July 2006

Newsletters

 
     
 
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Mary Kitundu's letter about Saint John’s University of Tanzania.

Dear Friends of International Health Partners,

 

As you may know from the website (www.ihptz.org), we have projects in three places: Mwanza, Dodoma and Dar es Salaam. One of the projects in Dodoma is the support of the nursing department of a brand new university: Saint John’s University of Tanzania.

 

In Tanzania, we have a great need for nurses. The current need is for 26,000 nurses. At the rate we are producing nurses, it will take 100 years to reach this goal. Nurses are crucial to improving health care in Tanzania, so this project fits in nicely with our mission.

 

The school site was originally built to be a university but was turned over to the government around the time of independence. It served a role as a scientific secondary school with an excellent reputation. Now it has been returned to the Anglican Church to be developed into a university. Because this is a new University, there is no equipment, books, desks or chairs.

 

One of our Board Members, Mrs. Bibianna Mwaluko, was selected to become the Dean of Health Sciences and the head of the Nursing Department. IHP arranged for appointments with ten reputable institutions of higher education: big and small universities, public and private throughout the United States. The Anglican Church paid for the expenses, and so Mary Kitundu and Bibianna Mwaluko visited all institutions within a period of 3 weeks.

 

We were graciously received by all schools. They were interested in the project especially the design to spread nursing education all over the country through the use of e-learning centers. We returned with promises of textbooks, equipment, computers and all the things necessary for running a nursing school. Of course, now the problem is bringing all the materials to Dodoma. And we can still use more….

 

We plan to open in January with 40 students, increase to 80 per class the next year and top off at 100. In the meantime, we will start with continuing education and then add a RN to BSN program two years later with many of the classes on line. A master’s degree program will be added 2 years later with the first focus on nursing education.

 

It is a very ambitious program but the need is so great that we cannot wait.

 

Special thanks are do to Turo University in Las Vegas, Concordia College in Moorhead, Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota, Rush University in Chicago, Chapel Hill and Duke in Raleigh, North Carolina, Emory in Atlanta, University of Maryland in Baltimore and John’s Hopkins University. They were gracious beyond words and many of the faculty started to pull books off of their bookshelves before we had even left.

 

There will be a container leaving from Winona, Minnesota…contact Cathy and John Nosek (new board members) cmnosek@winona.edu and Jnosek@winona.edu for details. As this is a new university, they can use university level books in every subject (copyright dates 2000 or later please.)

 

Mwanza continues to develop with the opening of the health unit any day. In Dar es Salaam, the down payment for the land for the HIV/AIDS children’s center of excellence was made….a huge project that needs your consideration. That project will also be connected to cities all over Tanzania as the number of pediatricians in the country is very limited.

 

We appreciate your notes of good will and your contributions to these very important issues.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mary Kitundu

 

 

 

 

Paula's News on services provided at Isaka, Shinyanga and Mwanza.

Dear ones who care about Tanzania,

 

We're hosting John and Judith Nanson, again, to our absolute delight. Dr. Christine Peterson is also busy seeing patients and Ashley Blakey serves with them in the various clinics. John saw 60 patients yesterday at Isaka. He saw about 20 the afternoon before at Shinyanga. Christine saw patients at the Mwanza Dispensary.

 

In addition to those above, Erin McCraw, a nursing student from Tennessee is here, and Veronika Hoffman, a medical student from Austria has joined us.

 

Our volunteers do much more than work in the various dispensaries. The guest house needed major "fixing up" in order to be habitable. So, our volunteers pitched right in and joined Sele doing wiring, painting, plumbing, scrubbing, sanding, etc.

 

Going to dispensaries involves getting up very early at "O Dark:30" as we used to call it in Antarctica, actually, I think it was 4:30 or 5:00 A.M. It takes 3 hrs. to get to Shinyanga from Mwanza.

