Anne Berry

Year Joined MKLM: 2016
Country: Tanzania
City: Mwanza
Focus: Family Medicine, Maternal and Women’s Health
Project(s): Bukumbi Hospital
People Served: residents of village of Bukumbi and surrounding areas, about one hour outside the city of Mwanza

Project Goal(s): to provide quality health services to all in need, including inpatient hospital care, outpatient consultations, maternity care, preventive care and immunizations for children under 5, care for people living with HIV including Prevention-of-Mother-to-Child-Transmission program, and cervical cancer screening and prevention.

Current Ministry:

Anne has been asked to work as the “doctor in the house” at her hospital’s RCH (Reproductive and Children’s Health) Clinic. Currently there are several excellent nurse-midwives conducting prenatal, postpartum, and well visits and vaccines for children under 5. But if the midwives identify a problem or if any of the mothers or children are sick, they have to go up to the Outpatient Department and wait there with everyone else to have a consultation with one of the outpatient clinicians. Anne hopes to be able to improve the experience and care for mothers and children by offering medical consults right when they need them.

She is very happy to be participating in the Cervical Cancer Prevention Program (CeCaP) at the hospital, because of her love for women’s health and preventive medicine, but also because sadly this highly preventable cancer still kills more women in Tanzania than any other cancer. The nurse-midwives running the CeCaP program at Bukumbi have told her they think many women, especially in rural areas, have no idea it’s possible to prevent this cancer by getting tested when you feel just fine. And since more than two-thirds of Tanzanians live in rural areas, it is no surprise that the vast majority of women diagnosed with cervical cancer here already have very advanced cancer. The midwives hope they can expand their program to include outreach in the surrounding villages, to bring the good news that this fairly simple test- the VIA (Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid) method – can help stop this cancer before it even starts.

Personal Data:

Anne’s love of learning about different cultures began as a child and teenager, living with her family in Australia and Japan. After completing a Bachelor’s degree in linguistics from Stanford University, she served with the Jesuit Volunteers in Nicaragua from 2001-2003. After experiencing the challenges and joys of service with faith-and social justice-based organizations and learning about MKLM from people she met in Managua, she knew she wanted to be a lay missioner someday.

Anne and her husband, George Stablein, met during medical school at Penn State College of Medicine. After completing a family medicine residency in Lawrence, Massachusetts, she worked for 5 years in a Federally Qualified Health Center in rural West Virginia together with George. They have two daughters, Susanna and Louisa.