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Aid to Tanzanian Hospital Serving One-Third of the Country’s Population

  • October 13, 2006
AmeriCares relief worker meets with partners at the hospital in Tanzania 
 Sister Matrona Pius, right, of the Bugando Medical
Center, with her staff
and AmeriCares worker Lisa Frantzen

To envision an entire community suffering from treatable illnesses seems quite unimaginable, yet this has become the reality of the situation in Tanzania.  In a country with only two doctors for every 100,000 people and with strict regulations on importing medicines, access to comprehensive health care is one of the top medical challenges.  AmeriCares has been providing ongoing humanitarian aid to Tanzania since 1990, delivering vital medicines and medical equipment to the Bugando Medical Center in Mwanza.

Bugando Medical Center, one of only four major public hospitals in the country, serves a catchment population of roughly 13 million people, nearly a third of Tanzania’s population. The hospital is partially funded by the government with the remaining funds secured from donors in the private sector. Of the $5 billion necessary to cover its operating costs, Bugando Medical Center receives $1.5 billion from the government and thus relies on the necessary supplies from AmeriCares to fill the gap.

AmeriCares latest delivery of relief supplies to the hospital included antibiotics, analgesics, hospital supplies and equipment, as well as personal hygiene items such as toothbrushes.

Sister Matrona Pius, head supply and logistics manager recently underscored the acute need the hospital faces for these supplies, telling AmeriCares project managers visiting the hospital, “Without AmeriCares, I don’t know where we would be.”