The Adventure Begins
Tim with Dr. Makori (right) and Dr. Isaac (center) outside the Kome Clinic
It was February 2014 and Tim Monger who works with Emmanuel International in Tanzania was heading to a remote island on Lake Victoria to see what Dr.Makori was doing on Kome Island. Dr. Makori runs a Community Health Clinic on the Island using his own funds.
Tim tells us the story:
The mist of the cool morning air hung like fog over the harbour where we boarded the ferry for Kome Island. As the cold breeze sent a chill up my back, I wondered what was in store for us on this forgotten island. As the dock came into view I observed rickety wooden shacks, rustic wooden boats, and in the distance, lush green trees. This was Kome Island -- the isolated home to 27,000 people ignored by the local government and forgotten by the world.
Ferry Boat we boarded
Dr. Bernard began the Rural Island Community Health (R.I.C.H.) project in 2012 and currently runs a health clinic in Ntama village on Kome Island and uses this as a base for mobile clinics to surrounding villages and even more remote islands. Over 60,000 people need his help; however, the demands are large and R.I.C.H.’s resources are small. Rachel and I really believed that God was asking us to help, but how?
The Adventure Births a Vision
Since that visit we could not shake the need for health and healing in these remote areas in Tanzania. Our hearts also burned to see the gospel come to the people of these Islands. As we gathered information, prayed and sought the Lord’s leading, we became aware of several devastating facts that gave clarity and urgency to our vision.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 800 women die every day due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, But the majority of these deaths are preventable through simple, cost-effective interventions.
The infant mortality rate is 61 for every 1000 births among these Islands which compared to 6.1 deaths per 100,000 in Canada (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2012).
Additionally, about 33% of these Island populations have HIV/Aids. With these realities in mind, we began our plan.
The Adventure is Expanding
Island Clinic volunteers staff meeting
Through our partner church, the Tanzania Assemblies of God (T.A.G.), and with help from our EI affiliates, we are helping R.I.CH. enhance the clinic’s capacity and improve the overall health of the island people over the next 3 years.
The clinic in Ntama on Kome Island will be used as the main health clinic and sending place for health workers to visit remote villages. Our vision is to assist in the following critical areas:
- Maternal and child health Nutrition
- Community health education
- Immunization services
- Health equipment upgrade
- Safe drinking water
- Family counseling
To help with the clinic’s capacity we are also providing:
- Two community health educators -- Hired by Tanzania Assemblies of God (T.A.G.)
- One community health professional -- Provided by Emmanuel International
What will your role be in helping EICanada assist these forgotten island people in Tanzania?
Vehicle Cost breakdown
- Basic vehicle cost $Can 42,665
- Import duties and fees $Can 32,932
- Vehicle registration $Can 334
The vehicle is for health staff to travel to all the remote villages on Kome Island and as a Ambulance if necessary.
The total cost for this project is $450,000 over 3 years. EICanada would like to help raise the funds for the vehicle portion of the project.
Cost: $ 75,000