Mwimbi Health center is one among 2 health centers found in Kalambo district which is located in Rukwa region, southern highland of Tanzania.  According to the 2012 census Rukwa region has a total population of 1,004,539 of which 207,000 are found in Kalambo district. Mwimbi health center serves a population of 10,326 with assistance of 7 satellite dispensaries which are located within and beyond 5 kms from the center.

Mwimbi health center has been providing services to pregnant mothers without the presence of a theater. The center did not have the capacity to provide emergence surgery services known as comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care (CEmONC) because of the unavailability of an operating obstetric theatre. According to Chrisant Kamando an assistant medical officer and in charge of the center, say that the center could not prevent maternal death and pre-natal complications which sometimes resulted into fistula due to prolonged labor. All the obstetric emergencies were referred to the district hospital which is located 120 kms from Mwimbi health center, the distance which is very far to cover for an emergency situation especially with the unfavorable road condition in kalambo district. She continues that apart from the challenge of not having a facility to support obstetric emergency services, the center had shortage of skilled and competent health workers to provide the services. With the available circumstances there was not hope for pregnant mothers who depended on Mwimbi health center for safe delivery.  

Christan KamandoChrisant Kamando, assistant medical officer and in charge of Mwimbi health Center attending a client at Mwimbi health center in Kalambo district, Rukwa

The Benjamin W. Mkapa Foundation through its signature program of Mkapa Fellows Phase II (MFP II) began intervention in Kalambo districts in its effort to support the government of Tanzania strengthen health systems especially in hard to reach areas. MFP II is a five years program (2013-2017) which focuses on tackling HIV and AIDS and maternal health challenges in underserved Tanzanian communities. It aims to improve health services for prevention, Care and treatment of HIV and AIDS and Maternal Newborn health through training of health workers, recruitment and deployment of health workers, construction and equipping of theatres, as well as community mobilization and awareness around HIV and AIDS and Maternal Newborn health.

Through MFP II program, BMF managed to construct 1 health workers staff house and 1 equipped obstetric theatre for Mwimbi health center which became fully functional in July 2015. Apart for constructing a theater also BMF recruited and deployed 4 skilled health workers which are Assistant Medical Officer (AMO), Clinical Officer (CO), Enrolled Nurse (EN) and Registered Nurse (RN) to strengthen provision of better health service in the centre.

The recruited health workers have also been equipped with skills and knowledge to improve the delivery of services including AMO trained of how to provide CEmONC services, CO, EN plus RN trained on Anesthesia.


A client waiting for service at Mwimbi health center in Kalambo district, Rukwa

Chrisant Kamando continues that as of 2014 the rate of pregnant mothers to come for delivery in the center has increased to 103 (26%), 147 (20%) by 2014/15 and 250 (6%) by 2015/16. Also they have managed to conduct 39 successful giving birth operations to pregnant mothers famously know as C-section which is equivalent 13% to the total facility deliveries of 301; all these have been possible as a result of improved health systems and services in the center.

We appreciate the work of Mkapa Foundation, as it has helped us provide better service to our community. We can now attend emergencies at any time since we have an equipped theater and skills to perform the service. Also we live near the facility which enables our clients to reach as easily at any time said Chrisant Kamando, facility in charge of Mwimbi health center.


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Hundreds of local community members joyful witnessed the handing over of 22 health workers staff houses to 11 health facilities located inChalinze, Bagamoyo and Mafia district council in a ceremony held yesterday 13th of September 2016 at the Msoga health facility in Bagamoyo district. The staff houses have been constructed by the Benjamin W. Mkapa Foundation as an implementing partners under the Ministry of Health, Community development, Gender, Elderly and Children. The project which isled by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzaniawas financiallysupportedby the Global Fund to Fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria- Round 9.

jkFormer President of Tanzania, H.E Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (center) cutting a ribbon to officiate the handing over of 22 health workers staff houses in Coastal Region, on his left is Chairman of Board of Trustess – BMF, Amb. Charles A. Sanga and his right is Regional Commissioner of Coastal Region, Hon. Eng. Evarist Ndikilo.

This half day event was graced by the Former President of the Tanzania, H.E Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete as the guest of honor, whom was also accompanied by various other representatives from the Mkapa Foundation, Ministerial offices and the Coastal region. Speaking at the crowd that showed up to witness the event, H.E. Dr. Kikwete thanked the Settlor of BMF, H.E Benjamin W. Mkapa for his tireless effort in serving millionsof Tanzanians in many ways despite retiring from Presidency, one of which is the establishmentof a vessel which complements the government’s efforts in strengthening health systems. Also he thanked the MkapaFoundation and Global Fund to Fight against AIDs, TB and Malaria for the good work it has carried for many years, including the construction of staff house,which were handed over.

jmFormer President of URT,  H.E Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete handing over the certificate of handing over the houses from the Mkapa Foundation to the Representative of the Ministry of health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Mr. John Michael.

He further urged the respective local government authorities who received the houses to proper take good care of them including setting budget for regular maintenance. “If you do proper maintenance you will not be forced to do rehabilitation” said Dr. Kikwete

Speaking on behalf of the citizen of Coastal region, the RC of Coastal region Hon. Eng. Evarist Ndikilo thanked the Foundation for its commendable effort in improving the lives of Tanzanian people countrywide. He urged the Ministry of health to ensure allocation of more health workers that are to be recruited once the Government employment permit is released, whereas this will reduce the gap of the shortage of health workers faced by the health facilities in the region. He insisted their plan to upgrade Msoga health centre to become a district hospital hence the recently handed over houses would enable them attract skilled health workers who will provide quality health services, especially emergency services. He further requested the Ministry of Health to allocate technical team of biomedical engineers to come and assist in fitting and settingup various medical equipment, which were lying idle in the store rooms for more than 1 year. By doing so the facility will be able to provide broader health services and assist in decongesting the Tumbi Hospital which is the Coastal Regional Hospital.

houseA front view of one among 480 health workers staff houses constructed by BMF

pkOne among many beneficiaries of the staff house, Dr. Patricia Kihulla –Assistant Medical Officer at Msoga health centre with her family in Msoga, Chalinze

Giving the brief of the project, the CEO of BMF, Dr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro said that, the22 houses are among 480 health workers staff houses which have been constructed country wide under the 5 year project for strengthening health system in the country. The 22 houses have costed a sum of Tanzanian Shillings 1.2 billion with an estimate of Tshs 54 million per house. The houses have been built in 11 health facilities located in District Councils of Chalinze (10), Bagamoyo(2) and Mafia (10).

Dr. Patricia Kihulla who serves as the Assistant Medical Officer at the Msoga Health Centre who occupies in one of the houses said that she enjoys staying close to the facility as she is able to attend to emergency cases without any setbacks.“Living at this house has given me more motivation to serve Msoga community with all my heart. I don’t have to worry about my kids or family when I am attending a night shift since they are close by here” said Dr. Patricia.

villagersMsoga villagers joyful following up the ceremony held yesterday at Msoga health facility in Chalinze district.

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