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September 2015 Update

Dear Friends of the Children of Tanzania,

Mary Ellen Kitundu writing

The last few weeks have been exciting. We have opened containers and taken out items we thought we needed to supply the first phase of the hospital. Gradually the rooms are being equipped. Every day we sort through boxes and select items needed. We find things we did not even know we had. Just looking at the boxes does not really reflect all the wonderful things people have tucked into the containers: on the wall BP machines, paper for exam tables, gloves and more gloves, OR instruments, file cabinets full of office supplies (we have enough staplers to last for years), pictures for the walls, a rocking horse for the waiting area….well you get the idea. 

Our hearts are full of gratefulness for all of you that thought, “Maybe they could use this!” I put my hands into boxes filled with treasures and think of your hands wrapping and packing all of these items. A mere thank you is not enough to express our wonderment at the generosity and support of all of you. Our feet hurt, but our hearts are full!

Unpacking Treasures

Right now I am filling out an order for medications to fill the wonderful shelves for the pharmacy and to care for children. Electricity is almost at the door….always a couple days away from when they say it will come. Staff that have been to school upgrading while we built are arriving with advanced skills. Ads are out for additional staff and interviews will take place soon. The application for permission to open is at hand. Preliminary visits by the government have been made with positive comments. The granite counter in the lab is being installed, the driveway is being smoothed. A thousand details are being attended to. 

We sit together and think about the wonderful people we work with here, but really, it is not just the staff here. It is all of you, from little towns to big, with small gifts and larger gifts, with gifts of money, prayer, encouragement of others to be involved….that is a huge staff. Bless all of you. 

And now Dr. Dennis and Paula Lofstrom will begin the long trip back to the States, to continue telling the story of this great adventure. They will travel over highways and through towns until they return back here in March of next year. They seek funds to enable the building of the birthing and neonatal center and more. And we know that some of you will make the trip here to construct, care or cope with the development of this wondrous place. 

Welcome, all of you. 

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

Denny Lofstrom writing

Five months have gone by rapidly and today it has been necessary to finish packing, selecting only what is necessary so as not to exceed the weight restrictions. 

When we return to the U.S., a few days earlier this year – our schedule is not the usual first stop at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN for the Nobel Conference, but in Kansas City to attend Paula’s 55th high school class reunion, a 2-3 day affair. Then we resume our traditional schedule – some days at Mayo getting the old bodies checked over followed by Mayo Family Practice Clinical Reviews for 3 intensive days – credits I need to maintain my medical practice license. 

Then we are off and running to keep up with a full schedule of fund raising presentations that cover a major part of the U.S., including Hawaii. 

We hope to see many of you in the next months. 

Thank you for your interest and support for The Children’s Hospital, Zinga. 
 

Dr. Charles Powell writing

Although I have been involved in IHP since 2009, this is my first trip to The Children's Hospital at Zinga. First impressions are always lasting, and my first impression is very, very good. The outpatient department is not only beautiful and modern by Tanzanian standards, it is even luxurious by US standards. The rooms are bright, airy, and spacious. Thanks to the efforts of many, including Mary Ellen Kitundu, they are tastefully decorated. Having operated a clinic in the US for a number of years, I can say there is a small amount of envy over how nicely appointed and roomy these have turned out. 

I also was indirectly involved in the construction of the first real house on the hospital site. The house is, in a word, spectacular. The Property Brothers would not have to do a thing with the basic design. The house is “open concept,” and I can't say enough good things about the porch. It is wide, comfortable, and there is a beautiful sunset every day. Even the “bad” sunsets are pretty spectacular. Eventually I hope to be living in this house, and I know it will be a place of comfort and relaxations. 
 

Inspecting Items

It likely is apparent by now that I have been impressed with what is here already. But much remains to be done. I believe our most important contribution in Tanzania is going to be in obstetrical and neonatal care. Herein lies the catch: we cannot provide these services until we have a place to provide them, and equipment in place to fulfill the needs. I am dedicated to creating a new, higher standard in neonatal care for Tanzania. The mortality rates for children under five years of age has improved greatly in recent years. Unfortunately, the mortality rate for infants has not improved one bit. Our goal is to change those statistics, one patient at a time. Our aim is to become a facility at which the care is a step beyond the care ordinarily provided; to provide outstanding care. Of course, we need both financial support and volunteers to accomplish this. 

Not to say that this is the end of the project. The plans include a pediatric ward, emergency department, surgical suite, and some limited adult services as well. We need to build staff housing so our dedicated professionals have a place to live. We need more accommodations for guests, volunteers, medical students, and physicians in training. Eventually, we will need a small hostel for our own, locally trained residents. Again, we hope to propagate a level of pediatric care in Tanzania that has not previously been known. 

So, am I asking for contributions? No. I am asking those of you who are led to do so to come for a visit. Stay in our beautiful guest houses. Swim in the wonderful pool that was installed especially for our volunteers. See what is here already. Work along side our outstanding local laborers. Help the local medical staff. Safari in Tanzania to witness first-hand the beauty of this country. Meet the friendly and appreciative people. Then decide: what can I do? 

Charles W. Powell, M.D., F.A.A.P.