 

It takes only 15 minutes or so to get "set up", i.e. figure out a desk and chairs for the doctor, nurse/interpreter, and patients and an exam table of some sort. Next the meds we bring are set up according to category (antibiotics, antifungals, antimalarials, anti hypertensives, gut, worms, diabetic, respiratory, etc.). Two people work dispensing meds from the pharmacy area and explaining to the patients how the meds are to be taken. Follow-up appointments are scheduled with the Clinic Officer at the dispensary.

 

The Sunday before our arrival the pastors announce a medical team is coming. The dispensary staff is also forewarned and interpreters are on hand. When we first arrive there don't appear to be too many patients, but by the time we're unloaded and set up there is a line of people registering to be seen.

 

At Isaka which is "out in the middle of nowhere," the first impression is, "it will be a short day." But, every few minutes, on foot, bicycle, ox cart, etc. the patients come and keep coming. Some of the children are obviously quite ill.

 

The weather this July is like Arizona in January, sunny, dry, temperature in the 70s, a gentle breeze. The bougainvillea explodes in purple/pink blossoms. The grass is golden brown like California, the rocky hills are in the distance, the sandy soil on this flat 125 acres supports the trees planted in neat rows a few years ago as well as several older shade-giving acacia or umbrella trees.

 

The cleared ground around the dispensary is neatly swept and free of litter. The new road being built about 1/2 mile from the entrance creates a hum of activity from trucks, machinery, and dust. It is the dry season.

 

There are 2 brick staff homes about 100 meters from the dispensary and on the other side is a mud brick round home with a thatched roof and a rectangular mud brick barn, perhaps 8 by 20 feet. A thorn bush "fence" defines the boma perimeter keeping goats and cattle in at night and predators (hyenas) out. The barn is listing heavily to one side and in another rainy season or two will decay and begin to melt back into the earth and a new one will be constructed. Mud and grass are not expensive building materials. Papaya trees sport football sized fruit. There are two smaller mango trees.

 

The driveway to the clinic and parking area are lined with white painted rocks giving a neat appearance. Iridescent sun birds with their rounded bills are drinking nectar from blooming succulents. Black and white puffbacks waggle along the ground. It's a beautiful place.

 

The first patient seen has asthma, pneumonia, and malaria. The second has tuberculosis and is referred to the government hospital as T.B. and leprosy meds are provided free by the government with a regimented dispensing program.

 

Later we see a mom, 32 weeks pregnant with malaria. Another lady has blood pressure of 198/110. We see a patient, 18 years old, with XXY chromosomal disorder. Another woman, 44, looks 8 months pregnant but there is no baby, it's a tumor or a calcified fetus that died en-utero. She's sent for x-ray at the nearest referral hospital. There are twin little girls with malaria, lice, and worms. The line is endless, the cases interesting. At the end of the day, significant medicine has been practiced and patients are helped and satisfied.

 

Denny and I set up a new pharmacy system according to the pharmacy board of Tanzania's recommendations, and the staff eagerly accepts the controls put in place.

 

It was a satisfying day.

 

To those of you who received an e-mail from Outreach. We have nothing to do with this organization and cannot verify anything they say. If you wish to be removed from their list, please notify them. Our e-mail list was copied without our permission.

 

In October we will be in Minnesota and would love to have speaking engagements scheduled. In November we will be in Washington and Oregon. In December we will be in California until Christmas which we plan to spend with family in Phoenix. In January we will be back in the Midwest, Kansas City, Indiana, etc. In February we'll be in South Carolina, and then return to Tanzania. If you'd like us to speak to anyone who would be interested, please let us know so we can work out the most gas-saving schedule. By the way, diesel here is about $6.00 per gallon. Yikes!

 

Our priority list will be in the next update but it begins with a larger car so we can transport teams from place to place. We'll also need diesel for it and routine maintenance to keep it running.

 

Next is an operating budget of about $2500.00 a month so that we can pay our staff and buy building supplies.

 

Each dispensary has a list of "needs."

 

These include:

X-ray

Ultrasound Instruments and sterilization in order to do safe deliveries

Exam tables

 

Please send any help you would like to to:

 

International Health Partners, US

 

Thank you.

Bless you,

 

Denny and Paula Lofstrom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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