International
Health Partners

Caring for Children


 

April 2018 Update from IHP

Jesse Kitundu writing

 
Jesse Kitundu writing:

Dear Friends to Mothers and Children of Zinga, Bagamoyo, Tanzania.

What a year! A lot of rains and hence our area is flooded with water. The roads to the facility are hardly passable and in front of our clinic is  a pond full of water. Hopefully, the water will slowly subside as now rains are ending.

 

This has affected the flow of patients to our clinic as compared to the previous months. We hope once the rains stop the number of patients will increase again. 

 

As for the construction, it is progressing well and for the labor and delivery building of “The Birthing Centre” the skimming of walls, fitting of door frames, windows and putting the roof, the work will complete within three coming weeks. The operating rooms and the NICU building work is also progressing well.

We continue to thank you very much for your support.

 

The first bunch of volunteers have arrived, what a scene for them; and more are still coming. We are really delighted for them to be coming here and share with us their knowledge and skills.

 

Please follow their updates that give the real picture of Zinga. 

 

 We continue that God to bless you all for supporting us in this Noble work of saving the lives of mothers and children of Tanzania.

 

Jesse A. Kitundu, MD

 IHP – JEMA  Tanzania, President

 

 

Dennis Lofstrom writing:

The corn and potato fields have become rice paddies, the roadways have become shallow canals, their ditches undiscernible except by those who live in this area, so Sele, our project manager, must guide the drivers from elsewhere to the outpatient department from the coastal highway that goes to Zinga.  This situation has decreased the number of patients we are seeing in our outpatient unit. 

 

The past two days we have had sunshine, no rain, so maybe our prolonged heavy rainy season is over!  I hope so, anyway.  

 

Incidentally, our two seven passenger Toyotas that have been guiding along the watery roads are called “Noahs”.  Really!  

 

Dennis E. Lofstrom, M.D., C.O.O., IHP, U.S., JEMA-TZ

 

My name is Steven Loecke, MD.  I am an Acute Care Facility Chief Medical Officer for a large Health System with three hospitals in Northern Colorado.  I also oversee the primary care providers of the health systems medical group, including almost two hundred providers.  My wife and I have four boys and a very busy life filled with school, sports and work.  As typically happens, I crashed into my trip to Tanzania, unaware of exactly what I was getting into.  My wife made all the arrangements and all the plans.  

Arriving in Zinga at the campus of International Health Partners, was emotionally overwhelming.  A people so kind with grace and acceptance embrace you.  I found a library of medical books so familiar and remind me of where I have been and what I started out to do.  Our hosts, the Lofstrom’s, model their life of service and leadership.  In an environment that demonstrates nature’s constant move towards entropy, they build a hospital on the edge of a jungle.  Understanding the impact of building a birthing center and a neonatal ICU is almost impossible. A vison, a prayer and a lot of work.  Men bustle around the nearly completed birthing center where the lessons of modern medicine can bring safety and health to women and children for miles and years to come!  So much done, so many opportunities for my sons to learn and center.

My name is Jodi and I am a physical therapist/athletic trainer from Windsor, Colorado.  I heard Paula and Denny speak at our church almost 10 years ago, immediately wanting to get involved.   It took a while to get mobilized, but we finally settled on a date, and found it extremely easy to plan and mobilize for part of our family and 2 good friends, totaling 6 to make the trip to Zinga.  

There was some anxiety about the travel distance, what to do with children staying behind, as well as how we would get to Zinga, what we should bring, and so on!  However, everything worked out seamlessly and the trip has already been life-changing.

Being a seasoned traveler, and to many third-world countries, I thought I had a basic recognition of what the hospital, surroundings and landscape might be like.  The needs are much greater than I realized.  It is so deeply saddening to see children malnourished, children born with severe impairments preventable with proper education and health care, and parents lacking the education, understanding and resources to provide.  However, even in that sadness I am filled with great hope by the work being done here for individuals and the community by the Lofstroms and the plans yet to take place.

It is deeply meaningful to so easily be put to work in an area of work so comfortable to me and meet such great need.  It is even more gratifying to see your 15 and 14-year old boys help with such happy, content, yet extremely needing children, painting walls, or just having interaction with the amazing Tanzanian people, while seeing the disparities in culture and finding significant joy in giving back, even if just painting walls.

