HIV/AIDS and gender issues were the focus of a July 15-29 symposium in Tanzania, attended by faculty from ELCA colleges and one seminary and their counterparts at four campuses of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania’s Tumaini University. The symposium was co-sponsored by Tumaini and the ELCA Division for Higher Education and Schools, and partly funded with $35,000 from the Siebert Lutheran Foundation.
Among the participants were ELCA faculty from Augsburg College, Minneapolis; Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill.; Capital University, Columbus, Ohio; Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minn.; St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., and Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa. The group also included staff from Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College and Yale University’s School of Public Health.
were draped over clotheslines when we visited the Kilimanjaro Christian
Medical Center near Moshi, Tanzania. Traditional, brightly colored,
patterned cloths, kangas have Kiswahili sayings printed around the borders, such as Akiba haiozi (“savings never go bad”) or Dunia duara (“the earth is round”), meaning that no matter where you go, you’llalways return to the same place.
They were a vibrant reminder of the people within, fashioning prosthetics, performing cataract surgeries, treating patients for malaria or pneumonia, and ministering to people infected with HIV/AIDS.
The center is in the midst of overwhelming work. The first AIDS cases were diagnosed in Tanzania in 1983; 20 years later more than 176,000 cases were reported. But D.F. Mosha, the center’s director of research and consultancies, says “only one-in-14 AIDS cases are reported.”
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