Surgical treatment and medical care for pregnant women and young children. Purchase of specialist equipment for a local hospital in Nyangao
Why do we help in Tanzania?
In Tanzania the main problem in the area of surgical treatment is the small number of specialists. There are just over 260 surgeons per about 57m inhabitants. In addition, they struggle with a lack of access to basic equipment and medicines as well as the increasing number of patients who are mainly victims of traffic accidents.
The Lindi and Mtwara regions, with a population of approx. 2 million, are some the poorer areas of the country. Many patients come to the hospital in Nyangao from remote places, 250-300 km away, and also from neighbouring Mozambique. Other hospitals providing a similar level of health care are located in the capital, 500 km away.
What surprised me most about Nyangao? I think the scale of anaemia among pregnant women. There are also a large number of HIV-positive patients.
How do we help in Tanzania?
We support the medical staff working in the south of the country, in the Lindi and Mtwara regions. It is for them that we organise specialist training courses and seminars, equip the wards with medical equipment and help to expand the neonatal intensive care unit and the gynaecological-obstetrics department at St. Walburg’s Hospital in Nyangao.
We are launching a surgical outpatient clinic in Mtwara that will be staffed by doctors being graduates of the Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute in Dar es Salaam. We strive to ensure the right conditions for learning proper conditions for learning at the nursing school by renovating the building and providing it with the necessary equipment. We provide midwives in the region with special midwife backpacks.
Apart from conducting trainings and working in the hospital, doctors from Poland support the ambulance service team of the hospital who take care of the inhabitants of the remote areas. During such visits, patients are examined, receive the most essential medicines or are referred to the hospital.
in internships and seminars
in a professional laboratory
neonatal intensive care unit
Tanzania 2018, photo: Michał Zieliński
Who do we help?
At the crack of dawn over Nyangao, smoke rises from the hearths, and dozens of women crowd in the hospital barracks in dark rooms. They are the patients’ relatives and wives. The hospital does not provide food for the sick so when a family member goes to the hospital, one of the women must go with them.
Soon, a completely new ward for children whose lives are in danger will be opened in the hospital in Nyangao. A few buildings further away, workers are constructing a new wing of the hospital. Apart from the neonatal intensive care unit, a maternity ward will also be added. Due to the difficult living conditions many women have anaemia. During pregnancy, they are unable to provide the baby with suitable conditions for development. Preterm births and baby deaths during labour or still in the womb are common in Tanzania. Beata Stecz-Niciak, a gynaecologist of the Polish Medical Mission came to the hospital in Nyangao. ‘What surprised me most on the spot? I think the scale of anaemia among pregnant women. There is also a large number of HIV-infected patients’, says the doctor. One of her patients, Shaila, was recently born and already had to wage her first struggle for life. During pregnancy her mother found out that she was HIV positive. In Tanzania, the number of HIV-positive people increases by about 200 daily. Although the HIV problem in Africa is still very serious, Tanzania has made a huge progress in the last decade in terms of HIV prevention and treatment. Nearly 75% of those infected are aware of their disease and most of them take antiretroviral drugs.
Who helps in Tanzania?
We are one of the few Polish non-governmental organizations that provide medical assistance. We help where the needs are the greatest. Our assistance is long-term – it brings permanent changes in the communities we support.
Polish Medical Mission
Project co-financed within the framework of the Polish development cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.
St. Walburg's Hospital, Nyangao
The hospital, the first in the region, was founded in 1959 by Sister Tekla Stinnesbeck. The hospital authorities estimate that their facility is the only one that is accessible to almost 900,000 people.
Medical aid. Permanent changes. Local partner.
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