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April 2019 Update from Zinga

Jesse Kitundu writing:

Dear Friends to Mothers and Children of Zinga and all those we serve, we will never forget that you have made these successes possible and you are making our dream of serving the poor, and taking the best care possible of those we serve possible.  Thank you. 

April has been a hectic month for us.  Most of our volunteers are expected in the next few weeks and months. Post-graduate students have opened the way as the first visitors this year.  We thank them for their courage in coming to witness what we do and how we take care of our patients in a low-income setting and for sharing their expertise with us.  Thank you.

Four years ago we opened the doors at The Children’s Hospital at Zinga. Since those days the number of patients has been increasing as has the number of staff to serve them.  This is a good sign for sustainability.  All of this has been possible because of your donations.  Thank you!

Jesse Kitundu, M.D. Medical Director, IHP-JEMA-TZ

Paula and Denny Lofstrom writing: 

Hello Dear Friends,   

In the past, we have had special support for our Special Needs Fund (we call it our SNF money) that is set aside specifically for people, young or old, who have absolutely no way to pay for services, the very poorest of the poor.  At The Children’s Hospital at Zinga, we never turn anyone away who cannot pay because we have had the money from the SNF fund to cover their costs.  

We’ve also used the SNF money to send a child and her mother to Ocean Road Cancer Hospital for radiation treatment for Burkitt’s Lymphoma.  We’ve used it to send a little boy to India for heart surgery.  We’ve used it time and time again for people who were simply indigent, without even a chicken to sell to pay for their medical care.  

The SNF fund was also used for staff support to pay for higher education for any staff member who wanted to increase their level of education.  

The IHP-US-Board member who was the fundraiser for the SNF money has retired and moved back to England and can no longer afford to provide the SNF money.  Another donor has stepped in to help, but we’re asking now, as we are nearly ready to launch into the huge expansion that will happen when we open the birthing center, is for others to contribute to this special fund, if possible. 

If you choose to help with the SNF money or to support all of the other incredible progress continuing at The Children’s Hospital at Zinga, please send a check to:

IHP-US, Inc., 

Matt West, Treasurer

8016 No. Everton Ave.

Kansas City, MO  64152

or, go to our website, and click on PayPal

or, call Joyce at 480-540-9317.

It’s time again to start working on our speaking schedule.  Please see at the end what is scheduled so far and think about where we’ll be and if your church, your club, your friends would like to hear the story of IHP.  

Blessings and gratitude, Paula and Denny

Selemani Shabani, Contractor writing:

Hello Everyone. 

This week, celebrate the resurrection with people you love. 

Happy Easter to you and your families. 

To us here in Zinga Bagamoyo it has been a busy week. We are trying to make all the preparations for all the medical teams that will be coming this year. Thank you for keeping us busy. I usually say your donations, your support, your help keeps us busy. Today I am saying to all of the teams will be coming this year, that you're keeping us busy. Thank you every one of you for keeping us busy. Thank you. 

We are very busy trying to prepare the birthing center so that will be useful for the teams. We are grinding the terrazzo floors now and we are wiring the building. 

Soon we will be installing the doors, hanging the suspended ceilings. After that, we will be buying all the sanitary fittings and installing them.

Because of the high water table of our property, if you dig down one and a half to three feet, you hit water! Because of that, it is a big challenge for us to dig the septic & leaching tanks and have them built. So, we have to hire professional people who will build us a good wastewater system. But it will have to cost us 44,000,000/=Tshs. ($19,256.00). So if we have this money then we can start right away to work on that. For this amount of money, we will be able to connect all the Hospital buildings into this new system. 

Also, we are working on smoothing of the walls for the NICU building. 

We are pouring the ground beam for the PICU building. 

We are skimming the walls for the big house inside and outside (to make them smooth). 

We are getting ready to pour the floor for the big house (the Lofstrom house/hostel). 

We are getting ready to start putting the roof on the MCH (Maternal and Child Health) building. 

We are doing the finishing on the lab expansion. 

We are repairing the terrazzo floor in the outpatient building bathrooms. 

We are cleaning the outpatient floor by removing the coating that had dirt under it and grinding it down and recoating it. 

Again, I Selemani Shabani, on behalf of IHP-JEMA-TANZANIA, I am thanking every one of you being part of all these work above. You are making a lot of changes here. 

Yes, TOGETHER we can. 

Thank you. 

Happy Easter to you. 

Best Regards, 


My name is Richmond! I am a fourth-year medical student from Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine at the Rochester, MN campus, and I will be going into Emergency Medicine. I had the privilege of having the opportunity to go to Zinga, Tanzania with IHP to help better understand a different way medicine is practiced in a different country.

I chose Zinga because I was familiar with the work IHP  has been doing and have had many colleagues who in the past came here and highly recommended their experience. They were all more than right. The work the clinic is doing is definitely profoundly affecting the lives of the patients that come to be seen. They all come far away to get great care from Dr. Kitundu, Dr. Bon, and Dr. Kenny. These exceptional providers really do give the best care within their limited resources and setting, and the patients leave with a satisfaction that is palpable in the air. 

