Tanzania

The first MMM Sisters arrived in Tanzania in 1947 and worked in a rural dispensary at Tlawi, in the Great Rift Valley. In 1956 they moved south to a semi-desert area called Makiungu, where they developed a rural hospital. Located about thirty-five kilometres from Singida, today it is a general hospital staffed by MMMs from Malta, Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria, as well as two hundred local health workers.

In the town of Singida, MMMs at Faraja Community-Based Health Care have been carrying out HIV-related interventions since 2002. It started as an outreach from Makiungu Hospital, offering HIV awareness raising, counselling and testing. Its comprehensive programme now includes social services for most vulnerable children and orphans. Activities to counter human trafficking began recently. With a high level of poverty, women, especially single mothers and widows, can be easy targets for promises of a better life because they have no social safety nets. Trained volunteers educate the community about these issues. The Faraja Hospice and Palliative Care (PC) Programme offers home-based hospice and palliative care to people with terminal and chronic diseases, embracing physical, psychological, spiritual and social needs. PC volunteers visit patients and give health education to the community.

Sister Margaret Hogan, a clinical psychologist, lives in Lushoto. Since 2016 she has helped with a new psychiatric training programme for clinical officers and assistant medical officers under the Lutheran Church at SEKOMU University Magama.

Our Sisters run a health centre at Nangwa, among the Barabaig people. It includes community-based health outreach services in seven villages. In November 2018, Nangwa Village Health Programme received a ‘3 Star’ award as the best performing health facility in Hanang District and 4th best in Manyara Region. In this dry area we helped the sub-villages of Matangarimo to access dependable water sources. MMM Associate Dr. Eamonn Brehony, based in Tanzania, planned the work with the diocesan water department and the local district council water department. The villagers were involved from the outset, constructing sand dams for water collection and preparing a large rock to catch rainwater runoff (rock catchment).

At Ngaramtoni, near Arusha, MMMs and MMM Associates are involved in a number of health-related programmes. An outreach primary health care programme provides for mothers and children under five years of age in sixteen villages. Services include vaccines for children, antenatal care, and health education on issues such as childhood vaccination, balanced diet, and traditional practices during pregnancy and breast-feeding. In January 2019 the outreach team received a letter of appreciation from the District Medical Office and the Ministry of Health for achievements in the 2018 immunisation programme. Associate Moira Brehony is the programme administrator.

Other MMMs based here bring healing by using complementary therapies and promoting knowledge of appropriate local treatments, including plant-based medicines. Sister Zita Ekeocha trains participants from seven African countries in an advanced industrial pharmacy programme in Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in Moshi. Sister Geneviève van Waesberghe is a Capacitar international trainer for East/Central and West Africa. Using simple wellness practices, Capacitar enables people traumatized by violence and displacement to heal themselves and their families and communities.    

Also at Ngaramtoni is a programme for women in their early stages in MMM and facilities to care for our older Sisters. This affords opportunities for both young and old to share stories and wisdom.

MMMs in Tanzania are involved in:

  • Basic health care and outreach
  • General hospital services
  • HIV/AIDS programmes and palliative care
  • Training health care personnel
  • Capacitar
  • Vocation promotion and formation
  • Care for senior MMMs


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