Mvumi Hospital is set in a rural district of Central Tanzania, an hours drive south east of Dodoma. It serves a population of 400,000. It is a very dry and poor part of Tanzania and people travel very far for treatment. Facilities are poor and effective care is often frustrated by lack of basic equipment. Average life expectancy in Tanzania is on around 54 years. 1 in 10 children don't make it to 5 years old. It is rated one of the world's poorest countries.
I am a nurse and health visitor with 25 years experience in both hospitals and the community, mostly based in the UK. In the 1990's, I worked on an HIV/AIDS Care and Education project in Dodoma, and part of our work was training community and hospital staff to raise awareness and treat symptoms for people with HIV/AIDS. Mvumi was one of the areas we visited frequently. 20 years on, I have the opportunity to return to the hospital in late 2017, as a volunteer, helping with the nurse training programme and working with early infant and maternal health. While the teaching will be in English, I also speak Swahili. I am taking a career break and taking the opportunity to focus on helping support the hospital in ways that will help them most.
I am in direct communication with medical staff from the hospital and have a basic list of supplies needed to ease day to day running of their work. I am currently gathering basic medical supplies to transport to the hospital. Some of which is easy to access locally, but there are also some things for which funds need to be raised. The initial list includes: wall mounted blood pressure machines, stethoscopes, basic nursing textbooks (the course is taught in English), wheelchairs and wheelchair parts, floor stands for catheters, small baby clothes.
The hospital also needs to update all their lab equipment for urinalysis, haematology, biochemistry, parasitology and cardiac and lung markers machines. This will be a potentially growing cost, depending on funds available.
Any donations towards my travel and basic living costs would be appreciated, but priority will go to ensuring supplies and equipment are procured, delivered and installed. Thank you in advance for any donations you can give. As little or as much as you can give will be greatly appreciated. I will feed back as this project progresses. I am visiting the hospital for a week this July, to further assess need and plan for nurse training later in the year.
- Jane Robinson
- Charlotte Gilman
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