Health Partners

Caring for Children


December 2017 Update of the Children's Hospital, Zinga

Jesse Kitundu writing

Unique year 2017

BIG NEWS!  You made it happen again!  You made the $15,000 matching grant challenge by Dr. Christine Petersen.  IHP has an additional $30,000 to start building in the New Year!  THANK YOU!!!  Keep reading below and you’ll see the many ways this gift will be used.  

Jesse Kitundu, President, IHP-JEMA-TZ writing:

Plenty of rains through out of the year. It is a blessing to peasants as they could harvest at least 3 times a year. Plenty of food as compared to previous few years. All around looks green, flowers are blooming and birds singing.

But somehow this has been a disaster for our roads as there is a lot of water around making it difficult to get to the hospital.

The progress of the project has been amazing: 

·      MEK Memorial Birthing Center is progressing well, the roof is complete and what follows now is the finishing. Putting the terrazzo on the floor, already terrazzo machine is available. Plastering the interior walls, putting the windows and doors, ceiling, plumbing and electrical wiring .

·      Foundation for the theater and NICU is completed and building of walls starts early January. This will be the first building using hollow blocks that significantly will cut the cost down. Building the walls is expected to take about a week or so.

·      One more milestone achieved. X-ray building is completed and machine installed and functioning well. Inspection was done passed the test from Atomic Energy Commission and we are only waiting for the license to start.

·      Two new round houses are ready. In progress is one more small round house  for volunteers. 

·       Canteen for volunteers is completed and for the patients is on construction.

·       An Internal communication system of telephones  and computers fully installed

·      Water Purification Plant that is ready and giving us safe water without dirt and free of bacteria was installed by Agua Viva this year.

·      Another blessing is that non-medical and medical teams, and students that visited us.

Different activities were completed with these teams.

·      Finally, last week, the container from Canada was delivered .

It is hard to believe that within 4 years since the project started that so much has been achieved through your donations. We thank you for sharing with us your gifts for improving the lives of Children and Mothers of Tanzania.

Jesse Kitundu, M.D., Medical Director for The Children’s Hospital at Zinga


Den Lofstrom writing:

It is the end of the year and eleven Updates have been written.  It seems logical to review the year but I prefer to look forward to the coming year.  So, to begin with “Happy New Year” to you all.  


The next projects for The Children’s Hospital at Zinga will be:

·       Finish the Mary Ellen Kitundu Memorial Birthing Center Labor and Delivery building

·       Construct the building to house the operating rooms and neonatal intensive care units.

·       Construct an MCH (Maternal and Child Health Center) for pre-natal care and well-baby checks.

·       Construct the acute care pediatric ward that will include a pediatric intensive care unit.

·       Build a canteen for patients, guests, and staff of the clinic.

·       Finish the guest houses.

·       Build a large incinerator and trash disposal area. 

·       Build a burn-treatment center

·       Build an emergency department

·       Build a surgical center including recovery and post-op and adult ward.

·       Submit the drawings of the three-story administration building to our U.S. architects for blue printing and confirmation of the structural adequacy of this large building, the only multi-story building in the complex.  The architects have requested an analysis of the soil of the area on which the building will be built.  

We look forward to the continuation of progress during the coming year that is made possible by your much appreciated continuing support. 

Thank you and God bless you for your generosity and, again, Happy New Year!

Den Lofstrom, Chief Operations Officer, IHP


Selemani Shabani, Project Manager writing:

Dear Friends of IHP and the People of Tanzania,


For the past three weeks we were busy finishing up the Birthing center roof.  Now it is complete. We are done with it. What a relief. 

These are the following things to be done for the Birthing center. 

1.   We are going to start chiseling the birthing center walls for the conducts and water lines. 

2.   Ceilings.  Also Dr. Jesse and I going to meet with the Ceiling  professionals for the birthing          center. We are going to negotiate the cost for doing the birthing center ceilings.

3.  We need filling sand for the birthing center. This will take us up to a floor level.

4.  Wiring, lights, water heaters, fans & sockets/outlets. 

5.  Wall smoothing. 

6.  Doors & windows.

7.  Sanitaries (toilets, sinks). 

8.  Tarazzo flooring. 

9.  Painting.

10. Ventilation screens.

11. Oxygen system.

12. Landscaping. 


I would love to invite anybody who would like to support finishing up the birthing center. That is the list of what is remaining to finish the birthing center. You can pick any number from the list, and let's get this building done. Together we can do it. 

These are the projects will be going on in 2018. 

