Helping People Near and Far Live Life to the Fullest

January 13, 2023, Tanzania

Helping People Near and Far Live Life to the Fullest

Our hospice and palliative care partners in Tanzania have years of extensive experience caring for patients suffering from very serious illness. But even they were surprised by what they found when they first met Mwasiti.

With fluid pooling in her lungs, the mother of three adult children lay in a hospital bed hooked up to oxygen and experiencing extreme discomfort and distress. Her doctors had lost hope of curing her cancer, which had metastasized to her bones. They expected her to die within the month. Was there anything we could do to relieve her suffering in the time she had left?

Despite her dire condition, Mwasiti greeted us with joy and gratitude. “We had just met her, but she was grateful that we came. We knew we could not leave her there,” recalled Dr. Bartholomew Bakari, the program’s palliative care clinician.

Working Together

After working with hospital staff to drain the fluid from her lungs, the palliative care team developed a medication regimen to manage Mwasiti’s pain and discomfort and successfully transitioned her back home.

More than a year and a half have passed since Mwasiti first came under the care of our colleagues, and her quality of life has improved substantially. Her diagnosis remains the same, but the palliative care team has given her back independence, choice, and a sense of peace she did not have in the hospital.

Now 47 years old, Mwasiti continues to exude joy. During a recent visit, she shared her story with us and brought us candy. Her smile and laugh are contagious.

Mwasiti’s joy and peace are what we strive when caring for every patient. She embodies why our partnership in Tanzania is so important.

Back in the summer of 2009, Gilchrist first entered into partnership with Nkoaranga Lutheran Hospital’s hospice and palliative care program to share knowledge and provide support. When the program lost a major source of funding two years later, Gilchrist committed to financially backing the initiative going forward.

Gilchrist contributions cover a number of expenses, including:

  • Salaries of five staff members (including the remarkable Dr. Bakari);
  • Stipends for volunteers; and
  • Symptom management stays in the hospital.

We are devoted to delivering the necessary resources “to provide counseling, support and care to anyone with a serious illness, so they may live life to the fullest.” We’re thrilled to know that Mwasiti is doing just that!

To learn more about Gilchrist’s partnership in Tanzania and support our work, visit

To support patients like Mwasiti, click the button below.

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