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Mrs. Seaman, wife of pastor Seaman, a missionary, started Marangu Lutheran hospital as a small dispensary at Ashira in 1907. It was opened in a small room adjacent to the pastor’s residence and was intended to serve Missionaries working in this area. Its services were gradually opened to the community around Ashira and later on to people in the neighboring areas of Mamba, Mwika and Kilema. Mrs. Seaman remained in charge until 1913 during which time it had grown considerably in size and services.
In 1914 Sister (Shweister) Ketane arrived to take over its management and stayed on until 1923. From 1924 Sr. Elizabeth assisted by Sr. Ketrat managed it until 1936 and by this time the dispensary had expanded sufficiently to work as a full hospital including inpatient services.
From 1936 to 1939 it was managed by Sr. Jenny assisted by Srs. Clara and Jerca and from 1939 to1943 by Sr. Antmey Langford. It was during this time that the first local people were for employed for patient care, and these were Ms. Siaeli Makupa an Mr. Elimeleki Sandi, Joseph Mosha, and Elisa Marko Mollel.
From 1944-1945 it was under the management of Ruth and Edna Rowland
More Africans were added to the staff and these were Miss. Eliaichanasia Kaleb Temu and Mr. Mathayo Paulo Lauwo
In 1945 Sr. Edna and other Missionaries decided that the hospital should be moved to its present sight at Kitemboni adjacent to the present Teacher’s College. At this stage it was a 36 bed hospital. The buildings to which it was moved had previously been used for training the first local pastors and when the pastoral training was moved to Machame they were converted to a girls school. When they were taken over by the hospital the girl school was moved to Ashira where over the years it has grown to become the present Ashira girls’ high school.
Hospital Administrators from then on are as follows:
1946-1948 Sr. Anna Olsen and Sr. Eba
149-1964 Sr. Helga, Sr. Elizabeth Leaf and her husband
From its founding up to this time the hospital had been under Sisters who in their countries of origin were nurses and midwives. In 1964 there was a major change. For the first time a doctor – Dr. Zabdieli Kisanga – was appointed to head it and he was also the first Tanzanian to hold the post, which he kept until 1966 when he handed over to another Tanzanian, Dr. Daniel Mmasi who in turn held on until 1972. Dr. Rishaeli Nanyaro took over in 1972 and stayed on untill1976 and was followed by Dr. Msadiki Mtui from 1976-1978. From 1978-1979 Dr. Michael Akyoo was in charge 1979-1984 Dr. M.O.E. Mlacha. Dr. Iriaeli Moshi was in charge from 1984-1987.
The Africanization of the management coincided with the beginning of a gradual departure of missionaries, which in turn was followed by a gradual decline in cash grants from overseas. From 1907 until 1964 operational costs were mainly covered by cash grants from missionary associations overseas primarily, West Germany. Patient fees played only a minor role. As Missionaries left the scene cash grants declined. As a result the hospital now must depend on patient fees and government grants for its operation. It still receives some development assistance for in 1989 there was a major renovation and expansion to 80 beds with financial aid from the Finnish Lutheran Church