Title: Retired Surgeon
Location: Beveren, Belgium
Magda Van Hoyweghen, a Retired Surgeon, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Doctors for dedication, achievements, and leadership in general surgery.
Motivated by her ability to help others, Dr. Van Hoyweghen began her 25-year journey as a missionary doctor in Africa in 1972. Her first stop was Tanzania, where she was a general surgeon and medical mission sister in the referral government hospital in Mwanza for four years, before working in the same roles in Juba, South Sudan, Attat, Ethiopia and Serabu, Sierra Leone. Dr. Van Hoyweghen subsequently obtained a permanent position as a senior surgeon in Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi in 1981. She stayed with the government facility until 1993, when she became a member of the general government of Medical Mission Sisters and was stationed in Nairobi, Kenya. During her time there, Dr. Van Hoyweghen made visits to the nations of South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Swaziland. She has also lent her services to institutions in India, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Peru over the years. Although Dr. Van Hoyweghen returned to her home country of Belgium in 1999, she feels that her travels have given her a broader and more relative view of the world, and have made clear the influences countries can have on each other, both positively and negatively.
One of the primary focuses of Dr. Van Hoyweghen’s career has been the worldwide situation of HIV/AIDS. Supporting and caring for people with the disease has given her a greater awareness of social justice in third world countries, as did her time on the board of several church hospitals in Malawi. To find more ways to help, she joined the Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network in Brussels, Belgium.
Dr. Van Hoyweghen prepared for her endeavors by completing a European master’s degree in bioethics from the University of Louvain in Belgium in 2004, an MD from Utrecht University in the Netherlands in 1966, and a diploma from Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Presentatie in Sint Niklaas, Belgium, in 1953. She furthered her education with fellowships from the John L. Madden Surgical Society, the American College of Surgeons, the International College of Surgeons, and the African College of Surgeons.
A leading voice in her community, Dr. Van Hoyweghen contributes her knowledge and international experience to a number of European organizations. She sends quarterly reports report to medical mission sisters around the world to help them keep up with developments and advancements in the field, as many of them lack the time or location necessary to do the research themselves. She attributes her longevity and success to being active and loving what she does, as well as to her supportive family and the medical mission sisters. In her free time, Dr. Van Hoyweghen enjoys hobbies like reading, sewing, and knitting.
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