International
Health Partners

Caring for Children


 

July 2018 Update from Zinga

Jesse Kitundu writing

Dear Friends to Mothers and Children of Tanzania.

July to August are the most exciting months for all of us.

What do I mean?  It is the coming together between we (the staff and our patients) and volunteers.  

Regardless of who we are, all us we share different ideas, knowledge, experiences and future plans. How wonderful this is, hard to believe, working together as one big family. Patients are happy for the volunteers helping them without charges. They wish, they could speak Kiswahili as they want to ask them so many questions what do they know about them. How long were they staying? They also want to volunteer to teach them Kiswahili if possible. Questions and questions go on. 

Let me leave this to my friends to express about Zinga and what they have seen for themselves.

We really appreciate and thank you all, our friends who are here with us, as well as for those who are not here. 

Welcome again for those with us here and Welcome for those who wish to visit. Visiting and seeing Zinga makes a difference!

Blessing to you all.

Jesse A. Kitundu MD,

President,

IHP – JEMA Tanzania.

 

Dennis Lofstrom writing:

July 4th, Independence Day for USA has come and gone with only we expats aware of its passing, no fireworks, no firecrackers, no cherry bombs to startle the neighborhood, but we did have potato salad and beans and hot dogs, a picnic menu, to celebrate the occasion.

July 9th, Independence Day, Tanganyika, 1961, has come and gone and I have memories of dancing in the street with our national employees on that first proud day of an Independent Nation.  

So it is 2018, and July 19thand I am five months beyond my Feb. 20th 90th birthday.  Time passes more rapidly the older one becomes and I certainly am aware of that.  

“Come along with me – the best is yet to be.”  

Thank you for all your help for IHP and Zinga

 

Paula Lofstrom writing:

The days have flown since this energetic team from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Sandy, UT came to help make a difference here at The Children’s Hospital at Zinga.  Their comments are below.  Our hosting them has been a true joy.  The progress they made with painting the labor and delivery building and the round guest houses has been astounding, to us and to the people observing their energy and drive.  Karibuni tena…..welcome again.  And, we expect they will return as they’ve committed to another team in 2020.

 

The physical therapists, Dawn and Amy, as well as Mary Pace, who is a teacher of special ed kids, have made a true impact on the community. Our number of P.T. patients has grown from two to eleven in two weeks.  Most are children with cerebral palsy or similar conditions, but three adults, too.

Your donations have made this possible.  Think of the prayers your generosity has answered.  

To those twenty people plus those who donated through Facebook who the Ambulance, Thank you!! It went on the first run the day after it was delivered to the hospital.  

The Matching Grant Report:  

So far we have received $9,618.50 towards the $15,000 Christmas in July matching grant offered by Dr. Christine Peterson to help complete the labor and delivery building of The Mary Ellen Kitundu Memorial Birthing Center.  We have until Aug. 10thto receive the remaining $5,381.50.  Can we manage????  

Please note our speaking schedule below.  There are some open Sundays as well as many mid-week dates available for speaking to your living room to your friends, to your Kiwanis or Rotary or Lion’s club, your book club, quilting group, etc.  

 

Jennifer Talbott

Mayo Clinic School of Medicine – Arizona

Year 1 Student

I decided to spend 3 weeks of my summer shadowing at the Children’s Hospital in Zinga to observe firsthand international primary care. I expected to practice Swahili in a tiny one-room building in a field. What I didn’t expect was such a thriving and noisy hospital! I like to spend time on the porch, reflecting and taking it all in. Mothers shuffle their sandals and hush wailing babies. Toddlers run up and down the porch like kids in a candy store, jumping from coloring books laid out upon one table to a little plastic Tonka tow truck they can drive up and down the tile. A man groans and clutches his hand; he’s just arrived by motorcycle from a machine accident that cut his finger wide open. Next to him, a nurse helps an elderly woman walk over to the x-ray room. The porch is filled with the hustle and bustle of a healthy, busy clinic, and I am glad to be listening right in the center of it.

