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September 2019 Update from IHP

Jesse Kitundu writing:

Dear Friends to Mothers and Children of Tanzania,

It is hard to believe that it is so quiet again. This happens every year when the Lofstrom’s leave Zinga to go back to the US. In addition, the volunteers also leave and then they come back the following year when Lofstrom’s are back.  We thank all of those who visited us for the first time and I hope this is just the beginning you will return. We appreciate those who continue visiting us.

This month we received more postgraduate students and we really appreciate working together with them. Our doors are open for them to come and experience how it is to go about managing patient conditions in a low-income setting. 

God bless them all.

We look forward in the coming years to host more volunteers.  Karibuni sana.


Jesse A. Kitundu, MD (Pediatrician).

President; IHP-JEMA Tanzania


Charles Powell writing:

It seems like yesterday that we returned from Zinga.  The project seems to be on the precipice of a huge change but there are several important needs, some not so glamorous.  We need to address wastewater treatment for the MEK Memorial Birthing Center due to high groundwater. Nonetheless, we are fortunate, because I was just introduced to an environmental engineer who is interested in our project, and he is planning a visit to help us evaluate our needs.   We have a number of projects that are nearing completion, but they are not quite there yet.  We also need a functional high-speed internet for the campus.  These require funding for completion, so we continue to watch and pray.

Nonetheless, I remain optimistic, and I plan to return to Zinga in February or March to assist with the wastewater evaluation.  Please continue to offer your support in whatever ways you are led.  If you have never visited, why not volunteer in 2020?  In the meantime (as Paula said to me recently), we will trust God and show up for work!

Charles W. Powell, M.D.

President, IHP-US

Paula and Denny Lofstrom writing:

YOU MADE IT HAPPEN.  AGAIN!  The $15,000 Christmas in July grant made it possible for IHP to purchase the “sanitaries” for the Mary Ellen Kitundu Memorial Birthing Center.  Thank you!

The container from Indiana arrived and Lynda Sardeson and her friends who packed it were there were in Zinga to unpack it!  They worked really hard and our crew did a lot of the heavy lifting and inventory was recorded.  Emily Brown had graciously donated a Caterpillar BobCat.  This will help tremendously with moving dirt on the property, especially with fixing the roads.  Fortunately, Brian Sardeson had some experience with a BobCat and assisted with unloading it and showing Sele how to drive it.  

Denny and I have now arrived in the U.S.  We’ve done one presentation already and are looking forward to filling out the schedule and adding more opportunities to tell the story of IHP.  Please check it out and see if you have a venue where we could present.  

Blessings and gratitude,

Paula and Denny


Hi. This is Sele!

I would like to share with you the construction working plan we have for the year 2019 to 2020. 

1. Is to finish the big Lofstrom guesthouse. 

     -kitchen counters.


     -the floor has to be sealed. 

     -shower curtains. 


2. Finishing up the birthing center. 


      -installation of sanitary fittings. 

      -sewage system.

      -ambulance canopy.


      -window grills.



      -final paint work.

3. NICU.

     -wall smoothing.

     -conduit work.

     -plumbing work.



4. PICU. 


5. Guards house. 




6. Big incinerator. 

7. Laundry sinks.

8. Garage building.






     -wall smoothing.

     -conduit work.

     -plumbing work. 

     -water supply. 

9. The roof over the containers. 

10. Hospital canteen. 



     -water supply.

11. Dr. Powell's house. 

      -ceiling skimming.


      -kitchen counters.


This is what we have planned on working. 

We are open to more ideas/suggestions on this plan. 

You can make any changes on this so Karibu sana [You are all very welcome]. 

I want all of us to be on the same page. 

Best Regards,

Selemani Shabani. 


Hi! My name is Nicole Pace, MD and I am a Pediatric Dermatologist from Dartmouth Hitchcock. Medical Center in Hanover NH. I have been. Involved in global health delivery for many years and found myself heading Tanzania with a colleague of mine who had been here before. My initial visit was intended as a fact-finding and logistical visit to see how we, as an organization could best help in the care of the patients in the area. The dedication, love, and vision of Denny and Paula is contagious and truly admirable. Their passion for the hospital and clinic is infectious and I look forward to watching it come to its full potential.  My goal is to bring dermatology residents from our program at least annually to both help in the care of local people and educate the current staff on common skin disorders. I also hope to continue to aid the providers here longitudinally through telemedicine for better continuity of care for those suffering from chronic and even acute skin disorders.


Drs. Marshall and Lou Guill, dermatologist and pediatric pulmonologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire:

This is our second trip to Zinga, the previous one in May 2018.  The physical differences between the two visits are striking:  the Birthing Center is almost complete and the OR/nursery suites were just foundations when we were last here.  The inpatient unit building now has foundations and will begin going up as funds become available.  Unlike US building projects, that seem to go up overnight, things in Africa move more slowly--projects happening incrementally as funds become available.  There are still a couple of major things that have to happen before the Birthing Center can open, but it is encouraging that the goal is in sight.  

The specific intent of this trip was to establish opportunities for collaboration in dermatology, and specifically pediatric dermatology, between Dartmouth and Zinga.  The enthusiasm of the staff to learn new things, as well as to provide outstanding care, is obvious.  Everyone is working toward a common goal to improve the health of children and families in the immediate area and across the country of Tanzania.  Creative ways to use limited resources are found daily.  Thinking outside the box, looking for ways to educate the families in good health and nutrition practices to improve the welfare of the community is everyone's goal.  

We look forward to continuing to partner with the staff at Zinga for many years to come. Thank you for the opportunity!.

