Dar to host first specialised haematology clinic

DAR ES SALAAM: DAR ES SALAAM Region will host the first ever private specialised haematology clinic and laboratory in Sub-Saharan Africa, run by SerenOx Africa.

Patients seeking a precise diagnosis of common blood disorders, including anemias, bleeding and clotting tendencies as well as childhood and adult blood cancers can access the facility as walk-in clients.

The clinic will operate from 2nd October for the general public after launch today.  This comes at the time of a huge demand for such services where 47 per cent of the global population has little to no access to diagnostics.

The clinic works on the principle that a precise and timely diagnosis is essential in delivering the right treatment to the right patient and at the right time; and was founded in 2023 by Professor Anna Schuh from the University of Oxford and Dr William Mawalla, a haematologist  from Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences – (MUHAS).

Ahead of the launching, Professor Schuh said, “A precise diagnosis is essential in delivering the right treatment to the right patient and at the right time. Yet, 47 percent of the global population has little to no access to diagnostics. In sub-Saharan Africa, many diseases that can be easily cured or well controlled with affordable therapies are currently not being diagnosed. For example, if left undiagnosed, 95 percent of children with sickle cell disease die within the first 5 years of life. For cancer, over 90 percent of patients can be cured in-country with treatment if diagnosed early.”

By contrast, late-stage cancer is incurable and SerenOx Africa has established a testing facility for key underserved patient populations in Tanzania to provide early cancer detection for high-risk patients and will ultimately expand its services to the rest of Africa.

Dr Lulu Chirande, a Paediatric Haematologist and Oncologist, who is also a Lecturer at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) said, “We cannot over emphasise the importance of an accurate and timely diagnosis in the treatment of children with cancer and blood disorders. Most of our patients reach us late with advanced disease; we cannot afford further delays in diagnosis.

“We cannot start treatment unless we are sure of what we are treating. The cost of treating a wrong diagnosis is high on the patient and on the healthcare systems. I believe in Public Private Partnerships. When services are available within the country, they become accessible and affordable to more Tanzanians and results can be available in a shorter time. I am excited and looking forward to the operations of SerenOx Africa.”

The laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and staffed by experienced haematology technicians and pathologists. The company offers a wide range of diagnostic tests, including: Complete blood counts (CBCs), Blood film reviews, Reticulocyte counts, Haemoglobin electrophoresis, Flow cytometry, Molecular diagnostics for sickle cell disease, other haemoglobinopathies, and blood cancers.

The lab also provides expert interpretation of test results and consultation services to patients.

Dr. Mawalla, the Co-Founder, said, “We are excited to launch SerenOx Africa and to offer our services to the people of Tanzania,”

“We are committed to providing high-quality, affordable haematology diagnostic services to all patients, regardless of their background or ability to pay. We also believe that our work will help to improve the understanding of blood disorders in sub-Saharan Africa and lead to the development of better prevention and treatment strategies.”

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