Masanga, Tanzania: the first DREAM patients
“My name is Joseph, I have 8 children and in two hours I made it here with my bicycle”. These are the words of a patient who just arrived at the DREAM Center in Masanga (Mara Region), in northern Tanzania, bordering Kenya.
In fact, in late February, the permits from the regional authorities arrived, authorizing the beginning of clinical activities.
The new DREAM center is located next to the Dispensary of the Daughters of Charity, the only health center post within the surrounding area, where 350 medical visits per month are carried out.
A little further on there is a school (Primary School), which houses 200 children, and finally a Church. It is the picture of an area where men and women can come, be welcomed and cared for.
Mara Region is a rural area – Tarime, the nearest town, is a three-hour drive away. Small villages characterize the rest of the territory, so far without light or water.
The population is generally very poor, living on small-scale agriculture and a few grazing animals, and the basis of their feeding is Cassava.
Joseph carefully puts his “tag-date” in his wallet…and sets an appointment in two days for his visit with the doctor.
Says goodbye with a smile and, before it gets dark, he is back on the saddle of his bike.
While Sister Jacqueline finishes the last little things to make the Center more welcoming and functional…. the staff shows a list: that of the patients who came by during the last weeks, waiting to begin. They will be called in the coming days.
Dream opens all services to these people: in addition to the tests and medical visits, the laboratory is also operational and it will be able to sustain other hospitals in the area.
The first agreement with the District Medical Officer of Tarime has been signed in these last days.
The Hospital, which is the only reference for the treatment of HIV in the district, since some months could not carry out the analysis for CD4, and therefore, this new cooperation with the DREAM laboratory will again allow to follow patients adequately.
The DREAM Center is powered by two generators at night and, during the day, by the solar energy accumulated thanks to two large solar panels fixed on the roof.
But there is good news!!…on the road to get to Masanga, we find some poles on the floor, ready to be raised and thus support the power grid, and when works are finished, this will facilitate the activities of DREAM, mostly those of telemedicine.
The Districy Medical Officer of Tarime sign the agreement for the use of dream laboratory