Health Partners

Caring for Children


June/July 2015 Update

Dear Friends of the Children of Tanzania,

Mary Ellen Kitundu

We are hard at work doing the "finishing" of the out patient department. Now we are working on signs, wiring (as the electrical poles come closer and closer and insulators are installed on them) furniture inside the rooms, and all kinds of things that seem small but cost a lot of money! 

And the Ministry of Health has new requirements for new hospitals. They really want to have the records digitalized so that statistics go straight to them. So now we have an automatic change over switch so that if the electricity goes off, we have generator coverage. That makes computerized charts, pharmacy records, lab records all within the realm of possibility.

Electric near house

Wires are installed in the walls so communication can take place between departments and the cashier's office. 

A place where this is essential is the pharmacy as drugs have a way of disappearing, and they represent money! So we want to install a bar code printer and in the grocery store. It can even automatically do inventory. Let me tell you that counting individual pills is painful! This system will cost $3000 USD, and the big computer that organizes everything is also $1,500. Lots of money, but the results are so important. Any contributions to this mini project are welcome. 

Well, quality health care is expensive, but not as expensive as in the United States...and the Tanzanian Ministry of Health is trying as hard as they can to stimulate good health care. But they never have enough money. That is what happens in developing countries. 

My son Walter has reached the Arctic Sea in his bid to raise money for a Children's Ambulance. He is on the way back to Chicago...about ready to cross the Canadian and US border. Without this effort, the ambulance would have been just a dream for many years. 
It is amazing what all of you (and us) can do. Our heartfelt thanks go out to each of you,

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


Denny Lofstrom

The Unity Church of Lynnwood fencing team arrived not with swords or sabers, but having paid for wire, some of it barbed, some smooth and some malleable for tie-downs, and a proven readiness for hard, sweaty work digging post holes, carrying and cement, water, mixing cement and setting our iron fence posts along the 1.12 mile border of our 62 acre irregularly confirgured land. They covered an amazing 42% of the 1.12 miles. They worked through the heat of the African sun and/or the sudden heavy rain showers from early morning to late afternoon noting the incredible number of post holes that had been dug, one every 10 feet.

Instal Fence

For all this hard work and effort we say, God bless you all for all you have accomplished!
Den Lofstrom

Paula Lofstrom

You have blessed us with your donations. We have been blessed by these people and others who have come to give their time and labor to making this hospital a reality. Thank you.

Below are some words from some of the volunteers who will share their feelings about what it’s like to volunteer here. Then will be some paragraphs from medical students who are here, too.

UCIL Team:

Being able to participate in building a pediatric hospital has been an incredible experience. As a pediatric nurse practitioner , I know how important health care is to pregnant women and children. When I first heard Paula and Denny speak , I knew I wanted to participate in their project. International Health Project is meeting a critical need in Tanzania. The work of IHP is truly a miracle. Although I was not able to provide nursing care (since the clinic is not open), I feel blessed to be able to help with the building project.

- Donna Fowler , Unity Church of Lynnwood


I came to Zinga, Tanzania, to follow a dream. The opportunity arose to come with Unity of Lynnwood to help build a hospital for the children in Zinga. As a teacher and an artist, I was ready to meet this team that has already done so much for the children. I was ready to see the beauty of the land and the African sky at night. My expectations have been met and so much more. The smiles of the men who have worked with us; the complete kindness of everyone. This is a great endeavor, and I am grateful. Thanks

- Kitty Okamoto


My belief structure shows me that all people on this earth are connected – in Spirit and in heart. I have a passion for outreach and the desire to work with sisters and brothers in different areas of the world for a common goal. I craved another opportunity to travel to a new place for service – to further my own level of wisdom and for the chance to be touched by others. When I learned about IHPTZ, I was immediately drawn to the project in Zinga, Tanzania. My passion for children, for health and for healthy childbirth options for women drew me to this project. Even before I arrived, I felt connected here. To the earth, to the people and to the beauty of Tanzania. I have loved the opportunity to stretch my abilities physically with strenuous, productive work. And my heart is full – from getting to work side-by-side with the people of this country, to experience this beautiful culture and to live a different lifestyle for even a short period of time. This has been my effort to join us together in Spirit.