I’m interested in international development because I’m not satisfied with the way we take care of each other around the world. If there is something, anything, we can do to improve the lives of those around us, shouldn’t we be doing it? It feels like the hospital here has a similar mindset. Each patient is an opportunity to improve a life, and it’s a responsibility IHP does not take lightly. At times we don’t have enough of the perfect medication, or can’t order the most specific and advanced diagnostic test. But I have seen more ingenuity and creativity here than in my entire first year of medical school, and every patient leaves feeling heard and attended to. At the same time, the hospital is cognizant of its role in the community and takes sustainable development seriously. For example, all of the doctors and medical staff are Tanzanian. I spend time getting to know one of the physician’s sons, who is also a medical student and here on summer vacation. He tells me he can’t wait to graduate and return here to this village to work for IHP. 

When I visit places and people with so little I feel compelled to do something, anything, to make their world just a little bit better. It’s a vision I believe I share with IHP, and it has been a privilege to spend time learning from them this summer. Thank you. 

 

It is Mary Pace from Kansas City again.  It is hard to believe I have been here a month.  Boy what a month it has been.  When I started to provide physical therapy last year, the clinic had two patients with disabilities.  At the beginning of this trip, I started to see the same two. About 3 weeks ago, I got to see a little boy named Daniel.  He had been born with only a leg to above where his knee should be.  Paula had said that he had been provided with a peg when he began to walk and had outgrown it. It got me to thinking about how I could help this little boy be able to walk.  I had brought several pairs of AFO (ankle foot orthotics) with me and decided that they would instrumental in whatever I decided to do.  The medical students helped me obtain some measurements from Daniel and I was on my way to creating something.  Next, I went to the carpenter with an AFO that I thought would work.  

The talented man made a wooden leg with a foot at the end to go inside of the AFO. I then went to work trying to decide how the leg would stay on.  I used a long sock and secured it on the wooden leg.  I then used a joint brace to make the leg securely stay in place. Daniel’s mom took it home after receiving instructions and a week later Daniel came to the clinic.  He had his new leg on and proceeded to walk up and down the waiting area independently.  I have never been so excited, proud and joyful before in my life. I had changed this boy’s life. 

This is why I support this cause and come here every year.  I made a life-changing difference in someone else’s life.  It is what everyone dreams of, and I got to experience it.  Since Daniel received his leg there have been adjustments to make it better for him.  

 

To top this wonderful event off, our patient list went from two to nine children in two weeks.  The children range from 17 months to 10 years.  This is only the beginning of what the clinic will see in the next year in regards to therapy and adaptive equipment to help these children be successful in their worlds.  One such success is Jafari.  This little boy had begun to walk with a walker.  He is so excited every time he is able to walk this way and does not want to stop.  Again, another life changed.

You can be a part of these differences.  You can decide to visit this amazing place and help in any number of ways.  Yes, I get to do therapy.  But, I also do dishes, wash clothes, cook, paint, and anything else I am able to do.  If visiting is not something that is feasible in your life, you can always donate to the cause.  There are many buildings being built here with the help of donors.  This place is becoming a clinic that is respected in the community.  As it grows, it will provide the proper care for all ages.  This is my ninth year and I plan on many more.  I can describe what it is like to be able to make a difference, but you won’t truly know until you do it yourself.  

 

My name is Dennis Dickerson. I am the president of the congregation at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Sandy, Utah. As a church, we are committed to assisting in the work of IHP, Two years ago, I came to help with the beginnings of the birthing center with my wife and youngest son and four other members of our congregation. We returned this year because we want to continue to help in attaining the vision for the hospital complex.

Returning this year with a group from our church to paint the center was a labor of love. With the outside now painted and a few additional exterior tasks to complete, the birthing center is well on its way to opening. This great progress shouldn’t overshadow the fact that there is much work to be done. The people of Tanzania need the services that are currently being provided and will be provided in the future.

