Health Partners

Caring for Children


October 2016 Update

Dr. Charles Powell writing

Lynne and I have arrived at Zinga, with only one delay during the trip.  KLM was marvelous in handling the situation, in my opinion.  We had an unplanned layover at Kilimanjaro.  It seems one of the engines wouldn’t restart!  All was well, and we were placed in excellent accommodations.

Dr. Charles Powell


After spending a day in Dar es Salaam to try to work through some jet-lag and to do some grocery shopping, we were driven out to Zinga.  After a brief time to settle, the senior staff descended on us to meet, greet, and discuss needs and issues.  There are some clear goals in place:


1  We need a business manager to attend to all day-to-day issues.  Since we need highly accurate accounting of every penny spent, supplies for the clinic, taxes paid (on time, of course), bank deposits made, and other special considerations, a person in the employ of the hospital is truly in order.  Mary Ellen Kitundu, may God rest her soul, was tireless in doing all of this work.  Dr. Jesse Kitundu has stepped into cover much of the void, but this is not a long-term solution to the need.  Dr. Kitundu’s medical expertise is far more valuable than his administrative abilities.

2  There is work to be done to further the liaise with the Dar es Salaam Rotary Club.  We wish to strengthen our interactions with the new president of the club, and continue our projects relationship with them.

3  We discussed the need for and ways to maintain sustainability for the hospital, particularly with regard to staff and salaries.  Dr. Kitundu and the senior staff, while extremely grateful for the assistance of IHP in getting started, wish to be self-sustaining and independent of salary support.  There are many ideas, but they are in the nascent stages.

4  There was discussion of the birthing center, the sudden increase in staffing needs, and organizational matters.  We believe that this unit will be the premiere unit in this country.  Dr. Kitundu reduced the infant death rates at Muhimbili Hospital from 25% to 10%.  But neither he, nor any of us, wishes to settle for a mere 10%.  It is not good enough.  We hope to start at much less than 10% and improve significantly from there.

5  Since we are a hospital and not a mere dispensary, we will be addressing the approach to emergency management of critical patients who arrive here.  There are few real emergency services in Tanzania, and patients often arrive onsite with critical problems that have gone far beyond the point where they might have been more easily controlled.  At Zinga we will discuss protocols and procedures, both general and problem specific, for emergency situations.  I hope to make more than a few presentations during our stay.

6  Finally, we discussed upcoming construction needs with our project manager, Selemani Shabani.


Dr. Lynne has decided that her purpose for this trip is to mentor our new clinical officer, Dr. Eric.  Dr. Eric is a new graduate, and while his training in internal medicine appears to be quite good, his pediatric experience is lacunar.  Working with him will help him to express himself in English, and of course, help Lynne with Swahili.  They started this morning.

Dr. Eric


I must say that even for as brief as our time here so far, it is wonderful being back in Africa.  The sounds, the smells, the food, the air, the humidity; all are very special.  Those of you who have experienced all of this know exactly what i mean.  Those who have not certainly should!


So, from Zinga: Karibuni!  (Welcome to all)


Charles W. Powell, MD

President, IHP US-TZ

Vice President JEMA-IHP

Paula Lofstrom writing

You did it!!!  The $10,000 matching grant challenge was not only met but doubled.  The total brought in by you generous people in addition to the original $10,000 was $20,030.00.  So, IHP is $30,030.00 closer to being able to complete The Mary Ellen Kitundu Memorial Birthing Center.  Thank you so much.


Additionally, the memorials that came in directed for the birthing center in order to honor Mary Ellen totaled $20,274.00. 


Thank you all.  It shows how dearly Mary Ellen was respected and honored.  IHP is so grateful.  The money will, indeed, help to build the building she dreamed of, designed, and saw begun.  Her heart, her spirit will be there forever.  We guarantee it.  The satellite picture shows the construction so far of the birthing center.  The challenge now is financing the roof. 


At the University of Iowa we met with Drs. Karolyn Wanat and Nkanyezi Ferguson to begin a dermatology consultation service between the University and The Children’s Hospital at Zinga.  This morning the first case was shared.


At Dartmouth in Lebanon, NH we met with Dr. Paul Palumbo, Dr. Melissa Fussell, Dr. Amer Al-Nimr, Dr. Lou Guill and others regarding including The Children’s Hospital at Zinga in some of the Dar-Dar (Dartmouth-Dar es Salaam) projects already in place.  This paves the way for teams of doctors, medical students and other practitioners to come out and teach and give service and for The Children’s Hospital at Zinga to have more consultants “on-call” for perplexing cases. 