Selemani Shabani writing

Hello everyone.

I pray that every one of you is doing very well. We are all doing well here in Zinga/Bagamoyo Tanzania. We are still dreaming about power for days now. They keep promising that we can get the power next week, but now it has been months with no power. There are some people who have paid for the power services since last year, their power poles are lying on the ground. We are lucky because we have all the power poles up and the wires. They keep telling us that they are missing few things to finish. Maybe we are going to get the power next month I will say that. We are looking forward to having electricity. 
 

Right now we are getting prepared to open the hospital, but the only problem is electricity. People in the village keep asking, “When are you going to start seeing patients?” Thank you very much for all of your donations of time to IHP JEMA, money and things you have sent to us. You are such a wonderful gift to IHP JEMA, remember that IHP would never be where it is right now without you. Thank you very much for your help and support. 

The Lofstroms are getting prepared to fly back to the US for fundraising. We have spent all the money they made when they were there last time, so that we can reach where we are now. They are flying Monday night. We will go back to push these electrical people so that we have the electricity on time. We will also be leveling the parking place and making the roads in our compound. Whenever we have money then we can start new building's, like x-ray, birthing centre and e.t.c. 

Best Regards,

Sele

A word from recent volunteers

I'm 20 years old and from South Florida. I heard about IHP and the work they are doing in Tanzania through my church and I really wanted to get involved. I had no idea what to expect, but it turned out to be such a wonderful experience. While I'm not a medical student, I was still able to help with cleaning and plenty of cooking. I was so glad I was able to be a part of what IHP is doing in the lives of the people in east Africa, and I cannot wait to go back when I graduate college and see how things have progressed.

- Nicole Wenger

 

I am a 21 year old nursing student from England. I first heard about IHP through a friend who visited Tanzania when she was a medical student. She spoke very highly of Paula and Denny and passed on their details. I wanted to visit Tanzania to gain experience of what the hospitals, health system and education was like within a third world country. 
I have just finished my 2 week trip, staying with Paula and Denny. At first I wondered how I would cope without electricity, wifi or hot water, but you very quickly learn to adapt and realize that these are not the essentials of life. I spent one afternoon baking bread and cinnamon buns with Paula, while we were baking I learned a lot about her and her life, I was intrigued and amazed by all the things that she and Denny have done and the effect that everything they do has on other people. 
While I was here I spent some time at the local government hospital, Bagamoyo District Hospital, on Ward 4, the pediatric ward. The ward had around 16 beds and 2 beds in isolation for children with sickness and diarrhea, although I was told that when they have more than 18 children that need to be admitted they put mattresses on the floor, or they share beds. This really emphasizes how important the children’s hospital in Zinga is going to be, and the difference it is going to make! 
I also spent some time with Mary Ellen and Sele preparing the new outpatient department of the Children’s Hospital, It was very exciting for me to see it all coming together during my short time here. I was amazed at the amount off medical equipment/resources that had been donated and sent over in shipment containers. Myself and Mary-Ellen had good fun unpacking all the boxes and seeing what was inside! 
During my time here I have learned so much, not only within medicine, but about life and about myself. I am so grateful to Paula and Denny for welcoming me in to their home and showing me their way of life out here. 
Everyone at IHP-TZ, from Paula and Denny, to the guards and the workers that they employ are truly inspiring, each with their own story to tell. I hope that in the future, once I have finished my studies, I will return and see what a difference the Children’s Hospital in Zinga has made. 

- Gemma Adams

Paula Lofstrom writing

Denny and I are packed up. It’s hard hard HARD to leave Zinga. It’s a beautiful place to live and to work. We’re surrounded by people we love and we’re doing the work that God has chosen us to do. We are blessed. 

We were hoping, of course, that the clinic would open before we left, but the delays have won and we are leaving when things are just budding but not blooming, yet. But Spring started today (this is the southern hemisphere), and change is coming. 

Having Dr. Bon and his wife and Miriam, who will be the Matron (Head Nurse) back among our Tanzanian family feels just marvelous. We cook together, eat together, work together to get the clinic open and ready to serve patients. We care for others because God cares for us and has instilled in us the talent and determination to bring health to everyone we possibly can. 

As most above have said, it is YOU who are making this possible. Thank you. We need your help. We have lots of challenges to meet in the next six months. We must start the building for the digital x-ray being donated by Rotary International and also this building will house a water purification unit being donated by Aqua-Viva. 

We also must finance another container of surgical equipment being donated by a surgi-center in Kansas City, MO. But, to buy and ship a container costs about $20,000. 

If you would like to help – and it feels GOOD to know you’re helping others – please send 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 

Here are some of the ways your money can help: 

 

What your money can buy

  • $10 = Two boxes of gloves
  • $20 = 1,600 syringes
  • $25= wages for one person for 2.5 days
  • $50.00 = Complete work-up for a child under 5 years old
  • $60 = Gas to go for supplies to Dar es Salaam
  • $70 = 70 cement blocks for building and the wages to pay the people doing it. We can make 500 blocks in one day.
  • $75 = 9 pieces of wood 2” x 6” x 14’
  • $100 = wages for one month for a beginning laborer