Healthcare Support

Friends of Mikumi supports St. Kizito Hospital’s healthcare in various ways aimed at modernization and improving quality.

Construction of the Women Clinic

In October 2013, after several years of preparation, fundraising, and construction efforts, a new maternity clinic was inaugurated. This was a pressing need as the number of deliveries had dramatically increased (from 400 in 2003 to 2000 in 2011), yet the facilities had not kept pace. Women often shared beds or lay on the floor. In sub-Saharan regions, far too many women still die during pregnancy or childbirth. The new clinic offers much-improved quality of care. The equipment and furnishings all come from the Netherlands: incubators, cribs, ultrasound machines, operating room lights, delivery beds, etc. Cabinets, stools, and chairs were crafted by local carpenters. The construction was carried out by a local contractor under the supervision of a Dutch engineer and gynecologist.

Establishment of a Neonatology Unit

Care for premature babies

With the Maternity Clinic operating successfully, the logical next step was to introduce a neonatology department. Neonatology is the care of sick and/or premature babies. Care for sick and premature babies is mainly provided by practicing the kangaroo mother care method. The baby is kept on the mother’s chest throughout the day, and care/nursing is done by the mother. A separate section of the maternity clinic is now equipped with incubators. Nurses are trained and retrained by Dutch physicians. The next phase involves the commissioning of the incubator space. Care for these babies must then be better supervised by nurses together with the mother. With this approach, we hope to give premature babies a better start and reduce mortality rates.

Provision of Materials

Friends of Mikumi has good contacts with various hospitals, suppliers, and schools in the Netherlands. They provide various goods that are still in good condition but are being replaced or are no longer needed in the Netherlands. Think of computers, school furniture, instruments, medical equipment, and beds.

Establishment of a Physiotherapy Department

Physiotherapy is a growing specialty in Tanzania. There are only a few physiotherapists available nationwide. A department has been set up with the right materials and aids, and a Dutch physiotherapist has collaborated with a local physiotherapist to develop protocols and provide training to the involved staff to assist the physiotherapist. From this experience, the plan emerged to expand the maternity school, which is under construction and opening in 2024, with a physiotherapy program. This plan is supported by the Ministry of Health.

Support by Medical Specialists

Several times a year, a group of specialists travels to Mikumi to assist with complex surgeries. In addition to performing medical procedures, it also involves knowledge exchange and instructions on the use of certain medical equipment. Friends of Mikumi, through an English foundation, was able to purchase a new anesthesia machine for St. Kizito. A Dutch anesthesiologist and an anesthesia nurse from Dar es Salaam provided explanations on how to operate and use the machine. This anesthesia nurse from Dar es Salaam regularly comes to assess this process and instruct employees.


Dental care is very limited in Tanzania. Friends of Mikumi organizes meetings at schools with Dutch dentists to provide brushing instructions and treat dental pain cases. In 2015, it was possible to purchase a mobile dental unit. This is a kind of large suitcase that is converted into a drill, suction device, and multi-function syringe. For children and adults who cannot come to the hospital, this is a great solution. A dental room has been set up in the hospital itself with a sterilizer, three treatment chairs, and a surgical lamp. Nurses have received training from Dutch dentists to administer anesthesia and extract teeth. Meanwhile, a Child Support “child” has graduated as a dentist.


Friends of Mikumi has good contacts with the Martini Hospital, several universities, and HBO institutions for midwifery and nursing. Throughout the year, several students/interns go to St. Kizito to gain experience themselves, to train the employees, and to provide support. The hospital is always short of “hands” and appreciates the support of these young people. They pay a modest fee for the internship, which is a nice additional source of income for the hospital.