CCBRT 2014: Success stories that you made possible

Kupona’s newest team member, Alexandra, joined us in November after two years working on the ground with CCBRT in Dar es Salaam. Here are her highlights from the year.

Alexandra visiting a CCBRT support unit in Dar es Salaam

Alexandra visiting a CCBRT support unit in Dar es Salaam

During my time with CCBRT, I heard inspirational stories and met inspirational people every day. But it wasn’t just the change that we could see happening on the ground that spurred us on. It was hearing that there are individuals like you, thousands of miles away from Dar es Salaam, that are making our work possible.

If you’ve never visited CCBRT in Tanzania, you may sometimes wonder if your donation is actually making a difference. I’m here to tell you it is. You are supporting high quality, life-changing care for some of the poorest and most marginalized people in Tanzania. I saw it happening every day.

Your donations are funding expert care
Our expertise in the disability field was recognized earlier this year with two major accreditations. In June, CCBRT became a FIGO accredited training center for fistula surgeons enabling our team to pass on their experience to the next generation of surgeons. CCBRT also became the international training center and headquarters for the International Red Cross, Special Fund for the Disabled (ICRC/SFD). Our new orthopedic workshop, refurbished with the support of ICRC/SFD, provides custom-made prosthetics and orthopedic devices to people with disabilities. Today, CCBRT is in a position to train orthopedic technicians from all over the world.

ICRC Training at CCBRT

Recipients of custom-made prosthetics in the newly furnished orthopedic workshop, funded by ICRC/SFD.

A huge step forward in preventing unplanned pregnancies
In 2014, we also saw Tim’s Corner transform from a shipping container into a fully functioning clinic providing family planning services and confidential advice to staff and patients on how to plan pregnancies. This was an important step forward in our efforts to prevent maternal and newborn mortality and disability.

Family Planning services will be fully integrated into the spectrum of care in CCBRT’s maternity and newborn healthcare program. See the recent progress of the Maternity and Newborn Hospital construction for yourself with this virtual tour. Over my two years in Dar es Salaam, the structure’s evolution has been incredible.

Family outside of CCBRT’s fistula ward. Photo credit: Mark Tuschman

Building capacity to save the lives of mothers and newborns
In parallel to the construction of this new facility, the team also continues to make progress in 22 public health facilities in Dar es Salaam, working in challenging conditions, conducting on-the-job training for healthcare workers, improving facilities, and distributing life-saving equipment.

This September, there was exciting news from Temeke District Hospital, one of the 22 facilities in our capacity building program. Temeke Hospital has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the region. However, following the work of the CCBRT team, Temeke reported zero maternal deaths in the month of September. 

Lives are being saved every day. You can read more about these particular achievements in our latest post on Girls’ Globe.

Twenty years of service to the Tanzanian community
This past October, CCBRT marked its 20th anniversary by championing the everyday heroes – the staff. My colleagues on the ground are rock stars, and I congratulate them for their victories – both big and small. You can read more about their stories here. If we didn’t have the support of people like you, none of this would be possible.

Alex with the team at CCBRT's 20th anniversary.

Alex with team members at CCBRT’s 20th Anniversary.

It’s been an amazing year, and I’m thrilled to be part of our momentum going into 2015. While we celebrate the successes, it is important that we do not rest on our laurels. There are thousands of people living with impairments that need treatment at CCBRT, and thousands of women and children who die every year as a result of avoidable complications during childbirth.

We still need your help. Make a donation today, safe in the knowledge that your money is reaching those in need, and is making a difference where change is so desperately needed.

Individual Giving & Communications, Kupona Foundation