The report for November and December 2009. Download here...

PIUMA dancing on World AIDS days

Singing and Dancing

Watching shows

Izak was happy when Miss Uhuru was announced

Miss Uhuru Bulongwa 2009 !!!

The report for month of October 2009. Download here...

PIUMA's Medical Doctor 2009

It has been very nice memory to stay with them in these days. Eventhough some of my friends teased me that my life seems to be very boring and lonely without having family.
But, I do swear that as long as I have my little family(my daddy, mom , sisters and brother) and the children I loved, there will be still amazing life for me, I would not say perfect but some how it is peaceful.

Every first week of each month, We will upload the report for previous month.

The report for month of september 2009 . Download here...

PIUMA's Medical Doctor 2009

It’s Market Day in Bulongwa. Every Saturday the market is crowded with people from the surrounding villages; colorful as usual with very fresh fruit and local foods; noisy with the big crows wearing white feather necklaces round their necks. The weekend market is one of my favorite places in Bulongwa. I went to the PIUMA VCT center near the market early in the morning and hoped that PIUMA members would come to the center after their shopping to register in PIUMA’s new medical record book.

In the first week of September, 2009, I arrived in Bulongwa, Makete, where the PIUMA office is based and I and all PIUMA members were so happy to meet each other at a gathering on 8th September 2009.

There are 197 members in PIUMA, most of the client live very far from the VCT center and when they come to our center for follow up, it often takes them four to five hours on foot.

When I arrived at the VCT Center after our first meeting, I realized I was facing a bigger problem than just the absence of a data recording system for members of PIUMA. In reality, for two years now , there was not even a common book for a short history or complaint of a single member who came to the center for follow up. Fortunately, the Clinical Officer of PIUMA had memorized well all this data, including treatment.

I thought PIUMA members would be happy if they could see the benefits of a medical record system in reality and how much they will be freed from a dependence on an individual Medical professional’s memory to ensure continuity of care. This is especially true because we cannot expect to have one permanent Medical person with PIUMA even though we hope that will be the case. Recruitment can be very challenging in a place like Makete. At the same time, I was remembering the clinic I started and that continues as a small NGO in Myanmar/Burma called “Better Burmese Health Care”. There are 500-700 registered patients in that small clinic and they have their own personal record book kept in the clinic. Four new clinics of that same NGO also use the identical recording system that I pioneered.

It is not so difficult to start record system for PIUMA. But for long-lasting progress, it is a keystone that each PIUMA member understand how important the record book is. So, after discussing with PIUMA leaders we started designing a medical record book for individual members which is based on the information from some medical record files started by the PIUMA former Medical doctor, Dr. Rainer Brandl, who made quite systematic records on the computer.

PIUMA leaders were very active and they have been working very well in binding A4 paper to become PIUMA’s medical record books. Now, 120 books are ready to use.

Every day, I am so happy to explain to every member about the medical record book system, to do basic medical clinical check up to every member, and to record their history. At the same time, it improves my language skills – my Kiswahili teachers are now PIUMA members. Happily, PIUMA member are willing to come and be registered as well.

For now, on market day in Bulongwa is for shopping, but in the future it also will be the day many people want to visit to PIUMA VCT center to register their medical record book and/or to do regular follow up. It will take time, but it really will be happen.

