Singida is one of the poorest areas in Tanzania, located in the middle of the dry savannah areas in Central Tanzania. The area is among the least developed the country, and is heavily affected by a number of infectious diseases including tuberculosis, HIV, malaria and other tropical diseases.
Together with good friends from Norway, we have built a school in the village Samumba, Singida, called Unyahati Primary School. The school has enrolled children since in 2007, and currently has 460 students across 7 years, i.e. primary and middle school (norsk: Barne og ungdomsskole). In the first cohort (kull) that graduated, 30 out of 40 children successfully continued to secondary school. Among the successful students, 17 were girls and 13 boys, which is an important achievement to prevent early marriages.
We now want to expand to work with health services. For the last few years, we have been collecting funds to start a a health centre in Singida.
Singidani infectious disease centre
The aim of the centre will be diagnosis and treatment for local patients with particular focus on infectious diseases, and to do training activities for local health personnel as well as students and doctors from other countries. We have already facilitated exchange projects for several Norwegian and international students in Singida and Dar es Salaam, and want to expand on this activity. In addition, we have a long-term goal of creating an environment for “work-and-learn” training for doctors and students from Norway and elsewhere. All activities will be in support of and collaboration with Singida Regional Hospital and other hospitals and health centers in the area. The centre lies near Lake Singidani, just outside Singida centre, and the proposed name of the centre comes from this beautiful lake.
Progress and plans
We have secured a plot for the health centre, located near the Singidani saltwater lake, just North of Singida town.
We have started construction, so far we have erected one small building for the caretaker. We hope to erect a clinic consultation room and a laboratory building within short time. After a while we aim at having an outpatient clinic with 3 consultation rooms and an office, records room, a microbiology laboratory with basic equipment such as a light microscope, toilet facilities for patients and staff, a room for voluntary counselling an testing for HIV, staff bungalow, a kitchen, small cafeteria, a teaching room with projector and internet services.
Chiku Ali and Bjorn Blomberg, a Tanzanian/Norwegian couple, are the initiators of the project. As with the successful Samumba School Project, we hope to collaborate with as many friends as possible from Norway, Tanzania and elsewhere.
- Chiku Ali (chiku.no) was born in Singida and now works with culture and social issues in Bergen, Norway. For 15 year, she was elected representative in the local government (Bystyret) in Bergen. She has a longstanding commitment to work for development for children and women and against harmful practices such as female genital mutilation, collaborating with organizations such as IAC (Inter-African Committee against Practices that are harmful for women and children), Kiwakukki, Fokus & Kvinnefronten.
- Bjorn Blomberg (bjornblomberg.no), originally from Os, is a specialist in infectious diseases at Haukeland University Hospital, and associate professor at the University of Bergen, with special interest in tropical diseases. He has worked in Tanzania in clinical medicine and research on infectious diseases.
How can you join efforts with us?
If you are interested in helping us with this project, you may:
- 1)Donate any amount of money you want to the project account 97134164240, Skandiabanken, IBAN: NO7597134164240, SWIFT/BIC-kode: DNBANOKK. Please leave your details / email so we can provide you with progress report of the project
- 2)Join our mailing list for the “Friends of Singidani”
- 3)Contact us for opportunities for exchange projects in Singida