Thanks to the generosity of BTS members and other friends of Tanzania we have so far sent over £12,000 to 27 different hospitals and health centres across Tanzania, to enable them to buy locally made reusable masks, gowns and aprons for their front line health workers.
Many of these centres had no protective equipment, even those with confirmed COVID cases, so are extremely grateful for these which they will be able to use long term.
We have been working very closely with Tuheda, Tanzanian Diaspora Health workers, who have advised us which type of mask to recommend, and we have created a Swahili version of the instructions which we have circulated widely. With Tuheda we have set up a WhatsApp group to disseminate much needed COVID training and materials, answer questions and give advice. We have also managed to link hospitals with suppliers of 3D printed plastic visors.
As the numbers of people infected continues to rise we are receiving more applications than we can fund.
Tanzania has an extremely unprepared health system, with only 0.4 doctors per 10,000 population (compared to 28 for the UK), and only 1.3 ICU beds per million population.
Our much valued local reps and all the people we have funded over the last 43 years rely on small, very underfunded, overcrowded district hospitals that cannot cope with demand in normal times, let alone an influx of COVID patients. High rates of HIV and malnutrition also make people particularly vulnerable.
Please support us today and help protect Tanzanian doctors so they can continue to treat vulnerable communities in Tanzania during this crisis. Thank you.