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.