My family and I look forward to returning to continue to do whatever we can to help. In the meantime, I will gladly spread the word of the great work God is doing in Zinga.

 

Jambo! This is Jolyn Dickerson from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Sandy, Utah. This is the second visit to Zinga, Tanzania for my family. Two years ago we hauled bricks, helped make concrete, dug trenches, and sorted a cargo box. This year the team from Good Shepherd was charged with painting the outside of the birthing center a beautiful sea-foam green. The work was difficult and long, but the team persevered and completed the task much sooner than we thought possible. Paula has other projects for us, so we won’t sit around for long! The building is progressing to the point where we can actually visualize moms and their babies being cared for in this facility. Please keep this worthy mission in your prayers! 

 

Senior Pastor James Wakefield, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (LCMC), Sandy, Utah. This is my fourth year in a row visiting the Children’s Hospital in Zinga. I love this place! Our first visit in 2015 was to “check it out” and make sure it was real. Oh, thank God, it is real! We brought two teams in July of 2016 to begin building the birthing center. My bride and I returned in May of 2017 to continue developing our friendships and partnership with the incredible staff of IHP-JEMA and the hospital. My bride is a physical therapist, and is very excited about the opportunities to develop the rehab department at the hospital. We talked about it all year, and so we are delighted to be here again this summer. 

Our team of nine includes two teenagers, two physical therapists, an oncologist, and three grunt laborers (myself included). Our goal was to paint the exterior of the Mary Ellen Kitundu Birthing Center. It is huge! We gave it two coats of paint, and even our medical team members could not resist getting in on the action. Now it is huge and beautiful! Mission accomplished! We still have some time to paint three of the guest roundhouses.

My bride and I will return next year (God willing). We are already reserving time to bring a team again in 2020. We believe in this opportunity to serve God and the people of Tanzania. If you ever wonder if this is real, look our congregation up on the internet and CALL ME! 

This is Dave Bogumil writing. This is my fourth trip to Tanzania. I went to Mwanza two times to work with IHP at Nyakato and now two times at Zinga working on the pediatric hospital. Each time I come here I am in awe of the work that our great saints Paula and Denny Lofstrom (Included are Sele Shabani, Dr. Jesse Kitundu and a host of others!). For some, the progress seems slow. To me this place is changing rapidly and one would not recognize it based on what it looked like in 2016. On this visit, we were tasked with painting the birthing center building powder blue (or some would say seafoam green – eye of the beholder I guess). Our team worked well together and worked with joy as we knew that any small contribution to the project was well worth it. We still have two days to go and it looks like we’ll be painting the guest “round houses”. This year we were able to visit more families in the village and evangelize about Jesus Christ.  A local Presbyterian pastor was our guide and we distributed Swahili bibles to all of the non-Christian families we met.  

This was of course, a rewarding experience in so many ways.  The opportunity to experience the culture, meet and interact with the families (Practicing my rudimentary Swahili is always fun!) and spread “the word” was fantastic. Thank you Pastor Joseph Jacob.  I highly encourage all to come out to Zinga, Tz. and help make the pediatric hospital dream a reality.  Your life will never be the same.

 

Hi my name is Lilly Frame and I am from SLC, Utah. I am going into 9thgrade at The Waterford School. I came on this mission trip to serve the people of Tanzania, and find a different perspective on the world. I have found that life in Zinga is not easy. Many of the citizens do not have running water in their houses and have to work from sunup to sundown just to make it by. This trip has taught me to be grateful for everything that I have, and work hard even if it does not get you far. 

 

Hello, my name is James and I’m 15 years old. Me and my parents went to Tanzania, Africa two years ago and have come back this year. Our reason for visiting here is to help build a birthing center. We had previously set many of the bricks for the building down and this year we were tasked to paint the outside of the building. We painted it very quickly because we were all working very hard. I hope we can come back here in the years to come and see the birthing center finished. 