All in all, I couldn’t say enough about the positive effects of this experience.  It forces you out of the first-world stress and problems to see the help and hope you can provide another individual/community if only willing to step away from everyday comforts for a short (or long) period of time.  Whether a health care provider, human resource manager, construction worker, child, or any other willing individual, you can help in so many different ways directly in Zinga.  Also, I am surprised at how far a small amount of money can significantly help with the birthing wing of the hospital, new equipment needed in general for medical or dental, the living quarters or even help with plans that haven’t been started.  

I would encourage any person to JUST GO!!!  It has been absolutely AMAZING!!!!

 

Hi I’m Matthew Loecke an 8th grader from Windsor, Colorado. I have only been here a couple days and I can tell this hospital is changing and helping many people’s lives. There are tons of super nice locals that live on the hospital campus or near here that help a lot and make it comfortable to come here. I am really excited and grateful that we get to spend the rest of the week here helping these people.

I’m Will Loecke and I’m from Colorado, USA. I am fifteen years old and am a freshman in high school. We have only been here one day and this has already had a big impact on me. Yesterday, I helped my mom with physical therapy on kids with cerebral palsy. It was crazy to see how malnourished some of the kids were. It was very eye- opening to see how fortunate we are and all the luxuries we take for granted like clean drinking water and medical care.

Hello, I’m Porter Eastin from Colorado. It’s just my second day here and I have already seen so many great and amazing things that they are trying to do here. Yesterday, we got a tour of the hospital they are building and it is nothing short from amazing. It makes my heart happy knowing they are doing all of this to help the many kids and adults here.

Hello, my name is Paula Eastin. I’m from Johnstown, Colorado.  I currently work in Boulder, CO as a Senior HR Manager at a Digital Media company. I came here with my 14-year-old son Porter to open his eyes to the world around him. Being able to serve others and learn about different cultures was high on the list when deciding to come.  

While we have only been here a few days, Paula & Denny have opened their home to us and treated us just like family. Lucy has made so many amazing meals and William (the driver) & Sele (does everything!) have been so gracious and kind to us as well. We took a tour of the grounds yesterday, getting a chance to see the hospital being built and we had so many of the construction workers & patients say thank you as we passed by. The word gratitude doesn’t even begin to explain how appreciative they are that we are here to help. The patients and parents of the patients have all been so wonderful & sweet. I know this has changed me in so many ways and I will be so happy to share my story & hope to inspire others to either come & volunteer or donate. A smile from the patient & a simple thank you from the mothers, is more than enough to know that I’ve made the right choice to come & volunteer at IHP.

 

Paula Lofstrom writing:

 

You again responded to the challenge presented by a board member and Yay! We have received the match necessary to add over $8,000 now to the Ambulance Fund.  Thank you!!  The balance in the account now is $18,360.00.  We’re actively shopping now for a used ambulance.  

 

It would be hard to describe how happy we are to be “home, at last,” here at Zinga.  We have been back about a week and a half and are falling back into our usual routine.  It’s hectic, it’s sometimes a bit stressful, and it’s just wonderful.  Home at last.  

 

We are so grateful to The Franciscan Mission Warehouse in Kansas City for loading the container for us that is not on its way to Tanzania not only with medical supplies from them, but the additional items you sent and the money to help with the shipping costs.  We thank each and every one of you who contributed items for the container, nursing books, quilts, baby clothes, diapers, feminine products, Beanie Babies, and so much more.  

 

The new gardeners are turning the area around the guest quarters into a parkland.  The pool is a great asset for exercising for Denny and me, and for relaxation for the guests.  How we are blessed!

 

The Lofstrom house/hostel has a roof on it now and next the plumbing for the five bathrooms, kitchen and laundry will be put in, then the floors will be filled up to floor level.  We will have an indoor-outdoor kiva fireplace for those chilly mornings/evenings in August and September.  The view is enchanting.  Africa.  Africa….Africa.  So blessed to be here.  Such beauty, such wonderful people, thank you, God.

 

Of course, all of this is because you support us and support the mission of International Health Partners.  To help the work continue, please send what you can to:

 

International Health Partners, U.S., Inc.

Joyce Zemel, Treasurer

1811 So. 39th St., #36

Mesa, AZ  85206 

Or go to our website, www.ihptz.org and click on PayPal

Or

Call Joyce at 480-540-9317 and she’ll put it on your credit card.

 

What you think is up to you.

What you say can be important.

What you DO, matters.

 

Blessings and gratitude,

Paula and Denny