Specialists from AKH, MNH offer free surgeries to patients

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NEARLY 80 women and children who suffer from various skin deformations as a result of fire burns and violence have undergone a freeof- charge surgery at the Aga Khan Hospital (AKH) this year.

Surgeons from the AKH and Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in collaboration with the WomenforWomen organisation from the US jointly worked to treat the poor patients, who could not afford to pay for such services.

The cost for a minor operation stands between 1m/- and 1.5m/- whereas a major single operation can be charged 2.5m/. According to the WomenforWomen team leader, Prof Andrea Pusic, the exercise was conducted in January and December this year. In January, at least 35 patients benefited from the free services and in this month 37 victims were also operated on, where 17 were children and 20 women.

Prof Pusic also from Memorial SLOAN-KETTERING in New York cited elbow removal as one of the major complications they encountered in the operations. The surgeons were happy that they had met the target in terms of the number of patients they had planned to treat this year, Prof Pusic said, adding that they would make a follow up of their conditions and take care of them.

“Our plan is to build capacity to locals so that these operations could be done throughout the year locally here,” she said.

Head of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department at MNH, Dr Edwin Mrema, said all the operations were successful with no complications. Many of the patients, who had been operated on this month have already been discharged and currently continuing with normal regular dressing.

Consultant Surgeon and Head of Surgery at the AKH, Dr Athar Al noted that since they started the exercise in January, they have moved on basically well. The patients selected were aged between 1 and 65 and were all drawn from various parts of Tanzania.

This month the programme initially started with patients’ selection during a camp on October 29, followed by patients’ preoperative and anesthesiology clinic screenings, where at least 241 candidates were screened.

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