THE AICT MAGAMBUA DISPENSARY

Here is some overview and then general ‘nuts and bolts’ about the Africa Inland Church (T) Magambua Dispensary.

My hope for the medical work is to really to focus on preventative health care and community medicine and use the MCH clinics to partner with our churches for outreach in to villages that don’t have a viable Christian witness, though obviously our dispensary is staying quite busy with acute care and there are chances to share with patients there all the time. Our main focus is outreach to the Sandawe people, but I get quite a mix of patients at the dispensary, usually Sandawe, Barabaig (part of the Datooga), and Nyaturu. There are seven AICT churches in Usandawe, but plenty of villages which are less reached with the gospel.

Our dispensary functions more like a health center. We are working towards nationalizing the medical work, with Tanzanians taking on the vision and operation of the medical work.  Starting in 2017, I’ve shifted more in to a training/directing/admin role.  Most of the care is outpatient. We have built three new patient wards that can hold up to 21 inpatients overnight if needed. We see baby’s all the way up to very old Bibi’s (grandma’s) and Babu’s (grandpa’s), averaging about 20-30 patients a day. We have a lab, and a lab technician has joined our team, so the number of types of tests we can do has improved greatly. We do minor procedures such as stitching up lacerations, burn care, circumcisions, fracture splinting.  I do have a great ultrasound machine that I use for OB, abdominal, and soft tissue exams. A dentist and his wife came as missionaries for a year and taught me how to pull teeth, and left me with the tools to do it. We have a delivery room, so we deliver babies, averaging 1-2 per month. I cannot do C-sections, we have an oxygen concentrator that runs off a generator, nebulizer machine, pulse oximeter, and fetal dopplers. I use ketamine injections for some procedures if needed. We can give IV fluids and IV medications. I’ll often treat cerebral malaria with artesunate or quinine drips at our place. We don’t have any TB tests yet, but are in discussions with the District health authorities, the gov’t health center 16km away does sputum AFB’s. We do not have any Anti-retrovirals yet. The HIV rate among mostly pregnant women we’ve tested in our rural villages is only about 3.5 percent or so. HIV patients are referred usually to the government health center 17km away. I am able to do blood transfusions. Most of my patients who need it are critically low because of malaria during the rainy season. Our current team consists of a Clinical Officer, two nurses, a lab technician, receptionist, driver and cleaning staff. We have devotions every morning together at the clinic. The nearest hospital is 2 hours away, a Catholic hospital called Makiungu.

AICT Dispensary in Magambua
AICT Dispensary in Magambua
The breezeway patient waiting area
The breezeway patient waiting area
The Lab
The Lab
The delivery room
The delivery room
Missionary dentist who taught me how to pull teeth
Missionary dentist who taught me how to pull teeth
Our driver and dedicated medical vehicle
Our driver and dedicated medical vehicle