BENEFITING: Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic
Kirando village in Nkasi District in Rukwa, Tanzania, has a large health center located along Lake Tanganyika and serves 250,000 residents. The population around Kirando suffers from a high malaria, childhood diarrhea, and maternal mortality rates, and it is one of the few health centers in the area that provides comprehensive emergency obstetrical care.
Kirando was unable to perform surgical procedures consistently as it had no reliable electricity, no oxygen concentrators, and no fully equipped, manually adjustable operating tables -- despite its designation as one of the few health centers in the area intended to provide comprehensive emergency obstetrical care. In response, the LTFHC completed a comprehensive upgrade of Kirando’s facilities in July 2014 that included: establishing electrical connectivity between the existing health center generator and the operating rooms, upgrading the solar power system in the operating rooms with additional power capacity and the ability to switch easily between generated and solar power, upgrading the solar power in the main hospital building (enabling it to power electrical equipment such as oxygen concentrators in the labor and delivery ward), and wiring and testing a pre-existing neonatal resuscitation table and autoclave that had never been used before rendering them functional.
We also provided a stipend to hire additional staff to help maintain and keep clean this very busy facility. In the past, nurses had to juggle cleaning and maintenance responsibilities with seeing patients, which significantly reduced their capacity to see sick people in need of help. We wish to continue this stipend and maintain the employment of dedicated staff who are crucial to the health center's functionality.
Additionally this year, we would like to install a deep well that will provide the health center with water year round. We asked the District Medical Office to consider matching funds with us, and this year, those funds have been allocated. Imagine a health center that has 250,000 patients visits per year that does not have a consistent water source! We are glad to work with the Ministry of Health to bring vital access to some of Tanzania's poorest and hardest to reach.