Arriving at MOI pediatric ward, we soon realised that even thought it’s the only pediatric ward in the entire country; they still didn’t have the necessary equipment to fulfil daily tasks, which we in western countries see as mandatory. They did not have equipment to measure blood pressure, something that’s quite essential in newly operated patients, as well as not having a pulsoximeter. They did not even have thermometers, and would have to rely on touch to get an indication of whether or not the kid had a fever. To get the weight of the babies, as young as only a few weeks, they would have to weigh the mother with the child, and then without to subtract. Not a very reliable way of knowing the babies nutritional status.
Seeing all this, we decided to try to raise some money to buy these things for them, and asked friends and family for donations. We can thankfully say that enough people helped, so that we could buy some of these essential equipment for them. Setting out to buy them was no easy task, as no international pediatric web-shop shipped to Tanzania, without the shipping fee almost reaching the same as the equipment itself. Trying to find stores, pharmacies, which sold these basic things for adults here in Tanzania, was relatively easy, but getting them in sizes made for children and babies was a totally different matter. Thankfully one of the nurses at the ward, specialising in nutritional screening, was able to help us.
Together we was able to buy equipment for measuring blood pressure in children as well as babies, thermometers, a baby weight and measuring table, a height measure for the children and other small things they needed, like water heaters, for heating baby food, etc.