Lou Guill

2 Woodrow Rd

Hanover, NH 03755



Mambo! I’m Kayla Heidinger, a 3rd-year family practice resident at Mayo in La Crosse, Wisconsin. I’ve spent the last 4 weeks here in Zinga and it has been the most incredible experience! I’ve learned so much working with Dr. Bon, Dr. Kenny, and Dr. Jesse. It was so incredible to see not only tropical medicine, but also so many “everyday problems”, such as hypertension, infertility, and back pain. It gave me a new perspective on how I can workup and treat these problems back at home. 

Coming to Zinga has been my first real international travel experience. Luckily, I was able to come with my best friend, Olivia, and her sister, Tori, which helped alleviate my worries about being in a third world country for 4 weeks. My roommate, Sweta, is the sweetest and fit right in with our little sisterhood. Within the first week of arrival, we were already starting to plan our next trip here! 

During my trip, I had the pleasure of working with multiple visiting specialists, including pediatric dermatologists, a pediatric pulmonologist, an obstetrician, a neonatologist, a pediatric hospitalist, and a diabetes educator. These brilliant minds were able to provide some great insight regarding how to improve patient care here in Zinga. The clinic and I benefited so much from these dedicated people, and we are so gracious for their dedication and expertise. 

I’m so excited to see how quickly the hospital grows and how many more patients we can serve. The birthing center is almost done and is so gorgeous! Providing a safe place for high-risk deliveries is going to have such a positive impact on the community. I am excited to return in the future and do what I can to support this beautiful, magical organization. Kwaheri! 


My name is Olivia Thiel, and I am a 3rd year resident in Family Medicine at the Mayo Clinic. I traveled with my best friend and colleague Dr. Heidinger as well as my sister, Victoria, an ER nurse as part of a Global Health Elective.

The love we found in Tanzania is more than I ever expected. Paula, Denny and the whole team treated us as a family and we were welcomed with open arms. The people of Tanzania were so generous, genuine and open. The culture was so enriched and we visited churches and explored the city. 

The doctors taught us so much about life, love, and medicine here. We were able to provide insight and care to many. We were fed spiritually, emotionally and medically. Living in nature here was paradise. This was a trip of a lifetime. 

The vision for this place by the IHPTZ team is incredible. What they have done in a few years is nothing short of amazing. They are dedicated to lifting up the lives of the people of Tanzania and have raised us up as well. 

I am forever grateful; this was the trip of my lifetime. We cannot wait to return and bring our families with us someday.

Olivia KS Thiel, MD

Family Medicine Residency PGY3

Mayo Clinic Health System

La Crosse, WI 54601


I’m Penny Shepherd, a grandmother and retired nurse from northern Indiana.  I came to Zinga, Tanzania to volunteer in the clinic,  but ended up doing so much more.  I helped unload a cargo container from the U.S., and worked in the kitchen, too.  I learned a little bit of Swahili, went on safari to Selous and an excursion to Zanzibar.  I wasn’t even needed as a nurse volunteer because of all the medical residents here at the same time.  The people are the best thing about Tanzania, friendly, warm, accepting, and joyful.  The food is very good, too, and animals on safari - fantastic.  I will come again!


Hi, Mambo,

I’m Lynda Sardeson, a mom from Northern Indiana.  I’ve been involved with IHP for many years now.  My youngest son, Eric, has come with me to Mwanza, Tanzania twice as a volunteer and this time my 45-year-old son, Brian, has come to help.  Eric helped with construction and Brian is doing so, too.  He is helping to show the project manager, Sele, how to operate a Bobcat heavy equipment machine.  I’m a retired nurse and help out in the clinic and do whatever I can outside of the clinic, things like inventory and unloading a cargo container.

There’s something for everyone to do here.  The people are amazing, happy, and helpful.  I’ve made so many friends through the years and it’s wonderful to visit and catch up with what is happening in their lives. I’ll keep coming back as long as God wants me to.

Kwaheri for now,

Lynda Schultz Sardeson.  P.S.  If you can’t come here, check your quilt back for a table “Made with Love by LaPorte Mission Quilters.  La Port, Indiana, U.S.A.  


My name is Victoria Steffke and I've been an emergency RN for the past 3.5 years. My sister, Dr. Olivia Thiel, is a resident on her global health rotation here and she invited me to tag along. The facilities and the future plans they have for the site here blew me away. The staff here are so friendly, kind, and willing to teach. At the clinic, we saw a lot of infertility, hypertension, and malaria. This is an amazing organization and being here has humbled me and made me so grateful for what I am blessed with. I want to encourage everyone to make a trip to help in any way they can. 


My name is Sweta Pattanaik and I am a 3rd year resident from Mayo Jacksonville, and it has been such a privilege to be part of this organization. For the past month, I worked with Dr. Bon, Dr. Kenny, and Dr. Jesse and we saw and helped numerous patients with maladies such as malaria, typhoid, abdominal pain, to infertility. I was humbled by what the doctors provided with so little and their dedication to providing the best care despite the limited resources. Their dedication to provide the best care, while being cost-conscientious was truly inspiring. 

It was truly an eye-opening experience and one cannot express in words or even pictures the joy and love you feel when you are here. Everyone is kind and grateful for what you do. I urge everyone to come and experience this amazing place, but I can honestly say that though this was my first trip to Africa, it definitely will not be my last. 


Paula writing again:

As you can see from Sele’s list, there is a lot to finance.  YOU have come through for us in the past and if you’d like to be part of the future of The Children’s Hospital at Zinga, please consider giving what you can by sending a check to:

IHP - Matt West, Treasurer

8016 No. Everton Ave.

Kansas City, MO. 64152

Or, go to our website, and click on PayPal, or call Matt at 816-985-4406 and Matt will put it on your credit or debit card.

Blessings and gratitude, Paula and Denny

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