I know you have been waiting for this article for a very long time, but here it is finally rewritten from the Rotary Korea 2010 Magazine. It relates back to a previous post about the Kibaha Mother and Child Hospital that Rotary sponsors and that RI Past President (PP) DK Lee and other Rotary members visited several months ago.
“In September of 2008 at the Seoul Presidential Conference, fifty thousand Korean Rotarians committed to build a mother and child (maternity) hospital, in support of reducing child mortality. Donations came from both Korean Rotarians and the Community Chest of Korea, which matched funds, Won per Won, totaling to a collective donation of 1 billion won (about USD 870,000). After securing one billion won, then RI President DK Lee, in cooperation with the Korea International Health Foundation, launched a project to build a hospital for mother and children in Tumbi, Pwani Region of Tanzania.
This past April, DK Lee and several directors made a trip to Tanzania to inaugurate this project. But the project was not without obstacles; the major one being the 20% tax levy on all materials and construction of the project. Needless to say, 20% going to taxes would have made quite a dent in our initial budget. Fortunately, with the help of Sir Andy Chande, past TRF trustee, and Bill Bali, a club President, and their tireless efforts and petitions to convince the Tanzanian government to waive the tax levy was successful. Other Rotarians gave their time and knowledge, like PP Mohamed Sumar who provided and donated the architectural design of the project.
However, the process of getting MOU signed and selecting a contractor did not move as swiftly as anticipated. The MOU had to be cleared by several ministries before the Pwani Regional government and Tumbi Hospital could sign. The bidding process also took considerable amount of time as the aim was to make the bidding fair and transparent. After six months of countless emails, numerous telephone calls, and several intercontinental trips later, finally a local contractor, M & M Construction, was awarded with the contract and the work begun in late October 2009.
A 55 bed facility with a new Operation Theater, X-Ray room, Ultrasonography room, Intensive Care Unit will be provided in the renovation of the existing 3-story building of about 1,200 m squared and a newly constructed 2-story buildings of about 500 m squared. The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) is tapped to provide sustained assistance for 3 years from 2010 to provide exchange program for medical staffs, technicians, administrative staffs for long term training. This additional funds from KOICA of 450 million won (about USD 391,000) will also enable Rotary to supply an emergency vehicle which can be dispatched to more remote areas of Pwani Region. The accumulated total amount from various sources comes to 1,883,700,000 won or about USD 1,638,000. A nice gain of USD 435,000 with which it all began. The Tumbi-Rotary Mother and Child Health Complex is scheduled to be fully functional by June 2010. It is hoped that this project, which started off as a small commitment, will be responsible for saving 42 lives daily, making dreams real.”