 

Hello, my name is Dr. Richard Frame and I am an Oncologist from Salt Lake City.  I am volunteering with members of Good Shepherd Lutheran church.  Little did I know I would have the opportunity to be of service on the first Ambulance run at the Zinga Children’s Hospital.  

The Ambulance arrived the day before we arrived.  I made quick friends with the wonderful Staff, Sele, and William.  When they called me to go for a ride in the Ambulance I thought it was to test the engine and siren. When we turned off the main road and sped off through the pitted road next to the rice patties things started to get interesting.  

We stopped at a collection of homes and a woman with acute paralysis was brought to the ambulance.  She became so weak and could not walk.  I assisted in strapping her and into the gurney and her family came along for the ride.  Ten minutes later we were at the Hospital.  A lesson we learned was that we did not need to back up the ramp because it made it very difficult to get her out of the vehicle feet first. 

Her condition was stabilized and she had excellent emergency care.  She had acute on chronic neurologic deterioration.  Dr. Bon and two Physical therapists, Amy and Dawn also from SLC were consulted.  In the truest multidisciplinary approach, we discussed the differential diagnosis of possible traumatic brain injury, Gullian-Barre, Cerebellar Brain tumor, Brain Abscess, Parasitic infection and complication from malaria.  We elected to treat her for malaria and see her back for short-term follow up.

There are several messages from the experience.  First is that the Ambulance was provided from donations from many different people. Additionally, there was outreach for patient care from the Zinga Hospital soon after the Ambulance was available.  Also, volunteers and Tanzanian staff work together to allow the best outcomes for the patients.  All who donate to the IHP funds can feel proud that their resources are being used for direct patient services. 

Richard Frame, M.D.  

 

My name is Amy Frame.  I am a physical therapist from Salt Lake City, Utah.  I came on this mission because I was asked and felt it was a worthy cause and wonderful opportunity to experience with my family.  The opportunity was to expose my 14 y/o daughter to a culture she has never been exposed to and to help the children of Tanzania however I could being a physical therapist.  What I found was more than anticipated.  The openness and welcoming of the people have been a pleasure. It has solidified that we are all one people wanting good health, security, love, acceptance, and prosperity for our family.   We cannot do it on our own.  It is important to create an opportunity for ourselves and others however possible. When we work together a better life will be created for all.  Through my time treating at the children’s clinic I have identified needs to create more beneficial treatments and will explore options when back in the United States to make this a reality.

Amy Frame, PT, DPT

                             

Jambo!  This is Dawn Wakefield, PT, from beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah, where I work at Primary Children’s Hospital.  This is my second trip to The Children’s Hospital of Zinga, where I have been given the opportunity to “practice medicine for the JOY of it.” I cannot express in words how impressed and motivated I am by this experience.  There is such a need for rehabilitation here! Because there is little training here in the field of rehab, there are no local physical therapists to treat the children who are needing care.  I have been privileged to work with several children who have cerebral palsy and low muscle tone, seizure disorders, and have even been part of the evaluation and treatment for a young woman with suspected Gillian-Barre’ Syndrome.  I have found, adjusted, and given away donated equipment that is changing lives!  The Lofstrom’s provide a wonderful base from which to work.  They are an inspiration to me to expand my own knowledge base so I can come back year after year, bringing back more skills, teaching more caregivers, and increasing the acceptance of persons with disabilities here.  It is my dream to be part of developing a rehab center and training program at the hospital.  Whatever you can do to support The Children’s Hospital is most appreciated!  Asante sana!  

If you can help, please send a check to:

International Health Partners, U.S.

Joyce Zemel, Treasurer

1811 So. 39th St., #36

Mesa, AZ 85206

Or

Go to our website, www.ihptz.org and click on Donate

Or

Call Joyce at 480-540-9317 and she’ll put it on your credit/debit card.

 

Blessings and gratitude,

Paula and Denny