Tanzania Partnership: Small Steps to Big Goals (May 2021)

If there’s one lesson we’ve learned in our almost 20 years of companionship in Tanzania, it’s that small steps add up over time. Case in point: the rural clinic in Tungamalenga.

The first time we visited, the clinic consisted of an examining room, a room used for dispensing medicines, and a room with four patient beds. There was also a dark closet where staff slept when they needed to stay overnight to watch patients.

Improvements happened slowly. In 2008, a new 30 bed ward was constructed, and the original building was converted for outpatients, dispensing, and storage. Electricity and new equipment enabled better care. Staff began long range planning for a laboratory and other facilities that would upgrade the clinic to a health care center (similar to our urgent care facilities).

Several years ago, a generous traveler heard the plans for a laboratory and gifted the clinic a high quality medical microscope. It was so valuable that our Tanzanian doctor kept it locked in storage when not in use.

This past month we received this news from Tanzania: “We have established the operating Laboratory at our dispensary, a dream we had for a couple of decades. It is such good news to our dispensary ever to be. For this I want again to thank you for the microscope purchased for us last time which is now on effective use. THANK YOU SO MUCH. Now a new page is opened in our dispensary.”

We received words of thanks for the delivery of two hand-operated mobility carts. Jenico, an elder from Makifu Parish, was one of the recipients. He has had mobility issues since childhood when he was ill with polio.

We are grateful for your prayers, contributions, and all the small steps taken over time that are bringing health to our companions in Tanzania.