It has often been requested by our friends and benefactors that we give them some idea of our medical activities and facilities. We hope that this report will be of interest perhaps especially to the many friends who are doctors, nurses or medical-mission groups and who have been generous in aiding us with equipment, drugs and financial support. We are particularly grateful for the large shipment which recently arrived from the Salvatorian Centre, Wisconsin, our Mission Headquarters in U.S.A.
As yet we have no doctor of our own for our diocese, periodical inspections of our dispensaries are done by a doctor from the Diocese of Ndanda. Working in our seven dispensaries are three Salvatorian Sisters, one Salvatorian Brother and two American lay nurses. Where no Sister is available there are qualified African Dispensers and Nurse-midwives in charge.
Principal tropical diseases prevalent here are malaria, leprosy, Beharzia, hookworm, tuberculosis, amoebic dysentery, sleeping sickness, yaws, trachoma, filariasis, endemic smallpox, meningitis, anaemia, malnutrition, various skin diseases and worm infestations. When they are able, the patients are asked to pay a small fee for medical services. Adult patients pay 5/- (.70) for a period of three months while infants and children pay 3/-. In 1963, over 150,000 out-patients attended the dispensaries and nearly 4,000 in-patients were treated.
LUKULEDI. In charge is an African Dispenser and an African Midwife. Through the efforts of Fr. Roman when he was there, a Government Grant was given to help build a clinic. Through a self-help scheme the Africans built a delivery room, ward and kitchen, supervised by Br. Venard at that time. Fifteen to twenty babies are born there per month, while some 3,000 out-patients are treated.
LUPASO. Our first mission blessed with Salvatorian Sisters. Since 1961, Sr. Clementilla nurse and midwife, has been in charge of the dispensary and clinic. Only forty miles from the boundary of Tanganyika and Mozambique, there is little medical help to the south-west of Lupaso. Nearly 4,000 patients are treated monthly and an average of 30 infants are born monthly. Miss Evelyn Cuss, a lay pharmacist from London, organised a central pharmacy from where all our medical supplies are distributed. Through the financial help of a Leper Society in Germany, a large leprosarium was completed in 1963. Br. Colman is at present in charge of this where he treats 190 lepers twice weekly and has ten beds for acute cases. The lepers are the beneficiaries of much of the clothing sent from U.S.A. Miss Suellen Nessler, an American nurse, from Chester, Connecticut, has just arrived here and is already busy in the dispensary. Now that there is electricity at the mission, we hope soon to install the X-ray unit which was a gift from Dr. Jerome Goodman of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
CHINGULUNGULU. Despite the insufficient buildings and the poor conditions here, the African Dispenser is doing good work. Besides the usual run of tropical diseases, there are a great number of emergencies inflicted by the wild animals of the area. Sleeping sickness and meningitis are endemic. Fr. Justin or Br. Kenneth frequently drive the twenty to thirty miles to the Masasi Hospital with emergency cases.
KILIMARONDO. Situated about sixty miles from Nachingwea, Kilimarondo is another area of sleeping sickness. Through a self-help scheme and local Government aid, a maternity clinic is being planned. There are almost a hundred charity case lepers fed and clothed regularly.
NANDEMBO. Br. Peter is presently building a new dispensary and men's ward here. Dr. E.B. Brick recently donated a large sum of money for this project. The present wards are African type huts of grass roof, mud floors and mud and wattle walls. Because of the abundance of water in the area there is much hookworm and a rare type of intestinal bilharzia. In 1963 a maternity division was begun and despite the backwardness of the women there, we are proud of the small victory that has been achieved and now there is an average of ten babies born monthly in the clinic.
NANJOTA. Here is a growing dispensary and clinic. Because of the lack of funds, Fr. Venard has been unable to expand his medical facilities. An African lay midwife and Sr. Clementilla alternate weekly visits to Nanjota from Lupaso, eleven miles away, pre-natal patients are then examined and brought in to Lupaso for delivery.
MASASI. At the School dispensary, Sr. Catherine, nurse and midwife, is kept busy. After the minor illnesses of the school children are attended to, she has a period in the afternoons which she devotes to the mothers' pre-natal care.
From an Old Boy in the Bush
Liwale covers an area of 8,500 square miles - an area somewhat larger than Wales. On three sides it is bordered by the Selous Game Reserve - the largest in Tanganyika. There are approximately 1,000 miles of roads and tracks in the area.
Before independence came to Tanganyika, the 30,000 people in Liwale were under the rule of the local Sultan, but nowadays the local government is in charge. The area has never been developed, mainly because it is practically cut off from the rest of the country by rivers and also because missionary activity was forbidden by the Sultan in the past.
While on safari in 1905, from Dar-es-Salaam to Songea, Bishop Cassian, O.S.B., two Brothers and two Sisters were murdered at a spot about 38 miles N.E. of Liwale. This took place during the Maji Maji rebellion, since when there had been no missionary activity, until in 1963, Father Wilfred Skoyles, S.D.S., from Wealdstone, Middlesex, undertook an exploration of the area. Many of the people were seeing a white man for the first time. On that first trip he found that there were three government schools on the whole 8,500 sq. miles and even these were poorly equipped. Only some 500 children were getting even the minimum of instruction. Since that date, with the help of generous benefactors and friends, Father Wilfred has been able to open six schools which cater for about 1,000 children. The people are so overjoyed at the progress that they are pressing him to open a further 15!
Because education in the past was so often refused them - the Sultan fearing that an educated people might eventually usurp his power - they came to despise it. Now they are extremely eager to make use of it. As well as the rule of the Sultan, the Muslims of the country did not want to allow Christian missionaries into the territory. As a result, the people here are the most backward in Tanganyika today - less than half speak the native tongue, Kiswahili, and very few can read or write. Morality is at its lowest. There are now three dispensaries run by the government in the area: at Liwale, Malembwe and Ruhu. These dispensaries never have enough medicine and for many people the nearest hospital is at Mnero - a 120 miles walk. It is Father Wilfred's intention to build a hospital at the town of Liwale to replace the inadequate dispensary and to eventually build dispensaries in the larger villages. A church will be built in Liwale to serve the 40 or more men and their families who are in government service. Donations are being sought for funds to build a sacristy and possibly a priest's house. The priest generally sleeps in a tent while on safari, or in the Landrover if there are clumsy elephants about!!!
A FEW FACTS ABOUT LIWALE
1. The people are trying to build the schools and the teachers’ houses out of mud, free of charge.
2. To equip a new school for a group of 100 children, some £50 is needed. This will provide benches, tables, cupboards, slates, pencils, etc.
3. Each Teacher receives about £7 per month. There are 8 teachers at present and each has to look after 150 children.
4. To build a concrete dispensary with a corrugated roof costs £250. A dispenser receives about £200 a year.
5. A Hospital is urgently needed in the town of Liwale and for this about £5,000 is needed.
If you feel moved to make a donation to any of the above unique causes the Headmaster will gladly forward them to Father Wilfred.
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