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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Location: Kahama, Tanzania

MapThursday, May 27th

Heike and Rylan headed out early with Jackline to view Teacher Resource Centres in another part of the district; I’ll let them blog about the events of their day. The rest of us headed to meet up with Dr Subi at the Kahama Hospital.

The transformation of this hospital is amazing. Dr Subi has worked so hard to remodel, enlarge the structures and improve the conditions and services. I couldn’t believe how much has been accomplished in the past year. Of course, there is still a LONG way to go as far as equipping the facility so we have our work cut out for us when we get back. Many of the things they need are things that we know will be easy for us to gather but we know it’ll be a challenge to raise the money for the shipping of the next crate.

Some of the things that Dr Subi asked for were desktop computers. They would like to put one in each station of the hospital. These computers would all be connected and information about a patient would be accessible to all areas. Right now a folder has to follow everyone around. They want desk top phones in all stations to use as intercoms. As it is now, they have to physically go looking for anyone they need to talk to. It’s all very inefficient and they have such limited staff to deal with a huge amount of patients all coming in with very serious illnesses. They are constructing covered, outdoor waiting areas equipped with TV’s and VCR’s which will be used to educate people about HIV/AIS, family planning and other topics of health care. They are starting an eye-glass program, they are building an ER department, etc, One of things I liked is Dr Subi wants to make the hospital a nice place for his patients to come to so is landscaping the entire area. They are also planting fruit trees and vegetable gardens to help feed the people who have no families to bring them food. This will also be a recreation area.

Dr Subi again has stressed the importance of having outside medical professions come to Kahama, (i.e.: Dr’s, anaesthesiologists, etc.) We talked about trying to raise money for him to come to the Okanagan and speaking to a group of interested physicians and other about the struggles he and others face in these remote area. He will assist anyone who is interested in coming, with all of the necessary paperwork at this end, we would organize the trip and they would een be picked up at the airport in Mwanza. Looks like another project for One Person is in the works!!!!!!

After our informative tour of the facility, the five of us met with the HIV kids who were accompanied by one family member each. One Person has already confirmed with Dr Subi that we will be supporting this group and developing some programs around them.
The number of children enrolled has already swelled to 88 and growing. Not all of them were here on this day so we were able to have an afternoon of crafts and games with them. We left Terry, Allisha and Catey in charge and Angela set of with one of the older kids, Suzanne to buy some food for the party. As with everything, this proved to be another time-consuming feat and we finally arrived back at the meeting area armed with the ingredients to make banana and peanut butter sandwiches. Of course there were twice as many people gathered there by then. We all fought of the flies as we frantically slapped together the sandwiches on a bench, hoping that to many more people wouldn’t arrive.
After some food for ourselves, three of us rushed back to the Catholic School to try and get on the internet before it closed. I managed to post a PR here and (part) of Angela’s..(sorry Ang..I’ll fix it today.) Reading emails was another challenge! Personally, I never did get to read any because the computer was so slow, they wouldn’t loads. I wrote one though and it was taking forever to actually send. The nuns are very strict about closing on time, so we asked them for a couple more minutes, we could see the bars showing up one at a time, we could tell it was doing something, we looked at the time counting down…would it send?.............Yes!! Finally it went and we girls all gave a loud cheer. Pathetic isn’t it? We even had to pay an extra fee for the use of the computers because there was no power and they had to turn on the generator for us.)
Our time here in Kahama is flying by, with still so much to do. We’re hoping for a productive day tomorrow!