Healthcare in Tanzania

Sorry we have been unable to blog the last couple of days but we got home very late last night.  Cheryl, Sarah, Julius and Gayle headed to a mining town to run a free clinic for those who have no access to health care. We enjoyed free African massage on the way in the safari vehicle over the bumpy roads.
At the clinic we saw over 150 patients with complaints ranging from coughing, difficulty breathing, joint pain, seizures and need for deworming. Several referrals were made to Dr. Mark at St. Joseph for orthopedic problems. In addition a few really sick pts were referred to a local hospital. It was a very busy but productive day.
Thanks to the gracious donors we were able to serve 150 patients that would have otherwise not received health care. Dr. visit and medications were included in services provided. We ended the day with another free African massage to return home. It was a good reminder to  be thankful for the smooth roads in the US.
Dr. Mark spent the day at St. Joseph hospital doing surgeries and seeing pt's.  The people here feel so blessed to be provided health care especially by white people.  We feel bad when we are unable to help them.  Sometimes all we can offer is a prayer, a hugs or a warm smile.  

January 7th    
The girls were so excited to go back for more African Massage massage to mining town. We went to the clinic and gave them the donated medical supplies. The doctors were very appreciative. We don't realize how some of the simplest medical supplies provide so much good to many people.  There is a population of over 200,000 that are serviced by the 2 doctors at the clinic. Reality of health care in Tanzania came to us as we saw a 26 year old man who was injured in a mining accident who was paralyzed that had he been in the US he would be walking today. As US citizens we need to be grateful for our  health care system. We then went to the LIA girls home and were met with smiles and singing. They were excited to get pieces of candy from us. We then travelled to the food kitchen sponsored by LIA and helped feed many children orphaned  or street children. It was sad to see them in their worn, tethered clothes. Each one of them ate every bite of their food, they had beans, ugali (corn flour mixture) and small piece of mango. Then we met a father who had a 16 year old son with sever Cerebral Palsy. This is the same family Hope Ministries helped in May. The father fed all the food to his son. This father waited for us until the very end and then asked if we could possibly help him feed this family. They needed mosquito nets for 2 small babies who were getting bitten by mosquitos.
Hope ministries gave him money to buy rice, salt, beans, sugar, cooking oil and soap to last 1 month. All the father kept saying is Mungu Akubariki which means God Bless you.  We then went to see the boys  LIA home. We were excited to see 2 children Hope ministries helped last May. Living wounds are healed, legs straight and boy with pneumonia looked good. We then were serenaded with the angelic voices of the boys as they left. Then once more we enjoyed our free African Massage. 
Dr. Mark  enjoyed the excitement in the OR as they unpacked all the orthopedic supplies donated by Synthes. God bless you for the people you will be helping!
Mark was able to see the pts we referred from clinic, did surgeries and found out what it is like to operate in the OR with extreme heat. When he left the OR his scrubs were completely soiled with perspiration. Once again we do take for granted the comforts we have daily.
Sending a lot of love and prayers to our family and friends at home.