Health Partners

Caring for Children


August 2015 Update

Dear Concerned and Loving Friends of the Children of Tanzania,

Mary Ellen Kitundu


An exciting day today….we have finished the basic building of the Outpatient Department and started moving in the equipment and supplies from those miraculous containers many of you contributed to. There are chairs, exam tables, desks, shelves, cabinets to put our surgical equipment in, some shelves for the beginning pharmacy, lab equipment, on and on…. The furniture for the lab is being constructed, the counters for the lab are being negotiated, curtains hung, stethoscopes distributed in the rooms….well you can sense our excitement as we come closer and closer to being able to serve and care for the children of Tanzania. Once we have everything in place, the Ministry of Health will come to inspect to make sure we have everything we need. And we feel very ready for a positive response. Once that happens, and all our staff has arrived and been given an orientation, we will open! 


Dr Bonaventura has passed his upgrading with flying colors, Mirium Mugo arrives at the end of this month and will be the Director of Nurses. She worked with us before and this pause in building the beginning of the Children’s Hospital of Zinga has enabled her to upgrade to a Baccalaureate Nurse and the Leader of her class at St. John’s University of Tanzania. Rebecca Bomani has her diploma in Accounting and will help keep track of the finances of the Hospital. We are so pleased to have her work with us. 

We are not sure of the official opening date…it depends on the Ministry of Health, but be assured that we will be ready to give quality care for the children of Tanzania. All the construction delays have been resolved. Hopefully electricity arrives in three weeks or so. Everything is finally coming together which is a miracle in itself! Thanks to all of you generous people. 

God bless you.

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

Denny writing

Those of you who have climbed Kilimanjaro know what it is like when you encountered the scree – 2-3 steps forward and sliding back a step or two. This is how our progress has been at Zinga during the past 6 months. We have made progress but more slowly than planned. A team of painters and a team of fencers have helped make good progress, but a local contractor had to be replaced because his outfit was not doing their job and were holding up other workers responsible for installation of doors and windows in the outpatient department. 

A necessary wall in the laboratory, required by the Ministry of Health to define a blood drawing area (no a curtain would not do – only a solid wall) was promised on Monday, a few days hence – but not installed until the following Monday. They hadn’t told us which Monday! 

The electricity would be available in 4 days! I said to myself: “Sure, and pigs will fly.” Tanesco has had internal management problems and it has been more than 40 days now. 

But! We are making progress. The furniture, supplies and equipment from the storage containers from Saskatoon, Canada, Payola, Kansas, and Eupora, Mississippi are being put in the outpatient building today! The electrical poles are mostly in place and insulators and wire are being installed along with a large transformer. 

Thank you all for your hard work and support of The Children’s Hospital at Zinga. 

Den Lofstrom

A word from recent volunteers

Anyone who has been to Tanzania to aid in bringing International Health Partner's vision to fruition is well aware of how infectious the experience can be. I ventured to Mwanza with a team of 25 in 2009 and returned, this time to Zinga, on a solo adventure in June. I can't begin to explain how wonderful the experience was for me, and how much it solidified my future plans, but I can say that what this organization is doing is so beneficial and will undoubtedly help the children of Tanzania in infinite ways. I spent my month constructing a fence: mixing concrete by hand, carrying that concrete in buckets to holes that we dug with shovels, measuring the posts and then measuring them again to ensure that they were level, stringing wire over distances that I didn't even care to keep track of, and having an impossibly fantastic time. The people that I worked with were some of the most kind, caring, and welcoming people I've come across. They invited me with open arms into their daily lives, and helped me fall increasingly more in love with the country that I initially fell in love with as a 12 year old. Connections were made, character was built, language was learned, and a seed was planted. Trips back are inevitable. I am so excited to see the growth of this wonderful project as it continues- kidogo kidogo hujaza kibaba. Tutaonana baadaye, Tanzania!

- Madeline Smith, Kansas City, MO


My interest in travelling to East Africa stemmed from a good friend of mine, who has his own non-profit organization that builds self-sustainable projects in Tanzania and Uganda. I had been volunteering for his annual fundraising gala for 3 years and finally decided that I wanted to see for myself what kind of work was being done over there so that’s how I became involved with them. After becoming acquainted with Paula, Denny, and Mary Ellen over the last 2 weeks, I can honestly say that these individuals and everyone who is associated with IHP are very giving and selfless. The things that they are accomplishing are not easy – you can’t just put any “Joe on the street” in their shoes and get the results that they have achieved. But they can’t do it alone. 
The fact that IHP will be constructing the first pediatric hospital in the country of Tanzania is astounding. I can’t believe that I was given the opportunity to be a part of something that will change the lives of thousands of people for years to come. We may feel that our contributions, whether it’s donating $25 a month or painting the walls of the Outpatient Division, are small and not as impactful…but the truth is EVERY single prayer, EVERY single penny, and EVERY single hand matters. Bringing a project of this scope to life will take a team, but this team welcomes anybody and everybody. 
During my time here, my heart has been won over by the people of Tanzania because of their unconditional hospitality. Despite the fact that I look completely different than they do and I can’t speak Swahili, I’ve still been able to share humbling interactions with them. Their smiles, their friendly gestures, and their admiring eyes make this place feel just like home. No one will leave this place unchanged. I really hope that one day, I’ll get the opportunity to come back and see the hospital, filled with patients who will now receive the medical care that they deserve.