PIUMA's Medical Doctor 2009

I am on my second day in Tanzania, I have been studying Kiswahili language, the main language spoken in this country, necessary for me for working in this Country as volunteer medical doctor.
I am supposed to study 20 hours according to the schedule for beginner course. Because of the limited time, I could not join to group section which is normally open per period but I have a chance to study in special class.
Therefore, every day but Sunday, I have been studying 3 hours per day. Moreover I decided to extend one extra hour a day, for a total four hours every day, given the short duration of my course…
Studying language for four hours in a special class, it is not what you could call it a good method but I have to do when it is happening.
It is quite tiring after studying 2 hours because absorbing quality of my brain is becoming poor. Especially, 2 hours lesson after lunch time is a tough job.
According to Tanzanian culture, greeting is very important and the people are proud of greeting before doing anything. So, it has been such a difficult issue for me even to buy drinking water in the early days here.
On the other hand, it really takes me time, the lady doctor who come from Burma (Myanmar), South East Asia, to be ready and not to be shocked when a stranger appear suddenly willing to greet, even though I know the proverb that says “when in Rome do as Romans do!”. I really regret and feel sorry for my late replies to their sincere and friendly greetings!!!
Another issue is for the food: I am the one who loves Asian food like papaya salad, other spicy food and Myanmar traditional food called “Mont Hin Khar” . Not only in Myanmar, but also in Thailand I was used to that food for one year. It is hard now to get familiar with African food, especially stiff porridge called “Ugali”. Sweet tea every early morning is a similar custom like in my home town, but those who don’t have that habit still need to be trained.
It shouldn’t be left about the bus called “Daladala” when talking about Dar Es Salaam. There are too much crowed in the bus in office hours in my country, but ladies, are first priority usually according to our custom.
We, ladies, old people and children, have been comfortable in the bus while travelling also. Because of cost effectiveness, we have been trying to take the bus from the bus station called "Mwenge" which is not so far from the place we are staying. After waiting for a while, a median size bus that is going to downtown was coming, and there was also crowded in office hour like our country exception with no priority to ladies here. And then, I was really surprised when something was happening unexpectedly, but I was trying to cope with the habits of that city. Somehow, I still like that city.
Sincerely, I was afraid of dogs since I was in childhood and never imagine staying for one month at the house with six dogs. But finally, these days makes me a part of duty to buy some biscuits for them, to make them friendly. Incredibly they even became some days I would never forget about.
After 2 week studying time, I have a chance to practice around the campus such as in shopping center, restaurant and music center around Nyum Ba Ya Sanam which is the place where I used to studying. However, studying one language within 3 weeks made me crazy sometimes, and I did had bad mood on the way back to the place I stayed and even thought I should give up.
But in reality I did not!!!!
Finally, Days passed by very quickly, and I came to the night before I am going to leave for IRINGA . I wish I could come back to that beautiful city to meet with native friends from Dar Es Salaam and wish to chat by Kiswahili.

Pdf file with Burmese/Myanmar Version ... download here

Pdf file with Germen Version... Download here

PIUMA’s Medical Doctor 2009

Recently I heard that people living with HIV/AIDS, who are taking antiretroviral drugs, are confused about the question of drinking alcohol while taking drugs.
I would like to help and assist here a bit and I hope to take some fears away in order to help making you healthier and prolonging your lives.
It was frequently said, that it is not good to take antiretroviral treatment and to drink alcohol at the same time. All of you have been told never to touch alcohol when you have been put on the drugs that save your lives!
Well, now – listen to your doctor and the people who love you and really care for you, you will know them because they do not scare you neither they should make you feel bad!
Firstly, it is certainly BETTER for your health NOT to drink or to take recreational drugs when you take medicine. From your own experience you know that you get tired and you forget about time and duties of daily lives when you drink too much alcohol. In this situation you might forget to take your drugs at the right time or to take them at all.
All drugs aim to keep you healthy and are therefore given in a certain and best way. Alcohol makes you to change this way and this is dangerous to your help. Take them as told, never change the way.
Secondly, Alcohol by itself is not very healthy if you drink too much and especially damages your liver in the course of years. People living with HIV – but even others – have many times other viruses (Hepatitis viruses) that damage the liver and tests are not available in Bulongwa. If you are unknowingly infected with that viruses plus HIV the liver damage may be aggravated by Alcohol and therefore I would be happier if you do not drink too much!
BUT IF YOU DRINK and you feel really happy with it:
STILL - TAKE YOUR DRUGS AT THE RIGHT TIME as told by the doctor and never change the schedule! That means for example: If you take TRIOMUNE - one pill in the morning and one pill in the evening at the same time!
Don’t forget: It is all about your own health and knowledge and nobody has the right - no doctor, no nurse, no government official or someone from the church, no witchdoctor – nobody, to deny you the drugs or to scare you. As long as you take them regularly and you are monitored well, it is better for you to take them - even if you drink!
Keep in mind: Better not to drink but if you cannot abstain, take your drugs though – and a Condom!
I am wishing you a good and fearless life and if you have a question – ask the doc at the PIUMA office! We are here for you and you can get advice from the whole world!

DR Rainer Brandl

Pdf file with kisawahili ... Download here

Ofcourse it is totally not strange, but I love to create that blog. Why??
I,myself have been asking this question and the answer is also quite simple.
From now on, I will be quite busy with my work and I do am afraid that I could not contact to all the people to whom I should tell about my volunteer work, my lovely family and friends who are quite far from here and want to know what I am doing, friends from online and somebody who are encouraging me to continue my writing even though I am not a professional writer. Therefore, I have been trying to create this place even though there are not much special things.
There might be my experience from work place, and health articles especially concerning with my specialty and my patients. Furthermore, I was very happy to share the natural beauty of the country side of East Africa, very proud to share the natural beauty of my native land that I am missing very much in these years. Hope you all don’t mind for that.
PIUMA medical Doctor 2009

Pdf file with Burmese version ... Download here