Primary Care and Travel Medicine in Washington, DC since 2004
Day 7 – The Hadzabe Tribe & the F.A.M.E Hospital
February 26, 2011
Today we visited the F.A.M.E (Foundation for African Medicine and Education) hospital. This is one of the most organized and functioning hospitals. It was put together by an American named “Dr. Frank”, a pediatric cardiac anesthetist and his wife. He had attempted to climb Kilimanjaro years ago with his wife and developed pulmonary edema – a high altitude induced medical emergency. He was treated in Tanzania. After hearing how much they needed doctors, he and his wife sold everything and moved here to establish the hospital (You can see a video of the work they are doing on You Tube by visiting their web site , www.fameafrica.org). They are really making a difference and I find them the most inspiring for their passion for their work and care.
Next we visited the last tribal medicine group known as the “Hadzabe”. The tribe has only around 1,200 tribesmen left. They move in small groups still hunting and gathering for food and to live off the land. We learn how they get to water by digging holes and what they are using for herbal medicine to treat colic, fever, malaria. They speak a kind of “cluck” language. Their highest mortality rate is under the age of five, there is a high rate of miscarriage. There is a strong possibility that they will disappear sometime in the next decade.