Bugando Medical Centre is a leading referral and teaching hospital in Tanzania and AmeriCares longest-standing partnership on the continent. In addition to our ongoing donations of medicines and medical supplies to Bugando, since 2009 AmeriCares has been working to strengthen the health and safety of Bugando’s health workers through our pilot Health Worker Safety Initiative. AmeriCares Health Worker Safety Initiative provides safety training and donations of critical safety-oriented supplies and vaccines for all of Bugando’s 2,000 health workers and medical students. We also support Bugando’s Obstetric Fistula Repair program, which provides cost-free repairs for this devastating childbirth-related injury. See images of our work in Tanzania.
Snaspshot of Tanzania
Tanzania, with an agrarian economy, remains one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking in the bottom fifth of the United Nation's Human Development Index. Although the country has avoided the armed conflicts that have troubled many in the region, the general population has seen little progress in economic development from its mineral wealth or ecological tourism industry. With few resources to invest in health care, the average Tanzanian lives 53 years. Critical health issues:
- Infant mortality rates ten times higher than in the United States, with maternal mortality 30 times higher.
- Infectious diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, diarrheal diseases and respiratory infections remain leading causes of death.
- Rising burden of chronic diseases, including diabetes.
- Critical shortages of qualified health workers: lowest ratio of physicians per capita worldwide, with 0.1 doctors per 10,000 people.
Since 1995, AmeriCares has provided ongoing medical aid to Tanzania. AmeriCares' primary partner in the country has been Bugando Medical Centre, a 900-bed facility that serves a population of 14 million people. In fact, the hospital serves nearly one-third of the country's population, which is densely clustered around Lake Victoria.
Health workers at Bugando Medical Centre care for 40,000 inpatients and 200,000 outpatients annually. In addition to treating communicable and chronic diseases, Bugando also offers specialized health care such as gynecology, cardiology, radiology, tuberculosis, sickle cell anemia treatment, oncology, and pre- and postnatal services.
In 1996, AmeriCares sent a shipment of relief supplies to treat the victims of a disastrous ferry accident on Lake Victoria.
In 1994, during the first stages of the Rwandan refugee crisis, AmeriCares airlifted relief supplies to the Benaco refugee camp near Ngara, Tanzania. AmeriCares donations were also vital in the treatment of Rwandan refugees who fled to the Mwanza area.
Protecting the safety of health workers is a critical part of sustainable health care access. AmeriCares helps Bugando Medical Centre fill resource gaps and maintain a high quality of care with donations of essential medicines, vaccines, and safety-oriented hospital supplies and equipment, as well as targeted grants to support training for Bugando’s 2,000 staff and medical students through our Health Worker Safety Initiative. Read more about our Health Worker Safety initiative.
Obstetric fistula is a debilitating birth injury that can result from prolonged childbirth without proper medical care. This injury can leave women permanently incontinent and, as a result, they are often rejected by their families and communities. AmeriCares provides support for Bugando to expand its surgical capacity for obstetric fistula repairs, improve quality of services and pre- and post-operative care through life skills and literacy training and physical therapy, and to increase advocacy and educational outreach campaigns in northern Tanzania. Women who receive care from Bugando leave the hospital healthier, more confident, and able to rejoin their communities.
AmeriCares also donates medical products to qualified U.S. health care professionals who are traveling to Tanzania to provide charitable medical care. Through this program, donated medicines and medical supplies reach impoverished and isolated communities where even basic medical care is inaccessible to the poor or often non-existent. AmeriCares donations cure infections, relieve pain, help patients manage chronic diseases and make life-changing surgeries possible.
Recent News from Tanzania
A nurse in Tanzania can now feel safe on the job after a successful AmeriCares health worker safety program has expanded to more hospitals and communities.
More than 1,000 health workers in Tanzania have benefited from hepatitis B vaccinations, safety training, medicines and supplies provided through the Health Worker Safety Initiative, launched by AmeriCares in 2009.
AmeriCares project at Bugando Medical Centre provides cost-free, skilled fistula repair services, and allows women like Amina to regain their health, their dignity and their lives.
Stamford, Conn. - July 23, 2012 - Hundreds more women suffering from obstetric fistulas will have access to life-changing surgery with the expansion of a fistula repair program in Tanzania supported by AmeriCares. To date, the program has restored a sense of dignity for 2,000 women suffering from this devastating condition.
Since 2008, the AmeriCares Health Worker Safety Initiative at Bugando Medical Centre has provided vaccinations, trainings, safety supplies and other vital resources for hospital staff and medical students. The Bugando Medical Center is a 900-bed teaching hospital located in Mwanza, Tanzania, serving more than 14 million people in the region.
21-year-old Reticia Rughamira found help at the AmeriCares Obstetric Fistula Repair program – an initiative at Bugando Medical Centre in Tanzania that has mended the bodies and lives of more than 2,000 women in need.
The AmeriCares-funded Health Worker Safety Initiative trains health care workers at Bugando Medical Centre in Tanzania in best practices to reduce the spread of disease and infection.
AmeriCares Health Worker Safety Initiative protecting hospital workers on the job. A hepatitis B screening and vaccination program has added another safeguard for health care providers.
AmeriCares donation makes lifesaving difference to young heart patients in Tanzania. Medications help Bugando Medical Centre improve lives of patients’ families.
Young African women get free health care and life-changing surgery thanks in part to an AmeriCares supported program in Tanzania. Read more
AmeriCares and Bugando Medical Centre in Tanzania help women suffering from obstetric fistula with a program for corrective surgery for VVF. Learn more.
In honor of International Nurses Day, AmeriCares shares Adila's story - a student nurse in an African hospital. Read more.
When blood infections threatened newborns in an African ICU, AmeriCares helped fight the outbreak with a grant for critical supplies. Read more.
Renatus was just a baby when he started having heart trouble, but with help from AmeriCares he's now a healthy school boy in Tanzania. Read more.