- Robin Moberly


I love the opportunity to serve. Since I was a young man, I have followed a simple creed originally put forth by Francis Bernadone, aka Saint Francis of Assissi. To become an instrument of peace, it becomes necessary to find opportunity and seek those people who share this vision of a caring world. The project at Zinga has offered the perfect opportunity to practice what it means to sow love, bring peace and hope where there is despair. The beautiful people of Tanzania have proven to me beyond measure that it is always in giving that we receive the best gifts. My most grateful thanks goes out to International Health Partners, Paula and Denny and all others who share the vision for the children and people of this incredible country. Thank you for the opportunity to live in service and share in this project for the people of Tanzania.

- Scott Moberly


I am honored to be here. I am Catherine Johnson from Portland OR. I am part of the Unity Church of Lynwood group, building a sturdy fence to safeguard the property from encroachment. I also painted some of the round houses. Africa provides a wonderful forum for talking to one’s self and reflecting on how we are spending the moments of our lives, and how we may want to change our endeavors. The cooing of the doves is so delightful, almost meditative. When we return to our comfortable sanitized lives, a section (probably about 1/3) of a sturdy fence bordering the property will stand. It is built for security and peace of mind…as a testament, a gift, a tribute, of the love of man for man.

- Catherine Johnson


It’s hot and humid here so you feel the air brushing against your skin, and feel the air you breathe rush into your lungs. Your lungs squeeze in and expand out as you work in the scorching sun from morning till afternoon. The sun beats down in pulses and with every beat your skin darkens another shade of brown. With every swing of a tool and lift of a bucket you feel your muscles growing ever stronger and smoother. This is what Africa will do to you. Africa will make you, with every step you take on its surface a more agile, sounder person. With every step physically and mentally, Africa makes your soul more whole than it was before. Africa with drop of sweat that drips from your nose makes you more at peace.

- Madison Sutcliffe


Planning for and traveling to Tanzania, I had thoughts of helping a worthy cause and in some small way, improving conditions for our brothers and sisters there. I had no idea the more I did and the harder I worked, I would receive more than I gave. The beautiful landscape, the wonderful land, and the lovely, kind and amazing people will be on my mind forever.

- John Previti


When I first heard about Zinga, I thought I would be a great experience to meet new people and discover a new culture. Also being hospitality leader at church, I wanted to broaden my cooking skills. Working at soup kitchens, I felt the need to help in other ways. The cultural experience has been one I will never forget and has changed my outlook on life. The small part that I can do today isn’t all that is needed but may encourage others to do the same. It has been a blessing to help with such a worthy cause. I hope in the future that I can return to see the progress and maybe assist with cooking and helping around the house,GOD BLESS THIS PROJECT!

- Toni Previti


It has been a dream of mine since I was a child, to travel to other countries and help in whatever way I could. I always knew that in some way, we are all connected. When the opportunity to be a part of a group traveling to Zinga, Tanzania to help build a children’s hospital, I could see my dream coming true. Being here and seeing the tremendous and much needed work has been an honor. Being here, being surrounded by beautiful landscape, working beside incredible people we have connected with, even though we do not speak the same language. Learning from each other and laughing as we worked hard side by side, has been confirmation that we are all one. I feel very connected here and when I leave, there will be a part of me that remains. I will be back to see the progress and see the wonderful children and mothers who will be served by this wonderful facility. Nakupenda,

- Barb Keogan


Just being with the loving people, having delicious food, doing hard work, and helping many people, changed my perspective positively and will leave a mark on my life. I encourage everyone to join this movement and help be a part of something amazing. And all I can really say is thank you. I’ll be back soon.

- Grace Moberly


I came from a church full of hope and a dream we would come to support the people of TanzaniaI came nervous yet open to a new wave of opportunity
What I found is something more than I ever imagined
I am changed
And it is not just about the sunset
Or the breathtaking view stretched out before us
It is quite simply the voice of the people
The workers who patiently teach
The barters who eagerly watch
The children who shout and speak and listen
It is those who are willing to see us
The way we see them
As human beings
Full of love and full of light
And I am changed by these people
And I hope that I can support them
To make a change
No matter how long it takes

- Kate Moberly


I am Mary-Alice Wickersham Phillips from Mill Creek Washington State, USA. What in the world would an 82 year young person be doing in Tanzania? I heard there was a birthing center being built for the moms and babies in Tanzania. It brought me back to when I was 6 years old in Electric City, WA. My sister Thelma (RN) and my Mother (Practical Nurse) ran a maternity home. I used to take my nap on the leather delivery table. Back then the new Grand Coulee dam brought people to the area, but no hospital existed. It was a developing area, very much like rural Tanzania is today. I am here to help fill the same need. I have been to Africa four times on humanitarian missions. My teams have planted gardens, and I was a nurse in an orphanage for Go Gos (Grandmas), who raised the children after their parents passed due to AIDS. In each of my trips, my love of life is reinforced by the happy wonderful people of this continent. They are so joyous with very different circumstances and possessions than with which we, in the US, are accustomed. I thank Paula and Denny for their wonderful hospitality, hard work, vision, and love. I appreciate Mary Ellen.

