- Published on Monday, 02 July 2012 01:15
- Written by DAILY NEWS Reporter
- Hits: 905
TMJ Hospital in Dar es Salaam on Sunday organized a free health check-up clinics for children aged between one and 12 years. The clinics were organized as part of events to mark International Doctors Day.
The hospital's Managing Director, Dr Tayyabal Jafferjee, told the 'Daily News' in an exclusive interview that the clinics were organized under cooperation with the Lions Club of Dar es Salaam - Mzizima and Vital Supplies Limited, a city based pharmaceutical company.
"As of midday, a total of 380 children had been registered at the hospital. They were given free eye and general health check-ups," Dr Jafferjee said.
The chairman of the Lions Club of Dar es Salaam - Mzizima, Mr Shanti Shah, said children found with eye problems were given free spectacles, a common area of priority for the charity's deeds of service to society. Dr Jafferjee said of special interest at the camp was checking for haemoglobin levels in children. Those found with low levels of the essential blood component were given Appeton tablets, a nutritional supplement that also helps in managing cases of aenemia.
The camp targeted testing for haemoglobin levels "because that is the basis of the human body. If your haemoglobin level is low, you won't be active," he added. This reporter found a stilt dancer and masked mascots also entertaining the children, who had their faces painted for what was also meant to be a fun day for them. The hospital too gave its 30 doctors gift packages valued 60,000/- each.
It was kind of ironic that IDD was being marked in the country at a time when doctors in government hospitals were on strike over demands for a living wage, better tools and the right working environment. "That has not affected doctors in the private sector," Dr Jafferjee said. Mr V. Sai Prakash, the General Manager of Vital Supplies Limited, said they represented Kotra Pharma Ltd, Malaysia, manufacturers of Appeton.
The supplement is available in many drug stores as nutritional supplementation has become increasingly a key area of attention in disease treatment. "We have found out that malnutrition is very high in the country and children up to the age of five years require the highest nutritional supplementation for brain and overall growth of the child," he said. But nutritional supplements should never take the place of food, he added.
Staple food must always be given to the child but nutritional supplementation is only meant to provide additional benefits of food intake, he said. "Missing that point, is to miss the whole message about nutritional supplementation," he stressed. The camp was also meant to educate mothers on the need for nutritional supplementation of the children in that age group, he said. Vital Supplies and Appeton will carry out such programmes even in the future in order to have a healthy nation, the major resource of any society.
Zainab Ali of nearby Mikocheni said she had brought her one and a half year old grandson, Shadrack Mustapha, who first showed symptoms of asthma when he was only one year and three months old. She was given a prescription and told to bring the child again for follow-up.