BHA trip to St. Albert’s 2011 – Feb. 20

Hello friends of BHA! I’d like to share information with you about an upcoming visit to Zimbabwe.

For the first part of this trip I’ll be traveling with Luke Hingson, president of Brother’s Brother Foundation (BBF), and Mary Mahlie, president of Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach. Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach “was organized in 2002 as a humanitarian effort, working with health care organizations to recover and responsibly redistribute medical equipment and supplies to people in need around the world.” Hospital Sisters “responds to the sick, poor and needy through a medical equipment and supply recovery and distribution program, education and awareness opportunities and cross cultural mission experiences.”

Brother’s Brother promotes “international health and education through the efficient and effective distribution and provision of donated medical, educational, agricultural and other resources.” The organization carries out its mission by shipping donated medical and hospital supplies, and books, seeds, food, and humanitarian relief supplies to underserved and developing countries.

This year, BBF will be shipping containers of donated medical supplies to mission hospitals of several denominations in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Liberia. Luke is traveling to Zimbabwe to lay the ground work for these shipments. In her capacity as director of Zimbabwe’s Catholic Health Commission, Dr. Elizabeth Tarira, director of St. Albert’s, is playing a key role in the distribution of those supplies to Catholic mission hospitals in Zimbabwe. Better Healthcare For Africa is facilitating the interaction between BBF and Elizabeth and the Health Commission, and it will contribute to the cost of a BBF shipment of medical supplies to St. Albert’s.

Here is a schedule for activities during the trip as planned at this time. Speaking of time, there is seven hours difference between the U.S. Eastern time zone and Zimbabwe (and Ethiopia), i.e., midnight in Columbus is 7 a.m. at St. Albert’s.

Schedule – 2011 trip to St Albert’s Mission Hospital

Feb. 27 (Sun.) Arrive in Harare with Luke Hingson and Mary Mahlie.  
Feb. 28 –
Mar. 2
(Mon. – Wed.)
Travel with Luke and Mary to visit Howard Hospital and St Albert’s Mission Hospital (Mon.), St. Paul’s Murewa and Mt St Mary’s (Wedza district) mission hospitals (Tue), and Muvonde Hospital (Wed).
Mar. 3 (Thu.) Attend meeting of Zimbabwe Association of Church-related Hospitals. ZACH is an organization that represents mission hospitals of Catholic, Methodist and other denominations. Elizabeth is a member. Containers of medical supplies shipped to Zimbabwe for mission hospitals are accepted by ZACH, which clears them through customs. That afternoon, I leave Luke and Mary and travel with Elizabeth to St Albert’s. Luke and Mary continue on to visit the Methodist Nyadire Mission Hospital, and on March 6 depart Harare for home.
Mar. 3 to
Mar. 9
(Thu. – Wed.)
My goals at St. Albert’s: Learn the hospital’s needs and priorities and those of the midwifery program; learn the status of the hospital’s many projects; take photos to update the hospital’s web site; as requested by a donor, learn what cancer services are available in the area. When patients need help with cancer, where do they go? Are there regional hospitals that offer cancer surgery, radiation and chemotherapy?
Mar. 8 (Tue.) 6 p.m.: Attend the premiere in Harare of the new documentary, iThemba, by Elinor Burkett. The film follows a group of eight young, physically disabled Zimbabwean musicians who studied at King George VI School, Zimbabwe’s only secondary school for young people with disabilities. Visit the film’s website at Also visit the website for Zim Kids, the orphan center started by Elinor’s husband, Dennis Gaboury, at
Mar. 9 (Wed.) Depart Harare for Gaborone (pronounced ‘Hab-or-ownee’), Botswana. Arrive there at 3:50 p.m. Fly on Air Botswana.
Mar. 9 –
Mar. 11
(Wed. – Fri.)
Visit the doctors involved in the Maipelo Trust, including Dr. Jon Silverman, a young American pediatrician who volunteered at St Albert’s the summer of 2007. Jon and his pediatrician wife are now volunteering in Botswana, serving in Princess Marina Hospital. In addition to this work, they are struggling to treat destitute refugees from Zimbabwe, Malawi and Congo who have fled to Botswana for a better life. Some of these individuals have developed AIDS and need medical care, but, as foreigners, they don’t qualify for Botswana’s national healthcare plan and are left to suffer. Jon is working with Dr. Diana Dickinson, who runs a well-established private clinic called Independence Surgery. Dr. Dickinson organized the Maipelo Trust and runs it out of her clinic to help these needy individuals, with the help of Jon and three other physicians. BHA is exploring an opportunity to help these physicians by accepting American donations for the Trust.
Mar. 11 (Fri.) 11:00 a.m.: Depart Gaborone on Air Botswana for Lusaka, Zambia.
1:25 p.m.: Arrive in Lusaka
3:25 p.m.: Depart Lusaka on Ethiopian Air.
8:25 p.m.: Arrive in Addis Ababa.
10:15 p.m.: Depart Addis Ababa for Washington DC, Dulles
Mar. 12 (Sat.) 7:40 a.m.:  Arrive Washington DC, Dulles airport.
12:33 p.m.: Depart Washington DC for Columbus, OH
1:52 p.m.: Arrive Columbus.