- Mary-Alice

UCIL 2015

Now, words from a few medical students…..

I have just finished the most amazing 3 weeks staying in Zinga! My name is Lauren, I’m from London, UK, and I am just about to start my final year of study at medical school. I came to Tanzania for my elective, which is a period of the degree where students are given the chance to work abroad and experience different countries healthcare systems. Whilst I was at Zinga I was working at the nearby Government Hospital in Bagamoyo. I learnt a huge amount from this placement, it was miles from anything I had ever experienced working in England. It is already easy to see how much good the new Paediatric Hospital at Zinga will do – my time with IHPTZ has shown me what an amazing project it is and how dedicated the people involved are. The clinic building itself is beautiful, so welcoming to children with its bright colours, and I feel lucky to have been a part of it (even if it was mostly just painting, scrubbing and sanding!!!). I’ve had a great time here, met some wonderful people, and learnt a lot. I definitely plan to come back in a couple of years time to see the hospital up and running, and for more of Lucy’s cooking of course!

- Lauren


My name is Brett, I’m a second-year medical student at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, and I’m working with IHP-TZ here in Zinga for 6 weeks this summer. I first heard of IHP-TZ last year when Paula and Denny gave a talk about their work to a group of students interested in global health electives. I was immediately drawn to their mission of improving healthcare in Tanzania and their resolve to see that Tanzania has its very first pediatric hospital. The setting in Zinga is very warm, welcoming, and peaceful – a very inspiring setting for painting, scrubbing, and generally putting the finishing touches on a building that will soon help so many children. While at Zinga, I’ve also learned so much from the doctors and patients in the pediatric ward in the nearby district hospital in Bagamoyo. After only working here for a few weeks, I am proud to be a part of a project that will soon provide outstanding medical care to the children of Tanzania and I can’t wait to see the how successful the hospital becomes in the future!

- Brett


Habari (hello), my name is Megan Weems, and I am a second year medical student from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. I am just completing the last of my 7 weeks here at Zinga and I am sure sad to be leaving. My interest lies in pediatrics in developing nations, so when I heard Paula and Denny talk about building the first pediatric hospital in Tanzania, I decided to come and learn what it is like to take on such a project. While onsite learning about the project, I’ve also been shadowing in the Bagamoyo District Hospital observing the key health issues children face here in Tanzania. I am amazed by the ingenuity of the medical staff at Bagamoyo; the resources that we take for granted in the states, here they come up with alternatives or make-shift materials to get the job done. More and more I’ve become aware that the lack of resources is the common denominator when it comes to poor health outcomes. When a patient needs a test or procedure done, most of the time they need to be referred on to a larger health center because the district hospitals simply do not have the resources required to perform the test or procedure. It gives me hope that so many people have donated to the Zinga Pediatric Hospital making it will be well equipped to provide excellent healthcare to Tanzanian children. The thing I have most enjoyed about my time in Tanzania is the people. They are warm and friendly, eager to welcome you and teach you about their culture. I hope to one day return and be immersed in their culture again when the pediatric hospital is bustling with many patients.

- Megan


There are five big, expensive challenges facing us now: 

  1. Money for staff housing. If we don’t provide housing for our doctors and nurses we will lose them to other facilities. One house per family will equal about $20,000. Thanks to Atonement Lutheran Church in Overland Park, KS, we have the money for a well so the houses will have water.
  2. Money for the construction of the building to house the digital x-ray and a brand new ultrasound that several Rotary clubs, their districts, and Rotary International are working to provide for us, about $20,000.
  3. A surgical center in Kansas City is moving to a new location and donating all of their equipment and shelving to IHP. The container to get it here will cost about $20,000.
  4. We will need money to subsidize the salaries of our professional staff when we open until the outpatient department is seeing enough patients to become self-sustaining. It won’t take long, but we’ll have to support these people at first.
  5. We want to start the maternity center ASAP. The whole building complex will cost about $250,000.


So, there you have it. We hope you want to help. We know it’s worthwhile. We know you care. We’re asking for your help, financially and prayerfully. 

If you want to contribute, and certainly we hope you do, please send what you can to: 

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




Call Joyce at 480-540-9317

OPD July 2015