Health Partners

Caring for Children


August, 2018 Update from Zinga

Jesse Kitundu writing

Dear Friends of Mothers and Children of Tanzania,

August has been a specific month for volunteers as they had a lot and exciting work to do with the construction.  They did the nice work of painting the Birthing Center, OPD (Out Patient Department), Canteen and round houses. What a big help! Work was done at a short time of 3 weeks and precise.  They provided the funds for the paint and equipment, and the money they saved IHP will go for buying more building materials. This was a perfect type of another donation. We thank you and welcome again.

As mentioned earlier a specific month for volunteers, it will be nice if I leave the updates for them to say what they saw, did and shared with us.  Other areas of the project are well presented by my colleagues.

We are almost there, but only a few steps are remaining for us to reach the peak of the mountain. This is usually the toughest stage but I’m sure we will summit.

Once again I thank you all for what you are doing and sharing what you have with us. God Bless you all.

Jesse Kitundu


Dennis Lofstrom writing:

We have just returned from Ruaha National Park where we spent three days on safari provided by our friend Vesna from Pure-Afro Travels (check out their website,  We flew from Dar es Salaam regional airport for an hour and 45 minutes to the airstrip at Ruaha and then went on a game drive to Kimilamatonge camp in the Great Ruaha River Valley basin situated in the foothills of the mountains, so we were at a significant elevation where the nights were cold and the mornings chilly (conditions I had not anticipated and for which I was not dressed!).

All three days we traveled on game drives viewing lots of animals under a hot tropical sun from which I came away with a prominent facial sunburn of the nose and lips.  One night we were taken on a four-hour night game drive with powerful searchlights and that was interesting.  We saw hippos (who are sun sensitive and remain submerged during the day but come out at night to feed on dry land), a young female elephant startled by the light came so close to my open window I could have touched her.  She gave a tremendous roar (she was with her baby) and backed away as our driver put our safari car in gear and got us away from there. It was an exciting and unusual night time drive.  

At this camp we slept in tents that was remindful of our winter over camping at our land on Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas.  These were not “permanent” tents, but tents erected and taken down after the four-month tourist season, though each one did have a flush toilet and hot showers (so nice after a dusty game drive).  

The food was also quite good and the chef even gave cooking lessons to the ladies interested in his recipes.  He demonstrated how the bread is baked in a tin box buried in the ground and hot coals put above and below so he can bake fresh bread every day.

Even at 90, there are always things to see in the bush that one has never seen before.  




Paula Lofstrom writing:

YOU DID IT AGAIN!!!  We wish to thank the eighty (80) donors who helped us meet the $15,000 challenge grant proposed by Dr. Christine Petersen. THANK YOU ALL!!  The money will be used to continue the interior construction on the Mary Ellen Kitundu Birthing Center Labor and Delivery building.  She’d be so pleased, as are we.  

Dr. Steve Vanasco came to Tanzania as an anesthesiologist multiple times to assist surgical teams to provide surgical care for hundreds of Tanzanians.  Sadly, two years ago he passed away.  Steve generously made IHP a beneficiary of his estate and yesterday we received the check. This money will be used to help finish the surgical suite in the O.R./NICU building that adjoins the labor and delivery building.  We will dedicate the Steven J. Vanasco Surgical Suite when the building is done.  His lovely widow Sandy, and her daughter came out only a few months after Steve passed away. We look forward to their return.

For Amazon shoppers, please try going to and select Mesa, AZ, and then International Health Partners, U.S., Inc. We will receive .5% of whatever you spend.  Now, this isn’t a huge amount, it would take a $10,000 purchase to garner $50 for IHP, but if enough people use Amazon Smile, it will total up for IHP.  Your regular Amazon shopping page will be identical to the one you’re used to using once you’re on board and it’s quite easy. Thank you shoppers!

We had two teams, visiting doctors and medical students all since the last Update.  So, rather than put in ALL of their remembrances, we’ll space them out over the next few months.  

