Health and Social Development

In 1964, the Austrian doctor and missionary, Dr. Herbert Watschinger, started to work in Ngorongoro District by founding Wasso and Endulen Hospital, the only hospitals of the whole Northern Maasai land.

In 1994, Austroprojekt stepped in with the bilateral co-operation taking over management of the hospitals and of a preventive health care programme in collaboration with the Diocese of Arusha, owner of the hospitals.

Austroprojekt’s task was to provide these units with an efficient management and a good infrastructure, in order to ensure the sustainability of the two institutions. For that purpose, we have executed a comprehensive rehabilitation and equipment programme from 1997 to 2001. It comprised the rehabilitation of the hospital buildings, the construction of new buildings, the refurbishment of the sewerage and solid waste disposal, and the installation of a new water and solar energy supply system.

These two integrated health projects later became part of the Ngorongoro District Development Programme that was severed unilaterally by the Austrian Development Agency in 2006 leaving the two hospitals with an uncertain future, as the efforts to sustain them financially by bringing potential donors on board were meant to last until 2008.

A special feature of the support to the hospitals was their primary health care programme taking care of patients living far away of the hospitals. Mobile clinics (cars and small aircraft) and “village health workers” trained in basic medical care are operating on village level, thus playing an important role in preventive medicine. The withdrawal of Austrian support has made the fulfilment of this very important task impossible for the time being.

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