Health Partners

Caring for Children


November 2016 Update

Paula Lofstrom writing

Your contributions for the work of IHP have made an enormous difference in what has been accomplished this month at The Children’s Hospital at Zinga.  Thank you so much.  The memorials for Mary Ellen Kitundu came to $21,274.00.  Additionally, the matching grant altogether brought in $31,680.00!!  That is what has made the extraordinary progress so far possible on The Mary Ellen Kitundu Memorial Birthing Center.  Thank you.  Thank you.  

Mary Ellen Kitundu Memorial Birthing Center

 Below you will see reports from Charles Powell about his trip to Zinga, and reports from other members of the IHP team.  It’s exciting.  It’s wonderful, and we have you to thank for every bit of it.  I’ll write a bit more at the end as well as adding a copy of our remaining speaking schedule.  There are still holes in it, so please give it a look and see if we’ll be anywhere near where you might be able to find an opportunity for us to tell the story of how God is working miracles, through you, at Zinga.

Dr. Charles Powell writing

Lynne and I are home from Zinga for 10 days as I write.  Life is returning to familiar routines or domestic travel and work.  But our trip was both productive and fun.  We had excellent meetings with Jesse Kitundu while we were there.  Our visions for Children’s Hospital, Zinga, mesh extremely well.   Dr. Kitundu has a remarkable background, excellent training, and fine clinical skills.  It is great pleasure to work with him.  We discussed plans for Children’s Hospital, Zinga. Beyond the Mary Ellen Kitundu Memorial Birthing Center, NICU and X-ray building, we foresee a general pediatrics ward as the next pressing care need.  Treatment of malnutrition and respiratory support for pneumonia patients and infectious are high priorities.  The problem sets seen in Tanzania are very different than what we see in the US.  But one thing that doesn’t change is the need for care of sick newborns. In that, the problems and care are very much the same.  Our obstetrical and neonatal care will have a notable impact in Tanzania.


But the needs remain great.  As things progress, we expect explosive growth in the number of patients.  We will need staffing, staff quarters, and infrastructure.   How many of you pick up the phone at work to reach other staff?  We have no phones as yet.  We are investigating internet, but there are limited options.  We found a provider who is willing to connect us, but it would cost nearly $775 per month.  Nonetheless, I remain encouraged and thankful for the progress that has been made.  I remember that only three years ago, the property had nothing aside from scrub, undergrowth, and mango trees.


So as a supporter of Children’s Hospital, Zinga, what can you do?


•    Pray for our continued growth of Children’s Hospital Zinga.

•    Volunteer.  We need volunteers for everything from construction to carrying water bottles to the workers.  Are you a medical person? There is much for you to learn.  Can you volunteer as a fund raiser?  We would welcome you.  Do you have corporate contacts?  Interest them in supporting our project

•    Donate.  Your donation may not seem like much in the world’s economy, but every dollar adds up in God’s economy.  Gifts are not only money though.  We receive donations of serviceable equipment, baby blankets, and Beany Babies for the children.  Be creative.  Perhaps you have something to offer that we haven’t yet considered!


Charles W. Powell, M.D., F.A.A.P.

President, International Health Partners (US)

Vice President, IHP-JEMA (Tanzania)

Jesse Kitundu writing

Dear Good Friends to Children and Mothers of Tanzania,

 Slowly the project is progressing steadily.  The second phase is almost coming into completion in few months to come. This has been possible because of your donations or helping in building our birthing center especially in the 5 passed months. (Ref Sele's Report). I thank all of you for participating in realizing our dream .

 As you all know that the OPD services started in April 2016 and slowly the numbers of patients is increasing. (Dr. Bon's report). What is encouraging is that more children are coming day by day. About 50% of the attended patients are children and 25% of those under 5years of age. Thank to Dr. Dexter Quiggle, DDS for his good work. It covered both the treatment and prevention of dental problems. This was well-appreciated by patients and we the staff being among his patients . It is a big boost for us.

We are expecting that soon most of the patients will be covered by  National Health Insurance (both adults and  children). This may boost our income in near future.

Also, I have to thank Paul Nelson for the nice work of getting our tool inventory in order . This was not easy for him due to a hot and humid weather at this time of year. We really appreciate his efforts.


 Education-wise all the Drs. Charles  Powell,  Lynne Powell and Dexter participated fully in providing teaching to our medical staff . Dr. Dexter demonstrated to all of our staff how to care of our teeth daily.  (ref.  Miriam'a update attached). 


  Finally, both the Executive and Board Committees of IHP- JEMA TANZANIA welcomed new members who have joined us. Charles Powell (MD) is now our Vice President and two young members were approved, Barbara Wellu and Mathew Helella as Board members.


 We look forward to working with you as there are important issues/challenges ahead and hope you find that there are a great opportunities to establish strategic alliances with us.


 Jesse A. Kitundu MD ,


 Pediatrician, President IHP- JEMA Tanzania

Denny Lofstrom writing

The birthing center roof has been re-designed by the Ministry of Health.  A second story is to be added to the basic one-story structure to allow for increased air circulation and light for this 174’ x 80’ building before approval is granted.



This design will entail seven more courses of cement blocks in which a series of full-sized windows will be placed in each of the four second story walls.


