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August 2020 Update from IHP

Charles Powell writing:

We are very happy that we have met the matching grant goals for the construction of the birthing center.  The building is, in large part, complete.  The devil, of course, is in the details. We have a small amount of work to be done but it still promises to take some time to reach full completion.  We are hindered by a lack of help from volunteers as well as the effects of coronavirus, both in Tanzania and the US.  Though we feel like we live in the only country where things have been disrupted, the effects in Tanzania were far from trivial and they do persist. For one thing, we have design parameters that still need to be determined regarding the waste disposal system, but that will be delayed until safe travel once again becomes possible. I am in the rather unusual position of being the only long-term visitor to Zinga this year.  In essence, I was "stuck" there. Make no mistake; I had a wonderful time and some much-needed rest and relaxation during my stay.  Dr. Kitundu and the staff ensured that the initial part of the visit as well as the unplanned extension was entirely comfortable, that my visa requirements were settled, and that I had sufficient food in the house. As an Amateur Radio operator, I enjoyed an extended expedition to a "semi-rare" country. At the same time, it was sad that a facility that would normally be bustling with a diverse collection of volunteers, nurses, medical students, and medical residents, was all but silent. We certainly hope that things return to a more normal state in the very near future. Many of us are under enormous pressure with changes in work patterns, unemployment, unexpected retirement, health concerns, and host of other changes that have overtaken the world. I ask that each of you offer what you can to IHP, whether that is prayer, financial support, or any other contribution to IHP.  We may never return to "the way things were," but we must find a new path, and continue the work that is in front of us. Charles W. Powell, MD, President IHP-US

Jesse Kitundu writing:

The OPD continues to function well; the number of patients continues to rise day by day, which is good news for us. We are hoping that coming to the end of the year it could be even better.

All this has been possible because of your support. We thank you very much.

Usually August is a busy month in Zinga with volunteers helping throughout the campus.  This is very different. The OPD (Out-Patient Department) is quieter compared to when medical students and residents are here moving from one consulting room to another.  We do miss them very much. The staff as well as the patients continue asking when they are coming. We hope things will normalize soon and doors to Zinga will open again. YOU ARE WELCOME!

Dear Friends of Mothers and Children of Tanzania, though physically you are not here at Zinga, but your good hearts and generosity continue in spite of these hard times. We thank you and appreciate it so much.

Jesse A Kitundu, MD

President, IHP-JEMA TZ.

Denny and Paula writing:

Dear Friends,

Of course, the big news was you got us over the “hump” to receive the $30,000 matching grant and that money will be going directly into the birthing center.  An issue with a subcontractor had delayed work in the building, but that is now in the courts being resolved so that the work by our own staff can be completed.  THANK YOU!!

We continue to stay sheltered-in-place in Overland Park, KS as we await the passing of the Covid-19 threat. However, we’re keeping up with the activities at Zinga via Zoom, What’sApp, and emails.  It has been 18 years since we spent a summer in the Midwest and it’s been very pleasant.  My son, David West, built us a beautiful garden around the fenced back patio area, even put in a fountain, so we have a place of peace to pray, meditate, and enjoy the outside without the worry of catching the disease.  It is a gift.

We plan to return to Tanzania in April, depending on the worldwide progress of the disease and all attendant issues.  We’re looking forward to the next season at Zinga and moving into the Lofstrom guesthouse there and having guests.

Charles Powell and we are going to make a “virtual” tour presentation of Zinga to share with churches and service clubs remotely that can be followed up with a Zoom Q & A time.  We’ll let you know when that is ready to send out.  

Since almost all of the recent funds were earmarked for the matching grant and are designated for the birthing center, we’re asking for donations to continue work on other ongoing projects i.e. the Maternal and Child Health Center, the Neonatal ICU building and Pediatric ICU buildings.  

These will be units where we can do educational training setting up residency programs for Tanzanian physicians in neonatology and acute care hospitalist specialties.  

To assist with these vital programs, please send what you can to:

IHP – Matt West, Treasurer

8016 No. Everton Ave.

Kansas City, MO. 64152 or

Go to our website, and click on Donate or

Call Matt at 816-985-4406 and he’ll put it on your credit card.

Blessings and gratitude,

Paula and Denny

Selemani Shabani writing:

Our IHP dear friends,

This is the time again when we give you an update of what is happening here at Zinga/Bagamoyo. 

Our construction department is making cement blocks. We don't have much going on right now because of the funds.  But now Mama Paula says the money is coming to return to work in the Mary Ellen Kitundu Memorial Birthing Center.  Thank you!

Since we have not had enough funds, we have 3 employed people and 2 casuals helping to make blocks because we already had the cement on hand, purchased at the rock-bottom price from the manufacturing plant.  Two people are carrying the mixing sand for the cement blocks. Then the 3 remaining people are making the blocks. 

We are making 200 blocks per day. And have made 2,800 blocks so far.

As each block comes out of the form, it must rest on a rectangular wooden board until it is cured and hardened.  We don't have enough boards and enough people for making blocks. Our goal is to make 9,000 blocks. I am attaching a picture so that you can see the cement blocks project going on.

Thank you so much for keeping us busy. Though we know and we understand the world's financial crisis. 

I believe things will be back to normal and we will proceed with the project through you, our IHP DONORS.

I am truly thanking you for all the help and support of this project.

We are where we are now because of you. 

Once again, thank you and thank God for you.  

Selemani Shabani, Contractor, IHP

Dr. Bon Mazezele writing:

God is still good for Zinga polyclinic. 

The clinic is doing well and the number of patients is now increasing from an average of 25 to 30 pediatric patients attending the clinic and that keeps Dr. Kitundu busy from morning to evening.

We are seeing the usual range of illnesses, but not Covid-19 cases this month.  

Below is the picture of the one-month-old baby boy who born prematurely of 36wks GA at another hospital weighing only 2.2 pounds.  He attended our clinic with sepsis from the infected umbilicus. We treated him with Gentamicin injection and ampiclox neonatal drops for 7 days with very good improvement. The child and mother are both happy.

The nurses provided clothes to cover the baby and he looks quite smart in them!

The mother is so happy and thanking those who donated to help the Tanzanian people she said, “Let God bless them.”

Dr. Bon

Dr. Kenny George writing:

Hello, Dear IHP sponsors,

Thank you again for your generous support. 

August has brought good things and we are getting back to normal.  Patients of all ages are now coming in, but still, we maintain extra precautionary measures. 

We recently saw a 3-year-old child (Mary) who was from a pastoralist community where they hid her at home due to being handicapped.  On arrival at the hospital, we noticed it was just had a right leg club foot.  At The Children’s Hospital at Zinga, we do not yet have the facilities for orthopedic long-term care, but we managed to give the family a proper education on what the situation is and where to get treatment.  We will continue to follow the patient.  The parents are very relieved to know that there is treatment for their precious little daughter.

We thank you for all your support.  May God bless you.   Kenny George, M.D. -- Paula Lofstrom Managing Director International Health Partners, US & Tz Pray, believing Act on your faith and go forward. God is always with you. Love is always the answer.

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