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Ibrahim- the doctor- admiring the HIV tests that arrived in the package of medicines and supplies from the Diocese of Masasi. Photo: Sheilagh McGlynn

June 21, 2013

By act

I’ve been here for six days now and I’m covered in mosquito bites. Mosquitos love me. When I was younger my mother used to tell me that I have sweet blood. I think it was supposed to be a compliment, but while I was scratching my body raw, it certainly didn’t feel like one!

Nightly, I take my anti-malarial medication that was prescribed by my North American Travel Clinic doctor. I’m here for a short time and feel quite protected against one of these mosquitos carrying malaria. Folks who live here don’t have the same luxury.

Yesterday I visited the villages of Mpiruka and Mkumba in the Nachingwea district. This is one of the areas that the Diocese of Masasi works in. They have worked in Mpiruka for some time now and have a dispensary set up there. I was able to meet Ibrahim, the Clinical Officer (doctor) and Merina, the Nurse/Midwife. They gave me a tour of the centre.

It was smaller than the one in Masasi, but just as impressive. They showed me where they meet with patients, where they prescribe and administer drugs, where they do HIV and AIDS counseling, where they do inoculations of newborns, and where they babies are delivered.

Just before I arrived, a truck from Masasi had arrived delivering a new shipment of supplies. At the end of our tour they looked through the supplies. The two of them were like children on Christmas morning. They were so excited to see the new supplies, especially the medications.

They told me that the government supplies a lot of the drugs that they have at the dispensary, but they aren’t as effective as the ones that they Diocese provides. They show me the many drugs and tell me what they treat. Malaria, malaria, malaria”¦ is the word that comes up most regularly. I ask about malaria, and they tell me that it is the most common illness that they see.

With the drugs provided by the Diocese they are able to preventatively treat pregnant women against malaria. This is a simple treatment that saves many lives.

I loved the very brief time I spent with Ibrahim and Merina. It became very clear to me that they have great passion for the work that they do”¦ and through the support of PWRDF, CIDA, and Anglicans in Canada we are enabling them to do their work more effectively.

There are a lot of mosquitos in Tanzania. They need a lot of anti-malarial medication.

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