The following story is written by Cindy Wilke, the former director of Global Health Administration Partners:


I arrived at Ilula Lutheran Hospital on August 12, 2006, excited to meet Kikoti, the administrator. I was going to spend the whole day with him, getting a first-hand view of the challenges of being an administrator in a small, rural, mission hospital in Tanzania. 


I was met at the hospital compound gate by Faith, the head nurse. “So sorry, Kikoti is not here. Last night, Dr. Sabo performed an emergency c-section. We used a suture you brought yesterday but we were without a Foley catheter for the patient. So I am sending Kikoti to Dar es Salaam to procure that one. Today, if you please, you conduct the inventory of supplies you brought. And there is a c-section for you to observe this morning.”


Disappointed, I set to work with 4 Minnesota nurses unpacking and inventorying the remaining supplies we had brought. Mid-morning, Faith ran into the storeroom, “Hurry, the c-section is ready. Dr. Sabo is quick.” When we arrived, the doctor was putting on his gown and gloves while the naked, frightened young woman stared at us. We could see the scar from a previous c-section bulging across her belly.


The doctor began the surgery and quickly cut his way to the baby. He handed a limp, quiet boy to a nurse who put him in a bassinet. “Back home, he would have been rushed to NICU,” whispered Kathy.

I did get 30 minutes with Kikoti on Monday. He did what he could – he was not trained as a hospital administrator. What if Kikoti could get formal training? What if there could be an accurate inventory count? These were administrative questions and there were many more.


Later that day, we presented the emergency c-section mother with a newborn hat and t-shirt. The baby boy we watched being born was fine.


Stories like this are repeated every day in thousands of small, rural hospitals around the world. To bring health care administration expertise to these situations, Global Health Ministries has launched a new program – Global Health Administration Partners. We will work with each hospital to solve its administrative challenges by training local administrators, suggesting new ways for the hospitals to make money and recommending more effective leadership models. Moreover, we will ensure that no one will have to take an all-day bus ride to get a Foley catheter for an emergency c-section.