Mission to Mango, Togo Nov. 3rd to Nov. 13th, 2023

After a very long 30-hour flight to get to Lome, Togo, Africa, we were greeted by the local team at the Lome International Airport. The team van was loaded with a portable microscope and many boxes of supplies that we would use for the surgeries. Then, the 12-hour trip begins on the main freeway going north-south toward the northern border of Togo and Burkina Faso.

Arriving into Mango

The weather was a balmy 99 degrees. The road was bumpy, and we often played chicken head-to-head with trucks and other cars going the other way. The drive is certainly not for the faint at heart. There were lots of checkpoints along the way. We arrived at the Hope Hospital in Mango in the dark, and the team members started to unload the team van while we checked in and got some much-needed rest at the Matousch Hotel in Mango. Chickens and goats were roaming in the hotel courtyard, keeping us company at all times during our stay. We were the only lucky members who got to stay in the hotel as the temperature was too hot for us to get a good night’s sleep in the tent outside. The rest of the team all stayed in tents that they put up in the hospital courtyard.

Accommodations for the surgical team!

We performed 45 eye surgeries on the first day. The surgical support team was outstanding. We did more screening while the team was there as the word started to get out into the community that we were there to do surgeries. Every morning, more people would arrive in the hospital courtyard.

Dr. Kondrot and Ly his wife performing surgery

The next day, we continued at about the same speed, and by the end of the week, we could give sight to 160 people. Looking at the big smiles on the patients on the next day after surgery when they can see again made our long and tedious trip worth all the effort.

Happy patients post-op cataract surgery

We were interviewed on the local Hope Radio statio

Interview on Hope Radio

This trip brought us so much joy watching many people going from light perception (they can not see our fingers in front of their faces but can see the blinking light of a flashlight) to being able to read the last line the next day! It was so rewarding for us!

Successful surgeries!

We left Mango, Togo feeling very sad as we saw a couple of cases of crossed-eyed children, but we did not bring the equipment to perform muscle surgeries. We will come back soon to take care of those cases in 2024.

The people of Mango were so welcoming, sweet, and loving. They are poor and don’t have a lot. The village has a well for water for everybody, and we often see children carrying wood on their heads while walking home after school for the family to cook their meals. 

We can feel their hardship. We can feel the dust in the air, the oppressive heat, the sweat on their skin, the malnutrition, the poverty, and the diseases they have to endure, yet they are also humans like us. They taught us as doctors how to function in a low-resource environment and how to give care with just the minimum amount of supplies. 

We gave sight back to a young girl who was becoming blind in her left eye at eight years old, and now she can see again out of that eye. She was so happy. Her parents are so happy and so grateful for our help. They thank us profusely. We hear countless stories from these patients, telling us how we don’t know them and they don’t know us, but here we are, and we are giving them back their sight and their lives. They can now return to the fields and farm to feed their families. Or they can now be independent and not depend on somebody else to care for them.

They dance joyously during post op days. Singing songs of joys and clapping their hands. They are thanking us for our help but in our heart we are thanking them of the opportunity to serve them. They make our lives so much more meaningful. 

During this season of giving, we greatly appreciate your support with a donation to our non-profit organization.


Blessings and thanks for your support!

Ed and Ly Kondrot

Leave a Reply