While Jeremy Newhouse and Mike Mulken waited for Matter’s first container filled with life-saving medical equipment to arrive at the Serengeti District Hospital in Mugumu, Tanzania, they were able to experience some of the most incredible landscapes in the world – as well as some of the greatest need. “Within a few kilometers of each other there are two worlds that exist next to one another and yet they are not known to each other.” Mike, the Vice President of Procurement and International Programs says.
“The Serengeti park is one of the most beautiful and fascinating places I have ever been,” and just a few miles away, “The conditions in the Serengeti District Hospital were appalling… There were beds with threadbare cloth mattresses and operating rooms with no anesthesia or proper lighting.”
The people of Mugumu really knew how to welcome their new gear: they danced and partied and made speeches and talked about the future of healthcare at their hospital.
But when the first of Matter’s containers arrived at the Serengeti District Hospital, it came filled not just with supplies and equipment like new hospital beds, exam tables and baby warmers as well as oxygen concentrators and clinical supplies such as gloves, masks and needles, but most importantly, the container carried hope. All of these necessary items will change the lives of the people living in Mugumu, helping mothers and infants survive childbirth and allowing doctors to better perform the jobs they are trained to do.
“We waited outside the hospital for the container to arrive and we could hear it coming before we could see it.” Mike recalls. “There were hundreds of people in a parade with the containers on motorbikes and bikes and on foot, singing and dancing as can be done only in Africa. The people of Mugumu really knew how to welcome their new gear: they danced and partied and made speeches and talked about the future of healthcare at their hospital.”
While in Tanzania, Mike and Jeremy, Matter’s Vice President of Operations, were able to meet with Tanzanian Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Stephen Kebwe and his cabinet. Together, the group was able to draft the formal agreements for Matter to partner with Tanzania Health ministry to serve Tanzanians in need.