What I was most impressed with was witnessing how the clinic is run. It is very efficient and very well taken care of. From the process of registration to consultations to investigations to filling prescriptions, it is very evident that patients here who come for care not only get what they need in the acute to the subacute setting but also in the long-term setting. Patients here can truly get long-term care for their chronic disease management. It was very wonderful to see how resources and donations from outside Tanzania truly help the people of Zinga and the surrounding areas. I was able to witness first-hand how the donations from abroad really do make an impact here.

And they are not even close to being done! There is the hopeful completion of the family birthing center, the NICU, and the PICU. The goal for this all to happen could not have been done without the tireless work that Denny and Paula Lofstrom and their team do day and night to ensure that the clinic continues to grow and flourish. I very much look forward to the progress that is to be done in the very near future.

Along those lines, I’ve been affected deeply by my experience here. I am super grateful for the people I have met I have learned to appreciate the ways of the lab that Anura masterfully commands. I have seen the vast knowledge that Shafy encompasses as he taught me all of the different medications during my time at the pharmacy. Then, of course, I witnessed the person-centered care that occurs when the physicians here talk with the valued community members that they are so grateful to be serving. From Dr. Bon’s smile that goes ear to ear to Dr. Kenny’s passion for teaching to Dr. Kitundu’s endless wisdom, I leave here knowing that they will have affected how I see myself practicing in the future. Everyone I’ve met has had an important role and I’ve only named a very few amount of the people that ensure the clinic is running well - there are so many more who work behind the scenes!

I am very hopeful to see how IHP evolves in the future because it has so much potential to keep doing the tremendous good that it they are doing. I am hopeful to return and to once again be impacted by the amazing people that I undoubtedly will encounter and meet again! Asante sana!

Richmond M. Castillo

Medical Student (MS4) 

Mayo Clinic School of Medicine 

My name is Allison and I am a pediatric resident from Minnesota.  

I started my residency training with the intention to gain some Global Health experience and International Health Partners has not only helped make this possible but has, I feel, made a life-long impact on my medical career.

I came to Tanzania with the goals of learning more about tropical medicine as well as how to practice medicine in a setting with resources quite different than those in the United States. I feel that my experience in the Children’s Hospital at Zinga is not only meeting but well exceeding those goals. Everyone has been exceptionally welcoming from the moment I arrived in Tanzania.

In the clinic, Drs. Kitundu, Bon, and Kenny are very open to detailed discussions about the similarities and differences in pediatric medicine and I have learned so much from their knowledge and experience.  Even more importantly, they are excellent role models at practicing medicine in such a way that the patient always comes first. This is an ideal which is extremely important to me, and from my experience here in Zinga, it is a central value here at IHP.  I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to learn from these amazing individuals! 

Hi! I’m Annabelle, a fourth-year medical student on my fourth week here in Zinga. An ideal global health experience for me is well integrated with its community. It has physicians of the same cultural background as its patients, at least the majority of the time. In addition, it allows medical students to gain knowledge in diseases they would not normally see in their home location or in how care is provided in lower resources settings while applying the skills they've gained without disrupting the care to the patient. The outpatient medicine and pediatric clinic at Zinga does both of these things and more. When there is downtime, I have had informative, hilarious, and eye-opening conversations with the physicians and some of the other staff members. The welcoming environment cannot be understated. In terms of patient care, the providers love what they do and their patients and it shows in their practice. 

Last week a boy of 8 came in with a swollen and tender left leg. He had been in a motorcycle versus bicycle accident 10 days before. His parents had taken him to the emergency department at another hospital but they were told that leg x-rays were normal and he could go home. He walked on the leg. Six days later he had worsening pain and swelling, which worsened to this. His left leg was twice the size of his right. We looked at our x-ray. As I had not seen many pediatric x-rays, I could not make sense of it without the help of my colleagues. It was a severely dislocated growth plate fracture at the distal femur. Both Dr. Bon and Dr. Mgullu came over to look at the x-ray as is common in a more urgent or rare case. Dr. Kitundu explained to the parents how they would need to go to Muhimibili hospital and find an orthopedic surgeon, whether surgery would occur or how much it would help was another question. We gave them the disc with their x-ray and a printout and showed them the problem. They nodded their understanding and discussed it with the physicians. I almost teared up watching this kid while worrying about whether he would walk and how he had been healthy and running just two weeks before. But then I looked at Dr. Kitundu and I watched the child's parents. Everyone else was concerned but focused. No one else had tears but the child in pain, and I pulled back my own tears, realizing that that was not what the child needed at that moment. The parents looked very dedicated to their children. Both mom and dad had come with the little sister along. They were ready to take him to the hospital in Dar which was 2 hours away since that was best for their son. Dr. Kitundu like all the physicians at the clinic had seen so many difficult cases and he remained calm throughout the encounter as did Dr. Bon and Dr. Mgullu during their discussions. I am amazed daily by how positive these physicians are with the hardships they often see. 

Most days however we see a mix of less intense and moderate urgency issues. They include malaria, typhoid fever, parasites, infertility concerns, healthy pregnancies, H pylori and PUD, HIV, hypertension, heart failure, nephritic syndrome, mastitis, and abscesses. In the last month, we drained ascites caused by Schistosomiasis, twice we have done circumcisions on children older than 1 year, multiple teeth have been pulled, and just yesterday we drained a large breast abscess. The range here is an experience that I am lucky to be a part of. I greatly appreciate the guidance of these physicians and staff who love and understand their community. 

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