We anticipate ceiling fans will augment air movement throughout this large upper open area as well as the windows allowing more light into the building.


This additional construction will require a few more weeks to complete The Mary Ellen Kitundu Birthing Center.  Your financial support is greatly appreciated. 


Denny Lofstrom


Selemani Shabani writing

I pray that by the will of God every one of you are doing very well. I am writing the news from Zinga sitting on the front porch of one of volunteer houses which we call Round House number 2. Yes, the floor plan for these houses are round. I am going to attach a picture and you will get to see how they look. I like them.


I would love to inform you of what is going on at Zinga right now. We have been looking for materials for the x-ray door for the past 4 weeks now. They are available in Kenya but too expensive. Doctor Jesse Kitundu and I decided to find a better deal. They are hard to find in Tanzania. Doctor Kitundu went to talk to the atomic energy people in Dar es Salaam and they gave him a big list of all instructions we need to follow so that we can meet their requirements for the x-ray building. So from that list we found that we will be able to make the x-ray door in the country, so we managed to meet one of the guys who can make that door. Actually he made one of the x-ray doors for one of the hospitals in Dar es salaam; we visited there. It looks good, works perfectly. Also that door was passed by atomic energy commission and they were given permission to operate the x-ray. So we have decided to use this (fundi) technician to make this x-ray door. Hoping tomorrow he can start the job.


Also we were working on the roof plan for the birthing center. It happens there were some changes needed to be done before we can start working on the metal trusses for this building. This was more ventilation was deemed to be needed for the building through the roof. Now we have completed these regulatory requirements from the Ministry of Health and we can start working on the steel trusses.


Also we were working on repairing the big generator which is the source of back up power for the facility. It is fixed, thank God.

Tomorrow we will be tiling the front party of the x-ray building. And the same day we are going to start working on the nurses stations walls for the birthing center. It is kazi kazi kazi means work work, work.


Remember, we have managed to do all of these because of you IHP JEMA donor. YOU ARE SO SPECIAL FOR US AND YOU ARE MOST SPECIAL TO OUR GOD. That is why God chose you and me to do this job. Stay blessed forever.

Best Regards,


Matt West writing

We made it to Brooklyn, and due to my trust in Garmin at that time, got to drive through Manhattan traffic by mistake.  Oh, well, cross that off my bucket list.  Never been through the Holland tunnel or driven by the Hudson Bay where Sully landed that plane in the East River, in a big white van before.  We stayed with Leslie and Ilya and Rebecca in their lovely house and I not only got my own room, but my own floor!  As with everyone else so far, they were such gracious hosts.  I got to take a walk around Brooklyn and although it was chilly that day, got some nice views of the area and Manhattan Island and the Statue of Liberty from a distance.


We left for Gettysburg, somehow leaving all New England without having one cup of clam chowder.  Made it to Kib’s place for about a 5 day stay and 2 presentations.  The Rotary presentation was in the hotel across the street from where Lincoln finished the Gettysburg address.  From Kib’s house I started on one of my morning walks and in two minutes was walking past markers and monuments on the Battlefield.  He helped me set up a private tour of the town and Battlefield the next day with Theresa that lasted about 3 hours.  It was an incredible experience and I left truly humbled. 


We had a couple more days before we had to leave and after looking at the map, I decided to take a day trip into D.C. to do some sight-seeing.  I hadn’t been there since I was a kid.  Took some back roads to get there and parked at the Millennium Falcon and jumped on the train that took me down to the National Mall.  I started at the Capitol and started walking.  Jefferson, Roosevelt, M.L.K., Korean War, Lincoln, Viet Nam War, W.W. II, Washington Monument and finally the White House.  Had a late lunch in an old restaurant less than a block from the White House.  Wandered back to the train station past Ford Theater and the house across the street where Lincoln died after he was shot.  Interesting tie back to Gettysburg.


Off to Ohio to stay with Celeste and Kevin in Wilmington for a few days.  Thank you again for your hospitality!  Got to walk every day we were there because the weather cooperated and we got to celebrate Celeste’s birthday after the presentation and mom’s sermon at Faith Lutheran. 


We’ve spent the last 10 days at Ron and Jan’s in Oak Harbor due to a couple of unfortunate cancellations.  We took the time to get the rest of the brochures put together and caught up on emails.  Was a lovely stay and even got the chance to fish a couple of days in the Portage river which runs past their backyard.  There’s a reason they call it “fishing” and not “catching”, but had great weather to sit outside and enjoy the last fleeting moments of Indian Summer.  We presented at the Rotary last Tuesday and at United Church of Christ Sunday where mom gave the children’s sermon.  UCC are the ones that were able to raise the money to finally get the container into port in Dar es Salaam just last week.  Thank you, Pr. Dave and the whole congregation!


We packed up Monday morning and headed west to Chicago to see some family for Thanksgiving and for me to see my good friends in Milwaukee for a couple of days. 


Thank you, again to everyone who had allowed me to stay as if I were family, and to make myself at home.


Matthew West


Paula Lofstrom writing

Paula here again

Please check out from Miriam, it has GREAT pictures.

To help the Children’s Hospital at Zinga to become the fulfillment of Mary Ellen’s dreams, Jesse’s dreams, and the dreams of families wanting quality care for their beloved children, please send what you can, remember GIVING TUESDAY is coming up.