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March 2016 Update

Dear Friends of the Children of Tanzania,

Mary Ellen Kitundu writing

Dear Friends of the Children of Tanzania,

A huge struggle has finally come to an end. We have electricity. What an Easter Blessing. This has taken us over a year, with almost 3000 steps, forms, people, starts, replacements, delays, ..... it has been very difficult but finally we have electricity. This means all our wonderful equipment can work, fans in this record breaking heat will cool us, our autoclave can sterilize supplies, our drugs last longer in the cool pharmacy, our lab equipment and reagents for the lab can last. It is a true miracle on our side. Sele, our contractor, has been waiting, begging, negotiating for this day. Even on Good Friday he is at the site making sure every electrical socket, fan, and light is working.

This has been our most difficult achievement. But you stuck with us through the whole struggle and believed that one day...one day we would start taking care of children.

 

And that day is coming very soon. Easter is here so there is a delay. On next Tuesday we call all our staff together, and make sure everything works including our electronic medical records. Our laboratory staff will have a three day orientation to the complex machines.....all of that should take four days and then on the next Monday, April 4th, 2016,…..after planting the sign for the Children's Hospital Zinga by the side of the road, we will begin to care for children, and their mothers, and their fathers, and their grandfathers and grandmothers.

 

Now we enter a most sensitive time. This beautiful Outpatient Department has yet to make one shilling. It will be supplied and worked under the supervision of International Health Partners-JEMA-TZ. We will support salaries, supplies, medications...whatever is needed. And as people stream in for care, gradually the Children's Hospital will become self-sustaining. We estimate it will be at least 6 months before we can see it get into the black.

 

Now usually when Denny and Paula Lofstrom are here on site, donations go down as they are not out there making presentations. So we are asking you to continue to donate to the process while they are here as you did when they travelled all over telling the story. We know it is difficult but we ask that you make an extra effort to get us through these 6 months. We don't want to run into financial difficulty at this crucial time.

 

The area for the Birthing Center is cleared, measurements for the foundation and walls are being made and that building will soon rise out of the ground. So exciting. And right next to it will be a neonatal building and 2 surgical suites for premature babies and pregnant mothers in trouble delivering.

 

The x-ray building that will house the digital x-ray machine donated by multiple Rotary Clubs around the world is almost ready for the machine....we just need windows and doors and ceilings. The roof is on, the walls are smoothed....and waiting for volunteers to paint it to match the porch on the OPD. Volunteers will stream into the site to paint, to lift bricks, build sidewalks, and landscape. Two more containers (filled with the generous contributions of more equipment for the hospital) are coming.

Dreams are coming true....because of you. Thank you, thank you.

Sincerely, Mary Kitundu
President of IHP-US, and IHP-JEMA-Tanzania

 

Denny Lofstrom writing

Paula and I completed our 2015-2016 fundraising tour on Sunday, March 13th at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Sandy, UT with a 10 minute temple talk at three services, a complete presentation at 1:00 with our powerpoint following a couch noon luncheon and a 2.5 hour question and answer session accompanying an evening potluck dinner, a very full final day of our scheduled tour. 

On Monday morning we set out on our three day marathon from Herriman, UT to Cheyenne, Wyoming, on Tuesday from Cheyenne to Omaha, NE, fighting heavy gusting winds that prompted many truckers to crowd into the rest areas along the way on I-80. On Wednesday we left Omaha sill experiencing high winds. At Newton, Iowa after driving through wind and rain we left the rest of the baskets with Quanbecks to be sold this summer and continued on a somewhat more southern route to miss Chicago traffic to arrive at La Porte, IN late in the evening at Lynda Sardeson’s. Lynda was our helper on this part of the tour after Paula’s back surgery on Dec. 10th at Mayo. 

Thursday we left La Porte and arrived in Rochester, MN in the evening and checked in with Mike Lavalle and Mary Till, members of the GREAT 8 team that painted the outpatient building at Zinga. We were on schedule so we could get to our Mayo follow-up appointments. The days of hectic driving, at least for the presentations, are past. 

