Mount Meru Foundation

The Mount Meru Foundation is commited to improving mother and child care in Afrika.

Summary annuel report 2023

The year 2023 was a good year for the foundation! In late September, the board had the opportunity to collectively visit the projects in Tanzania, bearing their own expenses. The last visit dated back to 2019. It was gratifying to see firsthand how the projects were progressing, identifying successes and areas where improvement was still possible.

In 2023, we were able to monitor and support the progress of the "Mamabus" project in Lower Moshi (TPC). The project has truly matured, with women from the villages increasingly utilizing the bus, and Veronika, the obstetric sonographer, has become the face of the bus. The mobile equipment operates smoothly within the bus. However, the bus interior is not ergonomically suitable for conducting ultrasounds, and there are issues with driving in the rainy season. SDN will address these problems. Additionally, there is a need for a second Veronika to ensure the continuity of Mamabus 2.0 in the future.

Following the example of the project in Lower Moshi and in collaboration with SDN, a second "Mamabus" project was initiated in the Karatu region in 2019. After the project's progress was delayed in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 crisis, significant strides were made in 2022. In November 2023, the bus was officially put into operation. Since there is no sonographer for the mamabus yet, Dr. Simpa will support it when possible.

In 2023, the foundation delivered one mobile ultrasound machine to Dr. Simpa in Tanzania for his outreach activities from the Karatu Health Center under the Mobile Sonographer project.

Also in 2023, Regina Namumba provided hands-on training for the foundation. In Moshi, we connected with Agnes Kimaro, a sonographer at KCMC. The foundation was able to offer Agnes hands-on training with Regina. During our work visit to the Usambara Mountains, we encountered Ahmed Tunda, who works in the health center in Lusotho. Thanks to the foundation's support, he also received ultrasound training from Regina. While staying in Zanzibar, Regina was invited at the foundation's expense to assist some novice sonographers and further develop the ultrasound skills of Johanna Omar.

In 2023, we witnessed the significant development that Johanna Omar, a German midwife in Zanzibar, underwent. Busy ultrasound sessions highlighted the necessity of providing this care.

In 2023, a field study was conducted in Himo to explore the possibilities of mobile pregnancy checks with ultrasound in the rural areas of Himo. Due to Dr. Maeda's retirement in the same year, priorities have temporarily shifted to sustaining and investing in the ultrasound capacity in the health center in Himo itself.

In 2023, we explored a new potential project area, the Usambara Mountains. We assessed the possibilities for ultrasound support by the foundation and observed a particular need for training and expertise development.

Explanations Activities 2023

Project Lower Moshi- Northern Tanzania

The Foundation "Driving Nurses" and SMM continue to collaborate on the Mamabus in the Lower Moshi region, also known as Mamabus 2.0. The TPC Hospital in Moshi, with which there are good connections, plays a role in providing a qualified nurse/midwife for the Mamabus. A portion of prenatal care can be funded by the Tanzanian government and is universally offered to all pregnant women in Tanzania. As mentioned in 2022, we are still in search of a second sonographer to train, ensuring the continuity of Mamabus in the future.

Project “Adopt an ultrasound technician”

In 2019, we initiated the "Adopt a Sonographer" project. The new ultrasound training has already commenced. SMM has identified two candidates who are participating in the selection process for a training position in 2024.

Project: “Further training of already graduated sonographers”

Regina Namumba, a familiar figure to the Foundation, is a highly experienced and well-trained sonographer with whom the Foundation had a productive collaboration at Mount Meru Hospital in Arusha. In 2023, she once again offered her services as a senior hands-on trainer for our sonographers.

Given that Regina now resides in Tabora, on the other side of the country, participants must undertake a long journey and stay in Tabora for 10-15 days. The foundation covers the travel, accommodation, and training expenses. In 2023, multiple sonographers traveled to Regina for hands-on training sessions.

Project Himo: “The mobile sonographer”

In the past year, in collaboration with the "Driving Nurses" Foundation, field research was conducted to explore possibilities for establishing mobile services in the rural areas around Himo.

With the departure of Dr. Maeda (retirement), a void has been created in terms of ultrasound expertise. Therefore, SMM now aims to focus on training new individuals in sonography and further mentoring Jackline before progressing with the plans for mobile services in Himo.

Project Karatu: “The mobile sonographer”

In Karatu, similar to Himo, we are not only focusing on training but also on establishing mobile services. We aim to set up this project in collaboration with the "Driving Nurses" Foundation. In 2019, the groundwork for this project had already begun in Karatu. Although progress was impeded by the COVID-19 crisis in 2020 and 2021, substantial advancements were made in 2022. The bus was officially put into operation in November 2023. Due to the absence of ultrasound personnel for the "Mamabus," Dr. Simpa will provide support whenever possible. A mobile ultrasound machine was handed over to Dr. Simpa during our visit to Tanzania.

Project Zanzibar: “The mobile sonographer”

Margriet and Anna Lied provided hands-on training and material support to the German midwife Johanna Omar in Zanzibar in 2017 and 2018. Over time, Johanna has evolved into a skilled sonographer who conducts busy ultrasound sessions with the donated ultrasound machine from SMM. We witnessed this development in September. Regina Namumba, who was present in Zanzibar at our request, provided education to both Johanna and novice sonographers.

Project Usambara Mountains

During our stay, we visited the Usambara Mountains, a potential new project area for SMM. The garden of Tanzania. For two days, we drove through the mountains, visiting health centers both government-owned and private. We gained insights into the local healthcare system with a continuous focus on maternal and child care, examining its organization and the role of prenatal ultrasound in it.

The landscape varied; we observed both very old equipment and relatively modern ultrasound devices. A decade ago, a few individuals in this region received training in ultrasound and continue to perform most of the scans. They do their best, but it's evident that there is a structural lack of ultrasound expertise. There is insufficient capacity to meet the demand for ultrasounds, and unfortunately, there has been little investment in training a new generation of sonographers. This shortage is already keenly felt in Tanzania, but in this remote part of the country, it is even more challenging: enticing people to work here is very difficult.

We also visited the larger health center in Lushoto, where we were impressed. Significant investments have been made in new construction, including a dedicated oxygen plant, and both the ultrasound and maternity departments are well-organized. There are three sonographers, two of whom have official training. It is clear to us, as a foundation, that we need to invest in the basics first, namely, in further training sonographers. Initially, we aim to expand and deepen ultrasound capacity and expertise in larger health centers such as Lushoto (as these are the centers where women are referred). Afterward, we can invest in ultrasound capacity in smaller centers and eventually in rural areas.

Ahmed Tunda, an informally trained sonographer working in the health center in Lusotho, is eager to expand his knowledge. We decide to offer him ultrasound training with our local instructor Regina in Tabora, which took place in November.


In 2019, SMM also initiated a bottle return campaign at major supermarkets nationwide. This campaign generated over €2700 in 2023. The campaign will continue in 2024. Additionally, SMM received other donations in 2023.