Iringa's health

Publish date 05-05-2022

by Mauro Palombo

From Tanzania, development is possible


Sometimes we don't want to realize that something is impossible. The important thing is that it is still a rational choice, not based on an evanescent mix of stubbornness and pride. Perhaps, rather, on the desire to achieve an objective, albeit a difficult one, because it is absolutely important for those in need. Evaluating on a different scale, with a broader view ...

One of the various cases mentioned above is the adventure which, some time ago, we joined with our friends Te-Resin Sisters, to create a new Health Center in Iringa, a large city in central Tanzania; to replace a small dispensary managed by them, very busy but now obsolete and unsuitable for the service it has to render.

Then, in the pandemic scenario that has spread, it was sensible to give all the possible impetus to a treatment and prevention project, intended for those who need it most; while aware that, to protect people's health, all the different possible human development interventions also go in some way: food security, safe water for consumption, education, income generation, and more ...

Healthcare in Africa, as in so many other places, is a problematic area. On the one hand, no service is free and especially in public offices, it risks being ineffective; on the other hand, many of the most recurrent pathologies constitute a lethal threat to life even if they are completely curable if diagnosed correctly and in time, and treated with adequate therapies. The turning point is the reliability of the care provider.

In this sense, the Teresina Sisters are a point of reference, with extensive experience. Sisters, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, serve in diocesan hospitals, and directly manage dispensaries and health centers.

They do continuous training, because the subject is complex, and the techniques do not cease to evolve, even offering new solutions in the specific scenario of simplicity and modest resources; such as rapid tests for the diagnosis of malaria, which give accurate results and allow for better calibration of therapies. Essential for people is the confidence to always receive attention and care for whatever is possible.

The first step was the purchase of the land, lots in a new urban development area, up to having just over 4,000 urban square meters on which to build the complex. The implementation of the first important nucleus, the outpatient clinic, is now almost complete: a large structure of 330 square meters covered, almost double compared to the original project - and to the old dispensary: the extension was requested by the health authorities, due to the rapid growth of the catchment area with new settlements in the area. Plaster, flooring, and electrical system are now being installed, to complete.

Next to it, a second building of the complex was built, of about 150 square meters. Currently used as a home for the nuns who preside over the works, and as a warehouse. Later it will be one of the wards for patient admissions. The laboratory for analysis, pharmacy, minor surgery, and maternity will follow.

But, as soon as the surgery is completed, in not many weeks, the service will certainly be inaugurated. Beginning to give answers to those who need them most.

The sustainability of the services is ensured by the expert commitment of the sisters in their management. This first realization, burdensome in its large dimension, impossible would in fact have been… without the willingness to share with friends who have made this desire to give life to a community their own.

We trust that even the equally impossible much work still to be done can be accomplished in the same way!

Essential for people is the confidence to always receive attention and care for whatever is possible.


Mauro Palombo

NP Gennaio 2022



Sermig Re.Te. Association for the development

IBAN: IT29 P030 6909 6061 0000 0001 481

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