August 2022 Service Trip
In August of 2022, a small group went to Tanzania with MMTHC Board Member Exaudh Mbise to see how the Dispensary was doing since the COVID-19 Pandemic. Fellow Board Member, Dr. Valerie McKinnis of Denver, CO. made her fifth trip to Ndoombo to work with Dispensary staff on strategic planning. Dr. Valerie and staff spent several hours identifying strategic priorities, goals and success metrics for the next year. Nurse Barbara Kendall (South Milwaukee, WI) and granddaughter Shelby Brooks also traveled with Exaudh and Dr. Valerie. This was their first visit to Tanzania. They observed Dispensary operations and participated in food distribution to home bound villagers. They also experienced local markets in Arusha and went on a safari.
March 2022 Marketing/Medical Trip
Dr. Jill Hilty, MMTHC Board Consultant from Grand Junction, CO traveled to Tanzania in March of 2022, along with MMTHC Board members Aliliywa Mbise, RN and Anna-Lisa Mbise of South Milwaukee, WI. Dr. Jill, Aliliywa and Anna-Lisa traveled to the FAME (Foundation for African Medicine & Education) Hospital in Karatu, TZ, a modern hospital, laboratory and outpatient clinic based in rural Northern Tanzania. During their two-day stay in Karatu, they toured the facility and gained insight on how FAME grew from a mobile outreach clinic to its present-day campus. Dr. Jill spent time learning about their pharmacy and laboratory setup, in hopes that we can add a pharmacy tech and laboratory tech to the staff at the Ndoombo Community Dispensary.
A simple brochure that listed what services are available at the Dispensary, along with a Customer Comment Card measuring patient satisfaction with Dispensary services, was developed and brought on the trip. Aliliywa and Anna-Lisa screened for blood pressure, glucose levels and hemoglobin levels following Sunday’s Church service. They were also able to include some pediatric focused care with well-baby checks and weights, seeing over 30 patients both days. Dr. Jill spent time working with our new Medical Officer, Juliet Costa, and new Nurse/Midwife Furaha Bernard. Exaudh spent time preparing for our application for NGO (Non-Government Organization) status, among other things. As always, the time flew by quickly and it was soon time to travel home.
2019 Service Trip
Cousins Aliliywa Mbise (Wisconsin) and Margaret Mbise (Colorado), nursing students, returned for the second year to continue their work teaching local secondary students CPR techniques. Ali is a nursing student and Margaret is studying nuitrition. They also went on home visits to see patients unable to come to the clinic. Part of their experience was to learn to cook some of their own meals, eaten at their Grandmother’s house up the road and also to go on a short safari trip.
2018 Service Trip
Mission trip participants for 2018 included Dr. Jill Hilty (Colorado), Exaudh Mbise ( Wisconsin), nursing students Aliliywa Mbise (Wisconsin) and Margaret Mbise (Colorado).
Aliliywa and Margaret organized and taught CPR students to 25 area high school students. While they took turns explaining each step of CPR, Exaudh Mbise was there to translate in Kiswahili to make sure that everything was understood. The students then had a fun time trying it out themselves on the mannequins and practicing getting something out of the throat of a baby. In a culture where siblings are very involved with the care for their younger siblings, this proved to be very helpful. It is hoped the Dispensary can obtained permanent mannequins so they can continue with several classes during their 2019 mission trip.
On July 14, 2018 the first baby was delivered by Nurse/Midwife Romini Mbise at the new maternity building. Living Faith Lutheran Church in Racine, WI provided layettes for the babies and Aliliywa was able to present one to the new mom and baby.
Dr. Jill, who has volunteered her services on a number of mission trips, spent time organizing the current lab equipment and making plans to combine health awareness education with the promotion of the medical services that the dispensary has to offer. Currently, we are able to test for blood glucose, H. Pylori, urine pregnancy test, urine analysis, hemoglobin, malaria test (MRDT), rapid HIV, skin smear and strep testing. It is hoped that we can begin offering testing for syphilis, typhoid and brucella in the future. Dr. Jill and Nurses Neema and Romini also spent time perfecting the new electronic filing system that is now required by the Tanzanian Ministry of Health.
Board Member Exaudh Mbise spent his time working with the Tanzanian Board to obtain all the necessary permits, licenses and banking documents needed for the new Dispensary. This is a never-ending and frustrating job, as so many requirements changed once the Mt. Meru Tumaini Health Clinic became a Dispensary.