St. Augustine, FL (OCMC) On March 19, 2012, the Orthodox Resurrection Health Centre became a registered health center in Bukoba, Tanzania. Originally opened as a hospital, the government shut it down in November of 2010, a month after the OCMC team arrived there to work, because they didn’t staff enough doctors. Unable to meet the requirements of a hospital, the Metropolis decided to register the facility as a Health Centre.
In November of 2011, KEDAS, the Greek Non-Governmental Organization that built the Health Centre, sent Giannis Dais to help the OCMC team get the clinic registered. With OCMC members Felice Stewart and Maria Roeber working to facilitate communication between the Metropolis and KEDAS and begin the administrative tasks necessary to prepare the center for operation, the clinic has finally gained registration.
Stewart says, “The building and grounds are beautiful. I have not seen anything this nice in this area. KEDAS has been very generous in providing equipment and supplies, and it is well outfitted.”
Now that the clinic is open, the next steps are to hire more staff to join the team. With three watchmen, two cleaners, two physicians, and two nurses (OCMC Missionaries Maria Roeber and Felice Stewart), the clinic hopes to add a third part-time physician, additional nurses, and laboratory and x-ray technicians. As Maria states, “We anticipate opening and running the health center with local staff for the majority of the year, and welcoming specialized teams of medical personnel from Greece and the US for short periods of time.” By having specialists come from abroad, services can be offered to people in Bukoba who would not otherwise be able to obtain it. The long-term goal is for KEDAS to hand the clinic over to the Metropolis.
The re-opening of the clinic is very exciting for the people of Bukoba. Roeber shares, “We are receiving positive feedback from people of all different backgrounds and faiths – so many people here remember the clinic providing very good and compassionate care in the past, and they are eager to see it open again.” In the past, the people of Bukoba would begin lining up at 3 a.m. at the gates in order to be seen at the clinic.
The OCMC missionaries look forward to supporting the Orthodox Church in Tanzania in ministering to the healthcare needs of the people. “Our goal, as missionaries with OCMC, is to love and serve the people of God in Christ’s name.” Roeber continues, “Glory to God for this miracle!”