When a patient leaves CCBRT, our hospital in Tanzania, after being treated for fistula, there is often great relief and hope. After her surgical fistula repair and recovery at the hospital, Beatrice also completed a one-year training course in craft and business skills at our Mabinti Center. In May, Beatrice was able to safely gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Pelis. Without the care that she received at CCBRT, this would have been unthinkable. Now, Beatrice counsels other patients with fistula and encourages them to seek treatment.
Kupona Foundation and our implementing partner CCBRT have been working together since 2009 to transform and improve maternal health care in Tanzania – to prevent fistula and ensure that joy and safety during pregnancy and childbirth is possible for ALL Tanzanian women. Our capacity building initiatives have helped to improve care at 16 existing health facilities in the Dar es Salaam region and highlighted CCBRT as a leader in the area of maternal health. But in 2012, our vision began to take concrete shape with the construction of the new CCBRT Maternity and Newborn Hospital. All funds for the construction and equipping of the new hospital have been committed and progress has been incredible since breaking ground in December 2011. In fact, the kitchen and canteen facilities will be ready for use in the first part of this year, and three of the building blocks have been constructed up to roof level. Twice in 2012, His Excellency President Kikwete of Tanzania visited the progressing site of the new hospital, and we continue to be motivated by this high-level support.
Here in the United States, Kupona’s mission to expand private support for CCBRT also reached new heights, with our final tally in 2012 reaching over $219,000 – more than two times our total in 2011! And every dollar will be used on the ground in Tanzania to save the lives of mothers and babies.
We know that, even as our physical facility takes shape, the pressure mounts: we must recruit qualified staff, improve of the regional referral system to prevent overcrowding at the new hospital, and secure funding for recurring operational expenses. In 2012, we worked closely with some fantastic partners to develop a human resources strategy, an assessment of the current referral system, and an evaluation of family planning services in the region. This year will be one of translating valuable information into action and leveraging the gifts of all of our supporters for maximum impact in the lives of Tanzanian mothers and babies.
For Beatrice and thousands of women like her, CCBRT is the final step in a painful journey, and the first step in a joyful one. In 2012, CCBRT treated more than 500 women like Beatrice, repairing their fistulas and giving them true second chances to live their dreams. But without your support, there would be no stories like hers. This year, your gifts trained doctors, nurses, and midwives. They renovated and equipped operating rooms and built a new, expanded ward for patients with fistula. And they are helping to build our new maternity hospital, so that we can prevent the occurrence of fistula and ensure that the joy Beatrice felt when delivering Pelis is a joy that ALL Tanzanian women have the opportunity to experience.
We cannot thank you enough for helping us to come this far, and cannot wait to share with you all that 2013 will bring!