Young Adult Group Returns

Our group of young adults as part of the Environmental Initiative in Tanzania has returned home safely. Akina Latigo, Rebecca Miller, Dan O’Connell and Megan Walton traveled with Greg Sammons and Lisa Roth. We look forward to sharing more about their journey soon, but in the meantime enjoy a couple photos!

News from the Diocese of Tanga

News from our friends in the Diocese of Tanga.

Download the Diocese of Tanga Newsletter

In it Bishop Maimbo writes, “This newsletter comes to you all with many good memories of successes as we continue to fulfill our mission 2025. One of these successes is my completion of my PhD. I am therefore delighted to report that my studies which took most of my time came to an end on April 23rd when I received my PhD at a graduation held at the show grounds of Pietermartzburg city in South Africa. I thank God that through your prayers, toleration and supports this dream of my heart has come true. I am back now to my diocese to try to give the ministry which people of God missed during the period of the study. It is my prayers to the Lord that He will guide me into the way of wisdom, humbleness and truth and, at the end of all, grant me eternal life.”

We extend our most heartfelt congratulations to Bishop Maimbo for completion of his PhD, and look forward to our continued partnership together as he dives further into his new role in the Diocese of Tanga.

Repurpose. Save Lives.

By Kelly Mackey

Dr. Damian Mpundu and Lucas Mmole RN arrived safely home in Tanzania on Easter Sunday after an exciting and whirlwind trip in northern Ohio. There is so much to tell about their visit and a great place to start is about the time we spent with our partner MedWish International.

If you do not already know, MedWish is a Cleveland-based nonprofit organization that repurposes medical waste from nearly 70 corporate and hospital donors for humanitarian aid to 90 countries around the world. Thanks to their partnership, Tanzania is one such country and through their partnership we have shipped two 40 foot containers filled with supplies and equipment with plans to send a third this year.

Our special guests from Tanzania come from a 68-bed hospital in a small town called Korogwe in the Tanga region. Because of these shipments, they are now the only hospital in the region with an EKG machine. They now have a proper skills laboratory for their newly formed nursing school that helped them to achieve provisional certification. Lions Club International even chose St. Raphael’s to perform cataract surgeries because of the newly modernized operating theater.

On Saturday, March 23, Damian and Lucas had a chance to personally thank MedWish volunteers and supporters and share a little of the impact they have had. Enjoy the photos!

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The TANGA Health Project

By Kelly Mackey

We are so pleased that Dr. Damian J. Mpundu and Lucas Mmole RN from St. Raphael’s Hospital in Korogwe have joined us in Ohio to share first hand the stories and successes of the Tanga Health Project. Damian arrived safely on March 8 and began his journey in Northwest Ohio with friends and supporters of the project. Lucas arrived safely on March 14, where they both spent a few days together in Cleveland Heights and will next go to the southern portion of our Diocese to visit with the small but lively parish, New Life Episcopal in Uniontown. The parish has had four members, including myself, participate in activities with the project. They will end their trip with activities in the Cleveland area. Welcome, Damian and Lucas, to Ohio!

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If you are just now following the story, here is a little recap…

The TANGA Health Project

News from the Diocese of Tanga

Enjoy some news from our friends in the Diocese of Tanga. This is the first issue of their quarterly newsletter.

Download the Diocese of Tanga Newsletter

In it Bishop Maimbo writes, “Shambaa reminds us that your future success lays on the choice you make today.” Words that ring true in strategic partnerships.

As we grow and work together, it is the choices of individuals who have engaged in the project that have helped drive it forward. It is the Diocese of Ohio’s choice to rekindle the relationship that made it a priority. It is the choice to work with our other partners, namely parishes within the Diocese of Ohio, MedWish International, and Brother’s Brother Foundation that have allowed us to see success on this project in just a few short years. It is even our brothers and sisters in Tanga who have chosen to work with us on building a sustainable future for their region, one project, one partnership at a time.

Shambaa are a group of people that reside in the mountains where the climate and land is rich for farming.

Nurses are Nurses Wherever You Go | Medical Report

By Linda Heitger

As this is my second trip to St. Raphael’s it is exciting to reunite with old friends, to make new friends and to see the improvements that have occurred. In the operating theater: air conditioning, new enclosed windows, new lighting and a new operating table have been installed.