NICU and surgical suite building. Foundation is completed. 

Finishing up the round house 6. Roof and wall skimming is done. 

Constructing the round house 7. It is up to the roof level. 

Hospital canteen. Setting out on ground is completed. 

Big house for the volunteers. Right now is up to the roof level. 


On behalf of all of us working on the ground here, we offer thanks to all of you that helped us reach this point.  We are not done, but we can see the changes, the results of the donations and preparation of this project. 


With happiness and thankfulness, Selemani Shabani. 


Miriam Mugo, Head Nurse writes:


A 4year old girl came into the clinic 2 weeks ago with an infected burn wound on the head. She was attended at another hospital for several weeks without recovery and the wound became septic. The parents heard about our services and decided to bring her to the clinic. She was immediately given antibiotics and daily wound dressing began.

After two weeks the little girl can afford a smile and even play with her friends comfortably without fear of being hurt.


With God’s blessings to you for this New Year,



Paula Lofstrom writing:

God is so good.  God is so good to us.

Last January we were in Florida at an Endocrinology conference in South Beach.  We’d been in Dunedin and Jensen Beach and to Naples.  Florida in January is THE place to be!

In February we were in Ohio and Virginia and North Carolina telling the story of IHP and The Children’s Hospital at Zinga and meeting students who would come to visit and volunteers that would come to help like Ron and Jan Overmyer who have helped IHP for years, Ron doing our business plan, and Jan gathering supplies.

In March we visited Elim Lutheran Church in Scandia Minnesota and went to Park Ridge, IL to meet John Vanden Brink and Rotary Club responsible for our now having the Digital X-ray system and went to the InMed Conference that has led to the container of medical supplies that will be loaded in April this year by the Franciscan Nuns in Independence, MO.

In April, 2016 the Agua Viva group led by James Allen and Curt Mader came to install our water purification system.  George and Karen Kalvass came to volunteer from California after having hosted us at their home for many years.  

In May Pr. James Wakefield and Dawn came and Dawn, a pediatric physical therapist worked with our cerebral palsy patients.  Two University of Iowa students came, and then two dermatology teaching staff from the same school came to give service and teach, Drs. Kanya Ferguson and Kari Wanat.   Then the Louise Bown team came from Utah to build the African Keyhole demonstration gardens to show that mothers could grow good, iron-rich vegetables to feed their children and promote good health.  

In June the Looney Valley, Minnesota team came to build the Banjo and Theresa Erickson Memorial guest house to honor these loving folks who had intended to lead a team to Zinga.  Now we’ll have more room for more volunteers, in their honor.  

In July we said “so long!” to Katie and Brady, Lara, Brie, Sencer, Meredith, Jerod, Janet, Lilly, Aiko and then to Mary Pace, all volunteers who helped with teaching, training, and as students giving of themselves and learning at Zinga.

August saw more volunteers, Herman Oostervijk and his wife came (and later hosted us while we were in Texas).  Herman is an IT specialist who volunteers for Rotary, International and helped with the set-up of the Digital x-ray system. 

And in September Jean Koehler visited and Margaret Loehrke returned as a nurse whereas before she had come as a student, and Benedikt Matt returned as an MD from Austria along with his friend Stephanie, also an MD., and we returned to the U.S. to begin fund raising.

In October and November we’ve visited Minnesota and gone for our continuing education units at Mayo, Spoken in LaCrosse and Rochester and Looney Valley and at Onalaska, Wisc.  

In November we met family in North Carolina, talked at Chapel Hill and Wake Forest Medical schools and spoke to the Spruce Pine Rotary.  We again spoke at Peachtree Road Lutheran in Atlanta and met friends again in Eupora, Mississippi.  Thanksgiving was in Dallas and then we spoke at United Lutheran in Schulenberg, TX.  

This is our Christmas Letter of times past.  Above you’ve seen the plans for the future.  You made all of this possible, with your gifts, your prayers, and your faith in how God works for each of us in the world today, tomorrow, and forever.  

Certainly the new tax bill, with the reduced opportunity for donors to deduct individual donations by itemizing may be a threat to small charities like ours.  But we have HUGE faith in God and in our donors and know that each of you, through your generosity and caring are helping to build The Children’s Hospital at Zinga because you care about those we serve.  Thank you.  To continue the mission, please do as you have done before, and encourage your friends to do the same.  To donate, please send checks 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 PayPal

Or, call Joyce at 480-540-9317.

For this, for all you’ve done, for your faith in us and all who serve,

Blessings and gratitude,

Paula and Denny