July 2021 Update from IHP
Dr. Jesse Kitundu writing:
Cool weather continues pleasantly, the nights are chilly at about 22 degrees centigrade (71.6ºF.) We continue service at the Outpatient Department with caution as the Corvid 19 has not spared us. What we are observing is that most children under five years old have a cough, running nose, fever and sometimes diarrhea, not caused by Covid-19. Their recovery is quick and without major complications.
We are seeing older children (school age) and adults with great care because most of them do not wear masks, so we are keeping them at a distance as much as possible, while still doing a good examination. We must emphasize hand washing. We remind everyone repeatedly to stay safe and that all of us follow the safety measures from WHO and Ministry of Health. This is difficult and scary! Thank God, we are still safe.
The project goes on. Currently we are finalizing the finishing costs (bill of quantity) of MCH (Maternal and Children’s Health Center) this week and continue minor construction, maintenance, and repair. Resumption of construction depends on the Corvid 19 and on donations.
Dear Mothers and Children of Tanzania, I thank you for continuing your support during these very hard times. We are always praying for your health “Mbarikiwe”. (Be blessed.)
Jesse Kitundu MD
Kenny George writing:
Hello IHP friends and family,
We dearly hope that you are doing well. We are doing quite well and continuing the hard work here.
Recently we attended a 12-year-old boy who presented with a 3 week history of ear discharge and pain. The family self-medicated with neomycin ear drops but without relief.
On exam: the ear was erythematous (red and swollen), inflamed with yellowish discharge. The child was treated as a case of otitis media (ear infection) and he received amoxicillin for 10 days and analgesics.
We are extremely grateful for the support you are giving.
Kenny George, MD
Paula and Denny writing:
As many of you know, Sele is another son for Denny and me. We “adopted in love” this young man when we were first beginning the attempt to rescue Iambi Hospital back in 2002. Yup, it’s been that long.
Denny was working as a doctor there, I as a nurse, and not long after we were established there, my son David came out “just to see if his mom was living in a mud hut.” We weren’t, but we did have a kitchen with no stove or electricity. I lived without a refrigerator for four years and cooked over charcoal or using a kerosene burner for morning tea so I wouldn’t have to wait 45 minutes for that first sip while the charcoal got going. But that’s another story.
David stayed on for 17 months, acting as the project manager as we started rebuilding the hospital and started new buildings. We had teams coming from the U.S. to help, and word spread that there were jobs available at Iambi. There were 40-50 people at the front gate every day hoping to be hired. Sele was one of those.
Sele had been fixing motorcycles up at Haydom Lutheran Hospital when he heard about Iambi, and he also had his eye on Maria and she was from the area around Iambi. Sele was hired as a “casual worker” and because he worked so well, David continued to hire him day after day. He became one of our first permanent employees.
One day Denny was disappointed to realize his radio no longer worked. He fiddled and fiddled with it and finally threw it away. Sele picked it up out of the trash and asked, “Can I have this?” Yes, but it doesn’t work. The next day Sele gave Denny a list of what it would take to fix it and where to buy the parts. Needless to say, the radio was working again in short order. A small incident, leading to more and more realizations that Sele could fix almost ANYTHING!
Sele hadn’t graduated from Secondary school but managed to get tutored to essentially a GED. Then he went for electrical education and became a certified electrical contractor. Eventually, IHP assisted him to go to college and become a building contractor. All of this education was at the same time he continued to serve IHP, at Iambi, and later at Nyakato, and now at Zinga. When he took his Contractor's Board Certification, he got the highest score in the country. Of course.
Mary Ellen, Denny, and I knew that Sele could make a LOT more money as a contractor owning his own business, much more than IHP could ever afford to pay him, so we made a deal, he could work outside of the hospital, and we helped him register his own company. His company had to comply with all the Tanzanian tax laws and regulations, but he had to serve IHP first. He could do other things after hours or when he was not needed “on site.” Sele has been with IHP for almost 20 years now, and the agreement has endured. IHP could not function without him. He also went to Arusha for a course in how to fix and maintain all of the hospital laboratory and technical equipment. How many times a week do we hear “Get Sele!” when something isn’t working?
Sele’s own words: My mother passed away when I was 12. I lived with my step-dad, my mother, sisters and brothers. I never got to see my real father. When I was 15, my uncle told me where my father lived. I went there to meet him. In my heart I was very happy because I was going to meet him.
When I got there, my father had already passed away, about 4 months earlier. So, I never got to meet him.
After that, my uncle took me to live with him so that he could send me to school. He helped me to attend primary school for seven years. I did well in my final exams, and I was promoted to join secondary education.
My uncle died when I was form two [Sophomore in high school]. Because of that, I was not able to complete my secondary education.
After that I had to struggle. This is the time when I met the Lofstroms.
Paula writing again: David and Sele became “brothers” and still are, and now that includes Matthew, my other son. Yes, I’m a proud mama. When Mary Ellen was alive, Sele was her son, too. He had two mamas after having none for so long. Now she is on the other side, still cheering! For IHP to continue to fund The Children’s Hospital at Zinga, we need your help. For IHP to continue to assist the clinic with paying salaries so the patients are charged only a fraction of the real cost of care, we need your help. Denny and I cannot go on the road fundraising because of Covid-19. We cannot return to Zinga now because of Covid-19 in Tanzania. The only way we have to help the clinic continue to serve patients is to receive donations from you. Please, send what you can to: IHP – Matt West, Treasurer 8016 N Everton Ave. Kansas City, MO 64152 Or Go to our website, www.ihptz.org and click on Donate Or Call Matt at 816-985-4406 and he’ll put it on your credit card for you. Blessings and gratitude Paula and Denny
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.