- Rosie Nguyen; 25 years old; Salt Lake City, UT; Graduate Student at the University of Utah


What an honor to be able to serve, even just a minor role, IHP and the children of Tanzania. Before I left the U.S., a friend prayed over me that the Lord would share a new ‘vision’ with me once I landed in Tanzania. After helping paint the Foundation of the new Outpatient Department and prepare it for equipment installation, Paula shared her vision of the entire Children’s hospital with me. The size and scope of the entire project is a bit overwhelming, but the Lord spoke to me that next morning about how vast He is, and how literally ‘small’ the nations are compared to His glory. His resources are truly unlimited as He is the builder of the nations. It is my prayer that this project will be to His honor and glory that the Children’s hospital at Zinga will bring deeper healing not only physically, but emotionally, mentally, and most importantly spiritually to this community. 

- Duy Beck; 37 years old; Salt Lake City, UT


Thanks be to God for this time in Tanzania! Our key goal was to develop relationships and deepen trust with IHP, meaning of course, Denny, Paula, and Mary Ellen. We hope to bring at least one team, and I am hoping two teams, in July of 2016 to help build the Birthing Center. We also want to explore the possibilities of doing helpful evangelism with a local congregation. 
Our 10 days here have been precious. We worked hard at painting the foundation of the OPD on our first full day of work. Our second full work day was spent (re)painting in the 170 foot long hallway. A second coat was needed after the doors and windows were installed. We have also spent time shopping, and visiting potential sight-seeing opportunities for our teams next summer. 

Zinga OPD

Rosie and I have prevailed upon all the others and interviewed them on camera. We are hoping this will allow us to produce some short videos to help recruit volunteers and donors for IHP. 
Of course best of all have been the common meals full of laughter and story-telling. We all see things so differently. But we serve one Lord and we are practicing loving our neighbors in patient and gentle ways. My take away from this trip for our congregation? We are all in! 

- Pastor James Wakefield, age 60-something, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Sandy, Utah


I have never been out of the United States before. Thanks be to God that my first trip out of the U S was to Tanzania. I was asked to come here for fact finding and to build relationships and trust between Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and IHP. I am going home with more than facts and the building of a relationship but a true love for what IHP is doing and the people of Tanzania. I do not speak the language but have found out that the warm smile of the people here will bridge any language gap with love. 
Meal time is good, great food just like we would have at home. This time is also spent with story telling, laughter and of course giving a grade to the sunset. 


We did painting, interviewing, meeting the people here , and shopping trips. In the short 10 days here we have gained a great love for the people of Tanzania and a commitment to help IHP make their dream come true. 

- Wally Burton, age "60-something", Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Sandy, Utah

Paula Lofstrom writing

As you can see from the above, we have had exciting times this month. Now let me tell you what the future is bringing. 

Thanks to Rotary Clubs, their district matching grants and Rotary, International, IHP is being given a digital x-ray machine as well as a very sophisticated Ultrasound Machine. 

Additionally, Aqua-Viva is giving us a water purification unit so we can make our own safe bottled water. 

All we have to do is build the building to put it in. We’re working on the design to conform with the Radiation Commission requirements of Tanzania, and the WHO and those recommended by Rotary International. We think we can pull it in for about $25,000. And, we have to do it by Spring. It will be a challenge but once we have the money, Sele says the building can go up in 3-4 months. It’s not complicated, it’s concrete blocks, thick cement walls, no windows, not a fancy roof, mostly plain cement floors except the water part has to be tiled. WE CAN DO THIS WITH YOUR HELP!! 

Please think about this as a possible Christmas gift to IHP. Please consider making your donations for this vital equipment to The Children’s Hospital at Zinga. We believe your family will be proud to help. 

Children will not have to be transported to another hospital miles away for an x-ray, paying for transport as well as having someone else take the film and then send it back. With a digital machine right here, the doctor can read the x-ray immediately, or send it by email to a radiologist on-call (we already know who that will be here in Tanzania), and we’ll be able to treat the patient appropriately right then!! 

Mary Ellen bought an adorable giraffe to help decorate the outpatient department, another item to help it be “kid-friendly.” The giraffe is made entirely of recycled flip-flops and the organization that made it supports an orphanage for blind children. What do you think we should name him? 


Here’s the reminder we always send: To help IHP complete The Children’s Hospital at Zinga, please send what you feel comfortable sending to: 

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




Call Joyce at 480-540-9317