Extending LOHADA’s mission: medical dispensary in Shinyanga

The Golden Grace Dispensary in Shinyanga, Tanzania, opened in January and needs medical supplies.

By Dr. Patricia Allenby

I had the privilege of visiting Tanzania last winter with my husband, Greg.  We had been to LOHADA centers two years ago and knew we would be back. Seeing Happiness Wambura’s love and passion for helping children and Pastor Timothy Wambura’s spiritually on-fire ministry gave us a new perspective on Christianity. In the United States, faith is so paralyzed by materialism and the “me” mindset.

On our second trip, we were blessed and amazed to see more of LOHADA and the World Outreach Missions in the hinterlands.  Over the last year, the Wamburas’ son, John, has created a dispensary, or small health clinic, in Shinyanga, in northern Tanzania. Many LOHADA  children come from this region. By January, Golden Grace Dispensary was staffed and ready to open. I was there for its first two days.

Patients wait to be treated at the dispensary.

Wow. I am a physician and what a spiritual high I was on after being able to use my training to help them. There was so much that I could do there. What a wonderful feeling of usefulness!

Urban Shinyanga has 160,000 people; the surrounding region has 1.5 million, mostly rural residents.  Tanzania has five levels of health care facilities:  Laboratories and pharmacies are on every street. Then there are clinics, dispensaries, health centers and finally, hospitals. Shinyanga has multiple labs, a clinic and another dispensary, but no health center and two hospitals, one for the military.  Before Golden Grace opened there was no facility in its immediate area.  Unlike in the U.S., small facilities in Tanzania  can do major surgeries as long as they meet government criteria for certain numbers of staff and basic facility requirements.

We saw about 100 people, offering free treatment for the first two days. Some people traveled for two hours to get there. Many came with basic ailments like bladder infections or chronic conditions that had gone on for years.

Beds at Golden Grace

The clinic now charges a nominal fee, about 25 cents, for an office visit and a small fee for lab tests and medications.  Dr. Victor Mzema moved from Dar Es Salaam to serve as medical director.  His experience developing hospitals has already made a difference.

The Wamburas’ vision is for Golden Grace to become a hospital quickly to better meet needs of the community. I am working to get donated equipment and supplies from organizations in the U.S. The largest cost is shipping.  MedWish, in Cleveland, will ship a 40-foot container filled with supplies for $12,500. To support this much-needed hospital email tricia.allenby@gmail.com. This is truly an opportunity to bring medical care directly to people in need and in a setting that more importantly shows them the love of Christ. 

The supplies needed:
  • X-ray machines
  • ultrasound machines/dopplers/fetal dopplers
  • hematology and chemistry analyzers
  • defibrillators
  • ECG machines
  • vitals monitoring machines
  • echocardiography machines
  • refrigerators
  • wheel chairs
  • delivery beds
  • office tables and chairs
  • oven
  • sterilizers
  • vacuum extractors
  • air conditioners
  • microscopes
  • scales
  • emergency/trauma kit
  • surgical equipment and instruments
  • IV poles
  • hemoglobin testing machine
  • headlamps
  • blood pressure sphygmomanometers and cuffs
  • glucometers with test strips
  • orthopedic supplies
  • otoscopes
  • ophthalmoscopes
  • kidney basins
  • examination tables
  • newborn bassinets with heat lamps
  • bili lamps
  • gasoline powered generators