The Bega Kwa Bega Affiliate organizations have a wonderful history of working together, reaching across organizational boundaries for the good of Iringa Diocese communities and institutions. For example, St. Paul Partners has worked with Friends of Huruma to provide a good source of water for the orphanage, and also with Millions of Trees for a source of water for its nursery.

Another example of that collaborative spirit is the Public Health Program broadcast weekly by Radio Furaha. Funding comes from Radio Furaha donors, and Shoulder to Shoulder provides contacts with healthcare professionals at Ilula Hospital. “This public health broadcast combines the expertise of Ilula Hospital, their knowledge of medical needs in Iringa district, and marketing of Ilula Hospital – all good things,” commented a radio committee member.

The program is broadcast on Saturday mornings, and station producers tell us that listeners are avid and ask questions until the time is up!

Recent topics have included patient rights, pediatric topics, dental health, palliative care, and hepatitis transmission. New services and personnel have been introduced on air – a new clinician at a rural dispensary, a new clinic in Iringa, and the almost complete maternal waiting home, which will provide a place for pregnant women from distant rural communities to come to the hospital before they are in labor, to avoid emergency interventions.

Another broadcast delved into what is known as the HIV 95 – 95 – 95 Goal, where 95% of people with HIV know they have it, 95% take the appropriate medications, and 95% know their CD4 count.

Leaders from both Shoulder to Shoulder and Radio Furaha are pleased with the health program’s success. And leaders from the diocese are, as well.

Diocesan Health Secretary Dr. Petro Lusasi maintains that the program “plays an important role in promoting positive change in society through the dissemination of much-needed information to diverse audiences.” The radio program reaches more than 43,000 listeners per day and around 400,000 listeners per month. Radio continues to be one of the most popular media outlets, especially in rural areas as it is not only cheaper to maintain but also mobile. “I can see the positive transformation of the community through this program,” Secretary Lusasi said.

Asante sana,

Kirsten Levorson
Director of Bega Kwa Bega