Joop did a tremendous amount of work as a gynaecologist and as Chair of CHAZ. He was a very committed doctor, who has worked in Zambia for decades. He felt himself a Zambian. I will remember him with a lot of respect.
I wish his family a lot of strength and hope the hospital will get over this great loss.
Peter Sleutelberg, Chair MSG; former General Practitioner in the Saint Francis’ Hospital 1976-1979
I worked with Dr Joop at Saint Francis hospital.On the maternity ward,he was a great team player in obstetrics.He had a are virtue of engaging us midwives in a collaborative case management approach.RIP