Our thanks to all who have opened their homes to us on this tour and to all who have supported IHP as we work for the opening of The Children’s Hospital at Zinga. 

God bless all of you for your support. 
 

Paula Lofstrom

You have provided the means to build and open the first stage of The Children’s Hospital at Zinga. Thank you. 

The roof is on the building to house the x-ray and water purification units and the walls are smoothed. We’ll need

  • 6 Doors:
    • 2 lead lined at $400.00 each
    • 4 regular at $250.00 each (solid mninga wood)
  • Ceiling: $500.00
  • Windows: Seven needed with grills, $250. each
  • Lights: & electrical hook-up $500.00
  • Air conditioning for x-ray room: $900.00
  • Cement for the floors: 30 bags at $6.00 each (plus mixing sand)
  • toilet: $145.00 (installed)
  • sink: $185.00 (installed)
  • Gutters: $450.00
  • Server room shelving and connections for computer $500

The construction crew has started the footings for the safe birthing center. According to government statistics one woman dies every hour in delivery or shortly thereafter. We can help to change that by modeling modern, safe delivery techniques. And 140 newborns die every day. With Dr. Charles Powell, a neonatologist and his wife Lynne Powell, a pediatrician on staff, we will also demonstrate how to keep babies breathing and healthy. 

If you want to contribute to that, please make out a check to: 

International Health Partners, U.S.
1811 So. 39th St., #36
Mesa, AZ 85206

Or

CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW

Or

Call Joyce at 480-540-9317 

On a personal note, Denny had a blockage in one branch of an artery in his heart and got a stent here at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He already seems years younger! He had a complete work-up and we’ll be returning to Tanzania two much healthier “refired” volunteers for IHP. 

A local artist made a cement giraffe that is so realistic you have to look more than once to make sure it’s not moving. He donated it to the Children’s Hospital at Zinga. What a delightful gift for the children. What shall we name it? 
 

We’re starting to think about next year’s fund raising schedule (yes, even before we go back to Tanzania). The 2016-17 trip will be EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI. 

We’re not counting on gas prices remaining as low as they were this year, so want to have our fundraising more regionalized. So, if you’re interested in helping out, please think about having your church invite us. 

Or - Have a fun evening in your home and invite your friends, your book club, your quilting group, your circle and we’ll be happy to do the powerpoint. Just order or make a few snacks and brew up the coffee or tea or make the lemonade and it’s a good opportunity to help support the work and share the good feeling that it brings with your friends. 

ROTARY CLUBS! It took 7 clubs in 7 different districts to accomplish the task of buying the digital x-ray and ultrasound for the hospital, $105,000. Now we want a CT scanner (about 3 times that). We have about 2 years and want to speak with as many ROTARY CLUBS as possible. We can do it with your help. Rotary WORKS for the health of children of Tanzania. 

Thank you. And it’s not just for the children. In our outpatient department at Zinga we will be seeing adults as well as children. 

Denny and I are often asked if it’s better for people to come out or to send us the money. Our answer is, “Come on out and volunteer if you possibly can.” There are several reasons for this.

  • It will change your life and open up your world view. It’s a beautiful place.
  • You will learn about the people and their culture and share it with others.
  • You may become a fund raising ambassador for the hospital. No one can fund raise without having been there.

 

Tanzania has a stable government. We are safe there and don’t feel threatened. The people are warm, loving, generous, appreciative. It’s a place to feel good and feel good about what you’re doing. It’s making a difference; making the world a better place. Come. Find out for yourself. 

As the hospital grows, we will need more fund raisers. YOU can help. Bob and Shirley Newberry had a fund raiser with people throwing bean bags into ports in a slanted board and made almost $2500 for IHP!! 

They also sponsor a golf outing each year. 

How about a “fun run?” Spring is here!! 

You can make a difference. Please think about what you’d like to do and how and we’ll help you in every way we can. 

Thank you. 

Blessings and gratitude, 

Paula and Denny