The weeks are drawing down until we leave Zinga to return to the U.S. for our fundraising tour, five months this year.  We still have a few open Sundays and lots of time mid-week for presentations in your living rooms, at your quilting clubs, book clubs, Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions clubs.  Please look at the schedule and find out when we’ll be close.  

Blessings and gratitude,



Selemani Shabani writing:

Dear Friends of the Children of Tanzania.

Everyone here is excited because of the progress of the construction and the hospital. Every one of us is so involved with this project, the donors and who we are making possible the work here.  Some work is not being done yet. Like the final installation of the sanitaries, (toilets, sinks, showers, etc.) electricity and water for the Mary Ellen memorial birthing center. 

In the meantime, we are involved with finishing up the walls for the NICU (Neonatal center ) and Surgical suite.

And also small things, like finishing up the hospital canteen, leveling the inside of the new building I mean the NICU.

We are thanking you IHP DONORS very much for everything you have been contributing for this facility here. Also thank you so much for the in-kind help and support you are providing here. We really appreciate it. 

Thank you, thank you.

Stay blessed always.

Selemani Shabani 


Dr. Bonaventura Mazezele writing:


We thank God our almighty who is always with us helping to reach our mission of providing high-quality health service to sick people here in Tanzania.  

Now the number of patients is coming up after rain/flood crises season is over. 

Generally, we are moving forward and patients appreciate the presence of foreigner doctors from USA visiting our clinic, like this month we had two dermatologists and 2 medical students seeing patients with skin diseases and we had one pulmonologist teaching us on how to take care of respiratory disorders and how to diagnose pneumonia by using Ultrasound.

Now we have a gynecologist who is implementing cervical cancer screening and treatment. 

With a fourth year medical student, Simi, from Mayo University Medical college, we plan to do health education for prevention of cervical cancer to all child-bearing age women at Zinga village. 

Things are going very well and we’re waiting for the birthing center to be done soon to provide service to pregnant women and neonates.  

See the update of construction to know how far things have gone.  


Dr.  Bonaventura Mazezele Dr/in charge


Hi, My name is Allison Brooks and I am from Wilmington, Ohio and am a junior at Ashland University.  I came on this mission trip with Faith Lutheran Church in Wilmington, OH and spent a few days working with IHP.  I had very little clue what this experience would be like and that made me slightly nervous, but the nerves disappeared immediately and I was reminded of God’s presence.  This trip has been an absolute blessing in my life.  The work Paula, Denny, and the rest of the crew have put into Tanzania and the hospital is a true example of God’s glorious work.  

I am in college studying to be either a physical therapist or an occupational therapist to work with pediatrics and I aspire to work in a children’s hospital, so this was great exposure.  The children I have seen at the hospital have left an image on my mind I will never forget and will be a motivation and reminder as to why I am in school.  

I was very fortunate to be able to serve as the Lord’s hands and feet and do this work.  God has blessed my life in such great ways so the least I could do is to give back for a few days.  This is a special environment and atmosphere that is unlike anything I have been exposed to; so gracious, giving, and inspiring.  I thank the Lord for this experience and will never forget it.  


Hello from Sunny Tanzania!

My name is Sara Harris and I’m from New Richmond, Wisconsin.  I’m a certified diabetic educator/registered dietician back home.  I have brought my twelve-year-old twin daughters along on this trip.  Our time in the country has been full of new and amazing experiences and as a parent, priceless to see my daughters’ inquisitive reactions.  

My hope is that this springboards further continued desire to learn more, help more, question more and love more no matter where they, and I, end up. 

Thank you to our families, hosts, and Paula and Denny.


We are so blessed!

YOU are the folks who make all of this amazing progress possible. Thank you.  For support, we ask for your prayers, and for donations, please send checks to:

International Health Partners, U.S., Inc (or just IHP)

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

Blessings and gratitude,

Denny and Paula