My time at the Imiliwaha Health Center has shown me the need for transporation to a hospital for those that come with serious ailments. The patients are always in need and this ambulance will greatly increase the amount of healthcare that these individuals will be able to recieve. Therefore, I hope to raise at least $20,000 to help purchase an ambulance for the health center, in collaboration with East Africa Ambulance Project, in the next year.
The Imiliwaha Health Center, resurrected in 1997, and responsible for 38,316 people from 16 villages, is a 12-ward facility with an 88-bed capacity for inpatient care. The wards of the health center include: outpatient care, maternity, active labor, laboratory, minor theater, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy and four inpatient wards (female, male, pediatric and postnatal.) On average, within these service wards, the two doctors and six nurses on staff attend to at least 30 patients per day, which equates to around 11,000 patients per year. However, many more patients come to the facility, or contact the health center from one of the surrounding villages, in need of procedures the staff are not capable of performing (surgeries, blood transfusions, x-rays, etc.) due to their lack of access to certain equipment. So, when these major procedures come about, it is thus the center’s responsibility to transport the patients, as many as 70 km, to the hospital in Njombe. Unfortunately, securing transportation, can sometimes be quite difficult on such short notice, as the amount of cars available within the community is of a limited number. And even when a vehicle is available, it costs about 200,000 TZS ($100) to obtain its services. This inability to guarantee the necessary transport thus leads to, the estimated, 50 deaths per year, as patients are stuck at the health center or try to get to Njombe by walking, biking, taking a motorcycle or riding the bus.
About the Convent:
St. Gertrud Convent - Imiliwaha was founded in 1968, by St. Agnes Convent of Chipole, Songea, in the Njombe Region of the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. Currently, the convent is home to about 470 nuns and 72 candidates, postulants and novitiates. With the presently large religious community as well as the motto of ORA-ET-LABORA, prayer and work, the nuns not only are self-sustainable, but also provide a stationary, yet wide-reaching, support system to its rural community. Some of the different areas of service include: schools (primary, secondary and trade), a few small shops, an orphanage, a church and the aforementioned health center.
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- Kent & Deanne Davies
- Jill Murphy
- Christopher OToole
- Bill Calderwood
- Brad Hazzard
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