The IHP-U.S. Board meeting elected Dr. Charles Powell to be president of IHP-U.S., and he is also the vice-president of IHP-JEMA-TZ.   Marie Quanbeck is the vice-president if IHP-U.S.  Denny is still the C.O.O. and I’m the secretary of both boards.  Joyce Zemel is the treasurer. 


The Tanzanian board elected Dr. Jesse Kitundu to be the president of IHP-JEMA-TZ.  

Dr. Kitundu


How do we know that God loves us?  God created each of us.  We’re his beloved sons and daughters.  And God gave us each other to help one another to achieve a world of peace and health and caring.  Having faith and going forward with that faith brings the world closer together.  Our motto is, “Trust God and show up for work.”  And so it is.  Wondrous things abound and your support makes it happen. 


Please consider donating so that this work can continue.  There is more going on than the birthing center.  The x-ray building is almost completed.  The volunteer dining area needs a roof as well as round house #5 needs to be completed.  And the hostel that will sleep 16 in addition to the Lofstroms is still just footings.  To have all of these groups come, and 9 are already on the planner for 2017, we need the facilities to take care of them. 


Additionally, we’re paying $12,000 each month in salaries and benefits for our staff, we need fuel for the vehicles, and day-to-day building costs.  Every dollar is shepherded very carefully.

Donations can be mailed to:


International Health Partners, U.S.

Joyce Zemel, Treasurer

1811 So. 39th St., #36

Mesa, AZ  85206


Or, go to our website, and click on Just Give.


Or, call Joyce at 480 540-9317


Thank you.

Denny Lofstrom writing

My brother Sam, two years older than I after Oct. 31st each year (his birthday), until Feb. 20th (my birthday) when I would catch up with him and then he would only be one year older than I.  As he got older he remarked, “The older I get, the more I think about the hearafter.  I walk into a room and look around and ask myself, Now, what am I here after?” 


As we, Paula and I and now with the help of our son Matt, travel the U.S. on our fund raising tour, the question when I wake up in the morning is not about the hereafter, but “Where are we?”  We seldom spend more than 2-3 nights in the same bed before we are on our way to the next scheduled presentation.


Since arriving back in the U.S. on Oc.t 2nd, we have traveled from Kansas City to Minnesota to Iowa, past Chicago (where we will return on Thanksgiving) and on to La Porte, IN and then beyond to Niagara Falls then to Lebanon, NH and Dartmouth and now New York state, along the way enjoying the panorama of fall colors.  We are in rural New York state and have an unusual four days at one location with a number of presentations to varying sized audiences, all of which have shown enthusiastic responses and that is very gratifying.  A number of medical personnel have made definite commitments to come out to Zinga to help with the children’s hospital.  For all of this and the financial support, we are so thankful.  Blessings on all who have contributed or volunteered.  We could not do it without you. 

​As you can see, the birthing center is going up by the outpatient clinic.  The dark rectangle at the foot of the clinic is the x-ray building.

Matt West writing

We got the van packed and loaded for the 2016 half of the trip on October 6th and headed north to Newton, Iowa to see Marie and Duane Quanbeck and prepare for the next week in Minnesota.  Being the new Sherpa, I had to make adjustments to my loading/unloading techniques to make sure everything we needed was available.  After a brief stop in Minneapolis to see some of Denny’s family (thanks again Mark!) we headed to Albert Lea to stay with Hazel and present at Grace Lutheran Church.  We received a very warm welcome from everyone and even though there was a lot going on that day, including the first service for Pastor Shane, everything went off without a hitch and everyone was very giving.  Thanks to Al, Bill, Pat, Gwen, and Becky for all the help, and to Hazel for hosting us for three days.  We stopped in St. Peter and met with Dave and Tristen at Gustavus Adolphus about bringing a team of students out hopefully in the near future.  Thanks again for lunch, Dave.


Had a lovely stay at Mike and Susan Wall’s outside of Iowa City for a presentation to Robin’s Global Health class and got to meet Alex who had been out to Zinga just a few months ago.  Thank you all for the hospitality.  And thanks to Bill and Jenn Crumley for the company.  Janet Finlander made a wonderful dinner for us the next night and invited some of her friends so we could present and display some of the gifts we bring along to help raise money for the hospital.  Back to Newton for the Board meeting and repacked everything else for the trip east. 


Had a wonderful time at Amer and Rima’s in Hanover, NH where Amer orchestrated a great group of people to discuss the needs of the Tanzanian health issues and how everyone can start to work together to achieve some of the similar goals.  We took Amer and Rima’s advice and became “leaf peepers” for a day as it was perfect timing to view some of the beautiful scenery around the area.


Currently in Albany at Polly and Marcel’s for a couple of days.  One last presentation tonight and on to Brooklyn Thursday morning.  Getting better at my Sherpa skills every day.  Practice, practice, practice.