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(Chief Chongoma –1939). Ilula Lutheran Health Centre was inaugurated in 1992 February, 16th by the former Minister for Health, Professor Philemon Sarungi. Following a major rehabilitation of the old dispensary to a level of a health centre.
The introduction of the health post in Ilula was a result of missionary works back in 1938. The first missionaries arrived in Isele village from Singida district in the then Central Province. With them there was a Nurse attendant. They erected a tent near the church grounds and established a health post. Unfortunately the residents (mostly pagans by then) under the influence of their Chief, Chongoma refused to utilise the services either in fear of, or mistrust of the modern medicines despite missionary efforts to convince them to come for free treatments.
A period of time elapsed, and the nurse was loosing hope that she can’t reach the poor people for health services, but GOD is great! One day the chief’s donkey got a big abscess on a leg which enabled it to work (Taking into mind that donkeys by then were the main transports in the community) The chief remembered that there are Europeans in his territory who claim to be able to treat people. He then said to his people, “If these whites claim to have powers to treat my people, let them treat my donkey first”. He took the donkey to the tent, and ordered the nurse to treat his donkey.
With hesitation, fear and misbelieve, the nurse attended the donkey. She opened the abscess, drained the pus, and packed the wound with some medicine, and advised the chief to bring his donkey for daily dressing the following days. After some few days the donkey completely recovered. You can guess what followed. Chief Chongoma convened a public meeting and ordered his people to go for treatment at the tent for all their health problems. (JESUS work) People flocked the tent, got treated, most of them got cured and many more came. The missionaries and newly converted Christians in Isele decided to build a bigger Health unity, They constructed a small muddy hut near the church, and this was the first health post in the area. The post was then not sufficient for the increasing number of patients as result a small dispensary was constructed in the area where today stands a Health centre that will soon be upgraded to a full Hospital.
The first African to work as a dispensary attendant in Ilula was Mzee Lutangilo Sakafu. He was recruited as dresser following the increasing workload in the health post, and to work as an interpreter, since most of the people in those days only used their native language to communicate whereas missionaries spoke their Swedish language.