Frequently Asked Questions
1) Where is Igoma?
Tanzania, East Africa at the south end of Lake Victoria.
2) How big is the town?
The population is estimated to be 50,000. Prior to SIP, no medical services were available.
Primarily individual agriculture. Up to 80% of the population is unemployed.
4) Is it politically stable?
Since independence in 1956, there have been no significant problems as there are no dominant tribes. Soviet influence in early years had deterred growth. The current ruling party is considered stable and expected to improve conditions.
The Urafiki Health Clinic (UHC)
The UHC was completed in May 2003, and opened in September of the same year.
1) How large is the staff at UHC?
The clinic opened with 8 staff in 2003. Currently there are 20 staff operating 24 hours daily, seven days per week.
2) What are they treating?
Malaria, Bilharzias (water borne disease), Tuberculosis, skin problems, teeth (mostly extraction), delivering babies and assorted ailments.
The newest addition allows UHC to provide Mother Child Infant Care and basic hygiene education.
Residents of Igoma can not be declined treatment. Residents usually pay a small fee for consultation and medicines however SIP has established a caveat that no one can be declined treatment if unable to pay.
3) What about HIV/AIDS?
A major problem in Africa. It is estimated that in Tanzania 12% of women are infected and that 70,000 children are born each year HIV positive while another 180,000 are exposed to it from their mothers in other ways (breast milk). Many of the illnesses treated at the clinic are seondary to the real cause – HIV which lowers the bodies immunity and resistance to other illnesses and viruses.
The recently completed Mother Child Care Facility, which will be headed up by a Licensed Public Health Nurse, will enable UHC to provide a Public Health education program that will encourage residents to accept and integrate this teaching into their lifestyles.
4) What about serious health problems?
We have arrangements for those patients to be treated for operations, eye care, etc at Hindu Hospital in nearby Mwanza.
5) Where do we get staff?
Doctors are Nationals, mostly trained in Russia. Turnover has been a problem, so accommodations are offered. We have started a nurses tuition aid program. In return for the tuition, students must volunteer time at the clinic.
1) What does SIP provide?
The clinic was initiated by a faith group in Stouffville, Ontario Canada. SIP completed the clinic building, provided medical equipment and medicines for its opening in September 2003. SIP continues to fund the purchase of medical equipment and supplies for clinic operations and provides the salaries of staff at the clinic. In conjunction with Health Partners International and Novopharm, SIP work teams travelling to Igoma have delivered medicines to the clinic. To date, the value of these medicines has exceeded $60,000.00.
SIP introduced a multi faceted educational program that includes vocational and medical training tuition aid to young adults as well as secondary school tuition aid for students who would otherwise be unable to afford to continue their education.
Since inception, and as an-ongoing project, SIP has provided over 5,000 mosquito nets to Igoma residents. Our plan is to provide 2,000 per year as funds become available.
SIP also is working with local authorities on a potable water system for the town.
2) How are funds raised?
All funding is raised through donations and fund raising programs. SIP receives no Government assistance.
3) How are the funds used?
SIP has its own charitable number. Administration is kept to a bare minimum (approximately 5-7%). Donors can be assured that funds go directly to the project. Work teams travel to Igoma at their own expense.