History

We are guided by the principle that it is better to help an outstanding rural hospital remain in operation than it is to re-establish a hospital that has
collapsed. Our overall goals are the following:

  • Help insure the stability and long-term survival of St. Albert’s Hospital
    during this period of economic, social, and political crisis and health system collapse that began in 2000.
  • Work in partnership with hospital director, Dr.Julia Musariri, MD, MPH,
    and the hospital’s executive board to improve health outcomes for the 115,000
    to  120,000 people in the hospital’s service area; to keep the hospital’s
    counseling  and testing, HIV-treatment, home-based care, outreach, and orphan
    programs running; to maintain the farm project that provides food for hospital
    patients, and the water project that is vital to the hospital’s survival; and
    to continue  the hospital’s nurses training program.
  • Help Dr. Tarira develop microeconomic and healthcare-delivery models that
    help support and stabilize the hospital and might ultimately improve health
    outcomes more broadly in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Stimulate interest among students and the public in global-health problems
    and encourage service to the underserved in developing countries and in the
    U.S.

Key Successes

Better Healthcare for Africa, Inc., was founded in February 2009. The BHA is an all volunteer organization so 95% of the dollars we raise go to the hospital. Contributions made to BHA supported the following:

  • Purchase of an automatic X-ray film processor that was urgently needed;
  • Delivery of 10 lb boxes of suture containing 800 sutures provided by the Global Links Suture Program
  • Purchase of X-Ray film
  • Purchase of laboratory reagents
  • Water pipe and a raft to support the water intake line for the reservoir water project.
  • More than $1,000 worth of donated hospital supplies was carried to the hospital during the 2009 visit to the hospital, including suture, cannulas and bandages.

Prior to the formation of BHA, we raised contributions for the hospital that helped fund construction of the dam, reservoir and water filtration system and the purchase of hospital supplies.

We have also facilitated visits to the hospital by American students and physicians interested in volunteering there and who were experienced in the conditions present in developing countries. These volunteers have come from The Children’s Hospital of Denver, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Oregon State University, and the Peace Corps.

Activities

Better Healthcare for Africa supports the hospital through a variety of activities:

  • We raise monetary donations to support critical hospital needs and programs as determined by the hospital’s executive board.
  • We give talks to college, university and high school groups, church groups and other organizations about the hospital and its doctors and staff to raise
    awareness and encourage support.
  • We collect and ship donated suture, burn bandages, and other supplies needed for patient care and hospital programs.
  • We collect and ship materials to assist the treatment and rehabilitation of children such as small toys for exercising the hands and fingers of children
    recovering from burns; children’s books that feature black, multicultural or animal characters; and dolls with a black complexion.
  • We carry out many of our efforts with the help of the Associazione Sanitaria Internazionale (International  Medical Association) in Rome. For example, we ship suture and other donated  items to the Associazione. These items are then transferred to St. Albert’s.
  • We use our website and our talks to inform people about the hospital’s challenges and accomplishments; about its staff and programs; about events in
    Zimbabwe that affect the hospital and its operation; and about students and individuals who have been touched or inspired in some way by St. Albert’s, its
    patients and its challenges.
  • We help coordinate visits to the hospital by physicians and medical and nursing students interested in volunteering at St. Albert’s.
  • We seek to stimulate interest among students and the public in global-health problems, and to encourage service to the underserved in developing countries
    and here at home.

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