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Pamoja

 

History

  • We started Pamoja after a volunteer trip to the area
  • Spoke to Elizabeth Minde, a human rights lawyer and asked what she thought was needed
  • She stated that she helped many destitute women from a legal perspective, but that they needed a shelter and support center, and so Pamoja Tunaweza Women’s Center was born
  • Very quickly, the need for medical care outweighed the need for shelter, and so a clinic was added to the cite.

First 9 years

  • In 2011, a large donation was made that allowed us to buy our own building
  • In the move, because there was now a large women’s shelter in Moshi, we did not outfit the new building for shelter. It was designed as a community clinic and support center and was now caring for the whole family, although the focus on empowering women remained.
  • Due to difficulty with raising enough funds, and at the request of the DMO, we began charging a nominal fee for care, with the continued option of free care for those that cannot afford it
  • Our focus, in addition to empowering women, has been on NCDs and health promotion. The medical system in Tanzania is very focused on acute care and people do not tend to visit health facilities unless they are sick.  We see health education and promotion, as well as control of the NCDs, as our particular niche.

2018 Changes

  • With the advent of multiple health insurance plans, our patient population has dwindled significantly, since we have not been registered with these plans and therefore our previous patients have been forced to go elsewhere.
  • In April, a decision was taken to focus on elevating the services provided at the clinic so that we can register with multiple insurance plans
  • The following things have occurred in the last 5 months:
    • We have built and recently opened a full-service lab on the premises.
    • We have moved the research offices off-site to allow for more examination rooms on site.
    • The whole clinic has been remodelled to increase the areas for patient care and to qualify us for government programs and insurance plans
    • We are working with the District Medical Officer to become a maternal/child healthcare facility and an HIV center.
    • We have hired a full-time Medical Officer (doctor), rather than a Clinical Officer, so that we can provide even more comprehensive care.
    • We are in negotiations with specialists to begin seeing our patients on site.
    • We are in a fundraising campaign to buy an ultrasound machine and ECG machine. Once we have these, we plan on starting a structured plan of screening for NCD risk factors, including Cervical cancer, and cardiovascular risk.

A few Programs of note:

  • Cervical Cancer screening
  • Elder out reach program
  • Health education series on Wednesdays for all-comers
  • Regular outreach for hypertension screening and treatment