Health Partners

Caring for Children


May 2018 Update from IHP

Jesse Kitundu writing

Jesse Kitundu writing:

Dear Friends to Mothers and Children of Zinga Tanzania.

Finally, we have the sunshine again. Slowly the level of the water is falling and the roads to the hospital are becoming passable again. Patients are returning again. This coincided with presence of visiting team of specialists (the dermatologist and pulmonologist). Workers as well as the patients were happy to have them. It was rather too short time of stay, we thank them and appreciate for their good work. 

The Mary Ellen Kitundu Memorial Birthing Center is almost there, except for the ceilings, windows, nursing station, and front lobby. All that will cost about $30,000. Then, this is followed by wiring, and plumbing, about $15,000.  

There is very good progress on the ORs and NICU, as currently the construction is at lentil level at the top of the windows. What is needed now will be the next two courses of blocks on top of the lentil and then the roof that costs about $25,000.  The roof itself, though, will be quite expensive as it is a very big building, but it will not be as complicated and expensive as the labor and delivery building roof as there are more walls that will support the trusses.  This will then be followed by finishing again, by skimming, wiring and plumbing for about $15,000. We still appeal for more funds as you can see, but we are more than half way with the building of the project birthing center. 

Hard to believe but that is the outcome of “kidogo kidogo hujaza kibaba”. This means  “Little by little the barrel gets full, “ or that there is NO SMALL DONATION. We thank you and appreciate for all your donations. 


Dennis Lofstrom:


The interesting background of IHP’s present project at Zinga:

Peter Kitundu (aged about 15-16) came to Kiomboi Lutheran Hospital in 1960 when I was stationed there. He was looking for work and we hired him to work in the laboratory.  When we, my family and I, went back to the U.S. in 1962, Peter went with us, graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in St Peter, MN, and went on to the University of Minnesota Medical School.  He eventually married the late Mary Ellen Tordsen and I am the godfather of their oldest son, Peter, Jr.  


Peter’s younger brother, Jesse, went to Poland and got his M.D., specialized in pediatrics, and returned to Tanzania and became the Head of Pediatrics at Muhimbili, the big teaching hospital, and ran the pediatrics residency program there for many years.


The Children’s Hospital at Zinga is Jesse’s dream and IHP is making that dream, with your help, to become a reality for the mothers and children of Tanzania.  


Paula Lofstrom writing:


I think of IHP as a portal.  It is a portal of love, and of hope, and of real benefit to those whom we serve.  It is a way to funnel the goodness we receive to those in need.  It is hard-wired in us to feel good when we help others.  It is, indeed, our goodness that is our “God-ness”. To give and to share makes life worthwhile, enriched, and blessed.  


Your incredible donations have done so much here at Zinga. “But right now, it iscrunch time.”  We only have enough money at this point for this month’s salaries.  The building will have to stop except for what is already paid for (the interior work in the labor and delivery building, windows and doors is half paid for). But the work on the O.R./NICU building will stop once we reach roof level with the blocks unless we receive more donations.  Can you help?  


Tax time is over, we hope you got a refund.  Thank you to all of you who used the H & R block coupon. We got the check from this week for $220.00. We are so grateful for those who have already shared part of that with us.  We’re thankful for those who tithe each month to us, and for each of the regular monthly, quarterly donors, oh my – where would we be without you!  Thank you.


We’re extremely grateful for those who assign their required withdrawal from their IRA accounts to IHP.  Those stocks and cash have gone a long way to get the building this far. Thank you!  


For those who have included IHP, U.S., Inc. in their wills and trusts, we say a HUGE thank you.  Whatever those bequests turn out to be, the mothers and children of Tanzania will benefit.  It’s a gift of life and better health.  (If you need information to do this, we can easily forward it to you).


If you can afford a little or more (Kidogo Kidogo ….) to help bring life and health to those whom we serve, please write a check to:


International Health Partners, U.S., Inc.

Joyce Zemel, Treasurer

1811 So. 39thSt., #36

Mesa, AZ  85206


Or, go to our website, http://ihptz.organd click on PayPal


Or, call Joyce at 480 540-9317 and she can put it on your credit/debit card.


