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AmeriCares Donation Makes Critical Difference for Young Heart Patients in Tanzania

  • January 17, 2011

A five-year-old boy with an enlarged heart in Tanzania faces serious risks. For young Mwita and his family, access to the pediatric cardiology clinic at the Bugando Medical Centre in Tanzania has made a lifesaving difference.

Support by AmeriCares helps Bugando provide critical care to about 120 pediatric patients, including Mwita, while many of them await heart surgery.

The pediatricians at Bugando treat children with cardiovascular drugs to prevent congestive heart failure. AmeriCares recently donated about $97,000 of lifesaving medicines that will help ensure a consistent supply of free medication for these young patients. Without this support, the cost of ongoing care would be too high for many children, leaving them exposed to serious complications that can be fatal.

When Mwita was first diagnosed, his father Ibrahim had to bring him the 80 miles from their family home every two weeks to receive his medicine.

Now with the donation from AmeriCares that includes a longer-lasting formulation of his prescription, Mwita and his father only have to come to the hospital every two months to receive medicine. This has greatly reduced Mwita’s treatment costs, and will also save the family additional time and money since they will no longer have to make the frequent, long trips to the hospital.


Medications help Bugando Medical Centre improve lives of patients’ families.

On a recent visit to Bugando, Ibrahim explained how pleased he was with the new medicine for his son and how making the trip to the hospital much less often will “help me concentrate more on cultivation and farming, so we can raise enough crops to sell and have the funds for Mwita’s heart surgery.”

Today Mwita is doing well and his father is confident the treatment his son receives will help him grow into a strong, able young man. This would not have been possible without the support of AmeriCares generous donors and the dedication of the pediatric cardiology team at Bugando.

Since 1994, AmeriCares has provided more than $48 million worth of medical aid to Tanzania. Our primary partner has been Bugando Medical Centre, a 900-bed facility serving 14 million people in Tanzania’s densely populated Lake Victoria region.

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