We are now embarking on one of our largest projects yet – building our own maternity centre offering free health services to women in the Arusha region. With these facilities, we plan to oversee 2,500 safe and healthy deliveries, conduct surgical interventions for 150 women with birth injuries, and train up to 60 local midwives every year. These newly trained midwives will be encouraged to go out to other hospitals and health centres, so that the best practice we demonstrate here can spread throughout the country.
One of our core goals is for Kivulini to serve as a Tanzanian centre of excellence in maternity health care, a place where midwives from all over the country can come for training and skills development. Once back in their hospitals, they will be offered ongoing support and encouragement through the ‘Make One Change’ challenge. This this consists of implementing an evidenced-based improvement in their own organisations, and in this way contributing to the nationwide improvement of maternal health care. In time, we hope that ‘Kivulini-trained’ will become a well-trusted and recognised brand, signifying ‘kind, safe and excellent’ standards of care.
Construction of the maternity centre began in October 2016, and should be operational in early 2018.
Last week, this photo of Kivulini Maternity Centre was taken from the air. It was so incredible to have a bird’s eye view of our project. It’s a real encouragement to see how far it has come over these last few years and to know that the construction part is almost complete.
It also serves as a reminder that we are a gateway of hope into the rural community around us, and that we are well placed to serve the poorest and most vulnerable women in this district.
The centre is buzzing with builders and craftsmen and the landscaping is well under way
The national and international team continue to grow and work tirelessly to ensure all systems are in place to ensure a safe and secure environment is in place before we open our doors in May
The staff residency – yellow building at the back of the centre for international volunteers became a home for 5 of us last month, with 2 more joining us this week. We have a wonderful view over Mount Meru
In April we will have a month of orientation for our national team –a great opportunity to get to know one another and form the foundation on which to build this incredible project of hope
As the construction comes to an end, we want to thank acknowledge the pioneers of this vision, and the those that have persevered to make it a reality. Dr Andrew Browning, Katie Christie, Lucas Toroya, Paul Chinn, Babette Gallard and Anna Boyd
Bring on May
Zawadi directs the crane driver to align the containers which will provide us with dry storage but will also be the home of our main maintenance workshop and the location of our solar battery bank.
The solar installation will be built above the containers and will we hope grow from an initial 32 panels to the 160 that will enable Kivulini to be immune to external power uncertainties and make a dramatic reduction in our environmental footprint and make excellent sense in reducing our long term electricity bills.
The external paint work is nearly complete and so we can at last give Kivulini her official name.
Zawadi Bendera is our young engineer who is responsible for the installation and care of our biomedical equipment as well as for vital parts of our infrastructure including the equipment that provides our water and electricity supply.
In addition to her direct role, Zawadi is setting an example to other young women in Tanzania that they can aspire to a career that many have judged to be solely in the male domain and that they too can take control of their lives – she is “Shaking the Tree”.
Follow the link below and take a look at the short video of her story – click the arrow on the picture of Kivulini.
To help Zawadi in her challenging role, we have embarked on a program of advanced training and work experience for her and this month we are seeking help to fund this work.
If you feel able to contribute then we would be immensely grateful (details can be found at the link above), but more importantly please forward this message or share the link with your friends and family.
In addition to directly serving Tanzanian mothers, Kivulini will provide advanced midwifery training courses. The hostel will accommodate 8 trainees during their 6 week course.
After what feels like an eternity of foundation work, this week the team have started on laying the blocks that will form the walls to Kivulini Maternity Centre.
Electricity arrives at Kivulini.
The Kivulini Maternity Centre needs to engage with the Tanzanian community on many levels including both an awareness of its services by prospective mothers but also as a facility that the business community would wish to support. A small step in this process was our ceremonial ground breaking reported here in the English Language Arusha Times but also in the Swahili press.
In preparation for the ground breaking ceremonies for the Kivulini Maternity Centre, Mr Gao (our contractor’s site manager) has made this stony road into the heart of the building site.
It will be along this road that our patients will eventually arrive for treatment.