Below, please note our speaking schedule for the upcoming season.  Please note that those in purple are only proposed and not confirmed. Please also think about any mid-week opportunities that you could create for us when we’re in your area i.e. Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions Clubs, or your living room and friends, or quilting group or book club.  


Blessings and gratitude,

Paula and Denny


Selemani Shabani writing:




On behalf of IHP JEMA, I am very happy to share with you the construction progress here at Zinga, Bagamoyo.

1. We have been very busy working on the guest’s and staff canteen. Here everything is done that we have already started except the following;

     A. Ceilings which will cost= $2,016.00

     B. Painting work will cost= $1,227.00

     C. Floor will cost =$745.00

     D. Plumbing and electrical all together will cost $526.00 


2. In the NICU and Surgical suite building we are working on the walls right now. You will see the picture below to tell you how far we are. We have all the materials to pour the ring beam above the window openings, except for the aggregate which will cost $920.00

Then we will let you know the cost for the roof and the rest to finish these two buildings.


3. Birthing center, labor and delivery building: This building it going very well as you can see on the picture. 

Because of your donations and your help we be able to continue with the work as follows: 


      A. Nurses station, counter tops, shelving and doors = $7,888.00

      B. Plumbing supplies to supply clean water (pipes, fittings, etc.) = $6,135.00

      C. Waste water/sewage system including septic tanks = $7,450.00

      D. Ambulance entrance canopy area = $2,191.00

      E. Sanitary fittings (toilets, sinks, showers, etc.) = $10,079.00

      F. Terrazzo flooring = $28,795.00.

      G. Painting materials plus labor $4,858.00 

      H. Wiring and switches, junction boxes, etc. = $7,230.50


We have money for the doors, windows, and ceilings for all the rooms, people have given the advances to put them in and work begins next week.

4. Also we have been working on the road from the main road to the Hospital. The road has been in a very bad condition due to the rains we have had this year. 

We have used about $520.00 to throw some rough sand including rocks (moram) to fill it so at least the cars with high enough clearance will manage to go through. 


5. Round houses #6 (The Banjo and Theresa Memorial House) and 7 (Wakefield house) are almost done. As you can see in the pictures. Nothing much to do in these really. 



Because of your donations, help, support and kindnesses, we have reached where we are now as you can see on the pictures. The Mary Ellen Kitundu Memorial Birthing Center looks wonderful. 


Again, on behalf of IHP JEMA we are thanking you very, very much for everything. 

Thank you for your donations,

Thank you for your help,

Thank you for your support,

Thank you for your time you gave us. 

We truly appreciate everything from you. 


Marshall Guill:

I am a dermatologist with the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic in Lebanon, NH, visiting the Children’s Hospital, Zinga.  My wife, Lou, a pediatric pulmonologist, and I are seeing patients with the physicians on staff here and exploring the possibility of Dartmouth medical students and residents spending time in this setting.  There is a wealth of opportunity to learn about conditions common here but rare in the US. The warm reception, good food and comfortable environment have been great. The cases we have seen are challenging.

Experiencing tropical medicine will be a worthwhile challenge for our students and residents and a life-changing experience.  I look forward to what is to come for them and for the Children’s Hospital, Zinga.


Lou Guill:

After reading newsletters and following the status of building at Children’s Hospital, Zinga for more than a year, we have finally had the chance to see firsthand what is here and to meet the staff.  Although the rains have brought flooding and the flooded roads have kept patients away, the children and adults we have seen are grateful for the excellent care.  The roads have slowly improved and we expect to see more patients each day.


The vision of Dr. Kitundu and his commitment to bring a first class Women’s and Children’s Hospital to a very underserved area is inspiring.  Both Dr. Bon and Dr. Clara share his commitment to meeting the needs of the children and adults in this area of Tanzania.  What we see is an area under construction and many needs.  What they see is the progress that has been made since their arrival and the vision of what it will be when completed, stage by stage.  It is encouraging to hear of future medical staff who have already made the commitment to join the effort here, when the time is right.  And we are challenged to meet the needs, both professional and financial.  


We are thankful for the opportunity to see what is here first hand and to participate in the vision for what is to come.



Blessings and gratitude,

Paula and Denny