Going to Kilema

And suddenly it is August and the long – anticipated journey to the Kilema hospital in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania begins.
We depart for a year in September and are almost finished packing up as you read this.

Our destination is a spectacular part of the world, a name familiar to many, Mount Kilimanjaro, still amply capped by its famous snows.

We will be working at this recently constructed HIV Centre, built with the support of the Canada Africa Community Health Alliance (http://www.cacha.ca/) in partnership with the Kilema district hospital.
Our work in Kilema will involve all aspects of a community response to HIV: education, prevention, testing, treatment as well as general support and care.
Tanzania, in East Africa, has an HIV prevalence estimated by UNAIDS to be 9.6%, significantly lower than in nearby countries such as Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe, where HIV prevalence ranges from 25-35% in the adult populations. It is hoped that through effective prevention efforts and work focused on prevention of mother to child HIV transmission, the HIV prevalence can be stabilized, allowing Tanzania to avoid the significant contraction in overall life expectancy which has been documented in higher prevalence settings.

While an estimated 1.9 million Tanzanians are HIV infected, only 6,000 are receiving HIV therapy. The number of children orphaned by HIV infection in their parents is estimated at 1.1 million, with an estimated 20% of these being HIV infected.

The Kilema District Hospital is located at 1400m elevation on the fertile lower slopes of Kilimanjaro, north of Moshi. Its catchment area, largely rural but with a population estimated at near 100,000, has reported HIV prevalence rates varying from 5-15% in differing surveys with over 50% of HIV infected individuals being women. Health services and HIV care are provided by a network of District Hospitals and dispensaries with limited medical staff being frequently overwhelmed by high rates of non HIV illnesses such as malaria, tuberculosis and diarrheal diseases.

Our work will also assist those affected by HIV, with our efforts directed toward women and children left vulnerable after losing family members to AIDS. We hope to help and support families trying to move ahead with their lives. We will work with many orphans who are responsible for raising their younger siblings, a tragic situation known as child led households. We are certain to encounter unmet, urgent needs on a daily basis in Kilema.
We are following in the footsteps of colleagues from a variety of health disciplines from across Canada, who have been building the successful Canadian – Tanzanian partnership which exists in Kilema. Pictured here is a nurse from Chris’ workplace, Carolyn Showler, who spent 6 weeks at Kilema earlier this year.

Many friends and colleagues have asked how they can contribute funds in a direct and meaningful way to Kilema and the surrounding communities. To respond to this generosity and enthusiasm, we have opened an account at Scotiabank Oak Bay branch,

Kilema Support Fund

account # 20610 01101 24.

To date $3500.00 has been donated to this account.

Donations can be made at any Scotiabank branch ,
specifying the above account # at the Oak Bay branch, or can be sent in by mail to:

Scotiabank
2212 Oak Bay Avenue,
Victoria, BC

V8R 1G3

Tel: (250) 953-8100

We do not have charitable status at this time and unfortunately cannot issue tax receipts.

We would appreciate all donors emailing us to let us know they have contributed so we can ensure they receive our updates as to how the funds are used during our time in Kilema.

On behalf of all current and future donors to the account, it will be a pleasure to apply these funds directly and appropriately, improving the lives of those amongst whom we will be living.

Our email during our year away will be:

Stephanie — [email protected]

Asante sana (thank you in Swahili),

Stephanie, Chris, Eva, Lachlan and Sasha

One thought on “Going to Kilema

  1. Lynne Bowen

    Dear Fraser/Malahoffs:
    The Sr. Bowens have just visited your website for the first time (mea culpa, mea culpa)and the address has duly been sent to the Sr. Jr., Middle Jr. and Jr.Jr. Bowen households.
    We have chosen your work as the recipient of our annual Christmas family donation and will be doing the paperwork in the next week through your bank in Victoria.
    We are very proud of you all and look forward to hearing from the Sr. Frasers after their visit you in the new year.
    Love Dick and Lynne

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