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St. Raphael’s has continued with the strategic plan to start a certificate nursing school. Teresa Gawille, one of the co-matrons at St. Raphael’s has started a one year education course to prepare her to be a tutor for the certificate nursing program. At present, St. Raphael’s continues with their two year nurses aid training, we met with the head tutor and toured the new skills lab and new classroom. The nurse’s aid class has approximately 120 students total for both classes. The idea is that once these students have completed the nurses aid program, some of them will enroll in the certificate nurses program. At present there are students at St. Raphael’s doing their clinical work who are enrolled in other nursing schools.

Because of the publicity that St. Raphael’s has received due to the shipments of medical equipment from the Diocese of Ohio, there are patients who are coming from outside of Korogwe to deliver their babies, have EKGs and other  general care.

St. Raphael’s is the preferred hospital over a government hospital due to the attitude of the staff with its faith based commitment. People in Tanzania have a strong faith and feel more welcome at a faith based facility. The staff of St.  Raphael’s is able to pray with patients during the course of their stay at St. Raphael’s. The surgeons say a prayer immediately before they start the surgery.

We were able to meet three patients who are treated at the AIDS Center for Testing and Counseling (CTC). There are approximately 800 patients who use this service. The CTC is where people who are HIV positive may come to have their blood counts monitored, for their treatments, to be counseled and for dispensing of their medications. St. Raphael’s has started an HIV support group at St. Andrews, an Anglican Church in Korogwe.

While talking with the nurses it became apparent that nurses are nurses no matter where they practice. Nurses become nurses because of what is in their heart.

If You Build It, They Will Come | Engineering Report

By Larry Mackey

One of the projects, started last year concerned power and lights for St Raphael’s.

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St. Raphael’s is a 68 bed hospital that consists of 8+ single story buildings that house hospital wards (men, women, children, obstetrics, surgery, office/pharmacy, laboratory, aids clinic, and other clinical areas).  These buildings are all situated along a hillside that reaches several hundred feet from street level to the top of the hill.  At the present time, the only building with an air conditioner is the operating theater in the surgery building.  The other buildings all presently depend strictly on natural air circulation through the windows for cooling.  In the stifling heat of summer, sometimes this is not ideal.

The Diocese of Ohio team has provided LED lighting for the surgery overhead light assemblies that will reduce heating as well as provide clean white light for the doctors.  Some work on the light assembly is needed to straighten the alignment of the main overhead post so that the light bars do not constantly drift to one side.  LED lights have a life expectancy of 10,000 hours and do not output heat into the operating theater. On many occasions, we have been in the operating theater and saw the temperature in the room to exceed 100 deg F.  The air conditioner installed can barely keep up with a 20 by 30 room with fluorescent lighting and a few electronic instruments.

The Diocese of Ohio team also provided a second LED light assembly that St. Raphael’s can use to create a bright white light as an examining light assembly.  The LED light assemblies supplied so far all operate on 12 VDC which allows wiring to these lights to be configured to operate off battery and/or AC power.

In addition to the LED lights, the Diocese of Ohio team also reviewed the new equipment offloaded from the 2012 container shipment, and performed troubleshooting and repairs on several pieces of equipment from the 2011 container shipment.  While performing the troubleshooting we discussed the need for a more formal ongoing preventative maintenance repair process and manpower.  It appears that several of the problems had occurred sometime ago, and we were only made aware of them during our visit which delayed the bringing/sending of spare parts until after our return to the US.

I also had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Damian Mpundu regarding the updating of the strategic plan for St. Raphael’s. Damian’s vision/strategic plan for the hospital included expanding the size and certification level of the nursing school into a program the creates certificate nurses (similar to our LPNs) or beyond.  This involves expanding the size of the program, both in numbers of students, as the program expands into a multi-year program, but it also needs to expand in the types of training and classes it can offer.  Expansion of the nursing school involves moving of the schools offices, classrooms, and training facilities.  The nursing school is currently renting a building from the Diocese of Tanga for a lecture classroom.

According to Bishop Mndolwa, the nursing school will have access to the current diocesan office building after the diocese moves it’s offices to the St. Barnabas building in 6+ months.  This would provide both boarding facilities for the nursing students and additional dedicated space for classrooms, etc., in a more centralized location.