Chogo Health Dispensary Extension Project Completion Report
Addition of In-Patient service, and water collection to Chogo Health Dispensary in Chogo Village, Mapanda Ward, Mufindi District, Iringa Region, Tanzania.
October 30th, 2010.
Chogo is likely the most isolated village in Mufindi District. It is well over 100 kilometers from the closest Hospital, and the roads in and out of the village are impassable by vehicle for most of the year.
Medical care in the village has consisted of local healers, and a modest health dispensary built under a government initiative. The health dispensary in existence is all of four rooms under a roof with one health professional at the site. For any health concerns requiring over-night treatment, patients have to be transported either walking, or brought by bicycle or motorcycle, to a village called Mapanda- 17 kilometers away, and if the patient has to reach a Hospital he or she must then make a bus journey starting at 4:30am from Mapanda village to arrive in Mafinga 100 kilometers later. After talking with the Village Executive Officer, it seems many patients are lost as they refuse to take the arduous journeys required of them for basic health care. Without any in-patient services, Chogo village had become a lost village where people were unable to receive in their basic rights to proper health care. In-patient services were needed so the facility could serve its community in a more efficient manner. With in-patient service, patients could receive treatment enough to get better or to ready themselves for travel to other health facilities. This service is essential to the area and will directly contribute to saving lives of people from Chogo village.
Starting in 2009, FCWCT set out to build an extension to the health dispensary, which would feature a stand-alone building that would host a 6-bed in-patient ward including bathrooms and sinks and medical equipment sent from the UK through its sister charity Orphans in the Wild. Construction completed in October of 2010 and the facility was fully equipped with hospital beds, medications, and other equipment that started the facility off with enough resources to now properly serve the community in Chogo, and help the staff at the Chogo dispensary as well.
In addition to the in-patient wards, a water project was built in conjunction with the new building as well. This water-catchment project harnesses the abundant rainfall in the area and collects the water into a giant underground tank that will supply the facility with water for the sinks and toilets giving the facility water for the first time. This will enable the facility easy-access to clean water and sterilizing capabilities its instruments. It will also accommodate the cooking of food for the patients who are staying in the new facility. This is an important aspect of water access as food is brought and cooked by relatives of the patients.
We have to give a special thanks here fist to our UK sister charity, Orphans in the Wild for providing all of the funding for this project through donations sent from their organization. We’d like to thank the countless people who have made donations to Orphans in the Wild over the last year that have made this project possible. The efforts put forth for fundraising, and collecting the donations are also greatly appreciated and can often be overlooked. All of this is done on a completely voluntary basis, so we must thank Bruce and Jane Fox for there time and work in the UK, as well as to Simon Shercliff as acting Chairman of Orphans in the Wild.
We’d also like to thank Marion Gough for her tireless efforts, not only in telling the story of Mufindi to donors and potential donors in her fundraising efforts, but also for her endless efforts in collecting items, organizing them, and loading them in containers that have been sent out over the years. There has been countless efforts made to make this project happen, and it would be too difficult to thank everyone involved, but suffice to say we cannot give thanks enough to the people who are giving these much needed services to the community of Mufindi. We are forever encouraged by the time, work, and effort put in by people around the world so that the people of Mufindi may get the health care that they deserve.
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