Highlands Hope Umbrella is an organization that coordinates partnerships among its members and with partners across Tanzania, in Europe, and in Canada. To provide mutual support and professional development opportunities for nurses and volunteers working at in the Njombe-Makete region of the Southern Highlands of Tanzania.
The group has worked closely with the McGill University School of Nursing to provide exchange experiences for Canadian and Tanzanian nurses as well as a framework for the granting of scholarships for young nurses doing training in Tanzania. ùmember and affiliated groups include:
The Tanwat (Tanganyka Wattle Company Tanzania) Company Hospital is a 40-bed clinic and hospital in Njombe that provides services to Tanwat workers and their families as well as to residents of the workers’ 17 home villages.
Tanwat Company Hospital has been actively developing HIV-AIDS education and care programming since 1996 and has invested in specialized professional training and peer education programs that have benefited all three Highlands Hope hospitals and clinics. It began dispensing antiretrovirals in April 2006.
The Hospital established an HIV Care and Treatment Centre in 2007 and serves several hundred patients with strong links to workplace and village-based peer health educators.
The PIUMA HIV Counselling and Testing Clinic is an independent, community-based clinic in the Bulongwa area of Makete District with leadership drawn primarily from local people living with HIV-AIDS.
AIDS is an enormous problem in the area with prevalence rates that are said to be the highest in Tanzania. A PIUMA-supported clinic first opened in 2004 at a local hospital with the first patients receiving antiretrovirals in the spring of 2005. PIUMA opened its own testing clinic in July 2007.
Currently, there is no nurse or other medical professional on staff with PIUMA.
The peer health educator group CHAKUNIMU is active in several villages adjacent to Njombe. It has developed a strong network and dynamic programming including new efforts to equip its educators with basic home care knowledge and tools. It works in close collaboration with the Tanwat Care and Treatment Centre (CTC) as well as with nurses and nursing students from the McGill University School of Nursing in Montreal, Canada.
Kibena Women’s Association
The Kibena Women’s Association (KWA) is a small network of professional women, mostly educators and health care workers, who are focused on the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in the Njombe region. They provide direct financial and nutritional support to a number of orphans who have no other resources and have sponsored research and knowledge development projects with Canadian university students to understand the scope and needs of the orphan challenge in their region. They actively advocate for the rights and needs of children in Njombe and also provide recreational opportunities for vulnerable children.
KYOFI, or “Kibena Youth”, uses music and drama to bring messages of awareness about HIV-AIDS and knowledge about reproductive health to young people in the Njombe region. They have an excellent choir and have developed a range of dramatic productions that they present in community and village settings. They also are co-sponsors of research efforts in support of the interests and rights of vulnerable children in their community.