THE Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI) has, over the past three years, provided cardiovascular treatment to 254,881 patients where among them 799 underwent open heart surgeries, while 2,056 small incisions and other various treatments of the heart.
During that period, the institute has used 22bn/- compared to 87.8bn/- that could have been used to provide such treatment abroad.
JKCI Executive Director, Prof Mohamed Janabi revealed this in Dar es Salaam yesterday when a team of 32 doctors and specialists from Israel met with President John Magufuli. The Israel agency for international development cooperation (MASHAV) has partnered with Save a Child’s Heart to conduct heart surgeries at the institute.
Prof Janabi said 51 children will receive treatment in this medical mission among them 10 will undergo open heart surgeries and 20 will undergo small incisions.
He pointed out that the achievements are made possible through training provided to five doctors and four nurses with the institute, by the support of the Government of Israel.
The leader of the team, who also doubles as Executive Director of Save a Child’s Heart, Mr Simon Fisher, expressed gratitude for greater cooperation in which the team received from the government of Tanzania and promised that the institution will continue to cooperate with Tanzania to save the lives of children.
“Our organisation is very proud to play a leading role in assisting Prof Janabi to turn JKCI into a regional centre of excellence and pediatric cardiac care, together with our international partners, our objective is to see the institute becoming self-sufficient and capable in the long term to treat children without outside support,” he said.
Since 1999, Save a Child’s Heart has treated more than 600 children from Tanzania and Zanzibar. The mission is to improve the quality of paediatric cardiac care for children in developing countries and creating centres of competence in the countries.
Dr Magufuli thanked the team for coming to Tanzania to save the lives of children and also thanked the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu for developing and strengthening good relationship between Tanzania and Israel.
“Israel is our long-time friend, we support each other and cooperate a lot in several areas, that is why we opened our embassy in Israel to simplify these important issues of cooperation that is useful to our people,” stressed President Magufuli.
President Magufuli has also requested the Ambassador of Israel to Tanzania, Mr Noah Gal Gendler, to invite Israeli investors to inject capital into the pharmaceutical industries, with the aim of cutting down the cost of importing medicines.
President Magufuli said that since Tanzania has formally become the sole distributor of medicines, medical supplies and laboratory equipment within member States of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that was an assurance for investors that they will get the vast market.
Meanwhile, President Magufuli has held talks with Mr Gendler and after the meeting, he said Israel has offered scholarships to 150 Tanzanians to get training on modern agriculture for 11 months.