MOI partners with Isles hospital to improve healthcare

MUHIMBILI Orthopaedic Institute (MOI) has partnered with Mnazi Mmoja Referral Hospital in Zanzibar to expand and improve medical care to the Island patients, especially those with complicated cases.

Patients who will benefit from the partnership are those who need hip, knee and nerve surgery as well as artificial limb transplants.

This was revealed at the end of a meeting that involved teams of specialists from MOI and Mnazi Mmoja Hospital who had a two-day camp from November 11 to 12 this year at the orthopedic unit in Zanzibar, where 11 patients underwent different types of surgeries.

Speaking during the   camp, Zanzibar Health Minister, Mr Nassor Ahmed Mazrui said the decision to strengthen collaboration between MOI and Mnazi Mmoja Hospital was necessary, as it would reduce high costs incurred by patients and their families in seeking the services in Mainland and abroad.

He said the move is a good opportunity which will allow more patients to be treated at affordable cost.

“The partnership will also  will also reduce the burden on  government  of sending  patients to India as the cost of treating one person abroad is equivalent to  between five and  10 people here at home, so our aim is to see these operations being  carried out right here in Zanzibar,” he said.

He also explained that the government’s plans are to ensure that the construction of 10 district modern hospitals and the ongoing reforms in the health sector across the country, will result in having modern facilities and good infrastructures to provide quality basic services, including major surgery.

“If we succeed as expected in these reforms and construction, no patients will be transported abroad for any surgical care. MOI is our partner,” the Minister emphasized.

Mr Mazrui informed that the government is adequately preparing to improve the health sector so that medical experts from mainland Tanzania and abroad, when they come to Zanzibar can find a conducive working environment with modern infrastructure and equipment to operate efficiently.

He also used the occasion to give the government’s blessing for the collaboration between the MOI and Mnazi Mmoja urging them to develop and plan similar measures in other areas including eye care, throat and skin diseases to help Zanzibari patients.

The minister commended the institutions for their long-standing partnership, providing opportunities for patients from Zanzibar to be sent to MOI for surgery, while ordering signing of agreement between them should not be delayed.

“Sometimes there are patients who are given the opportunity to undergo surgery in Mainland Tanzania but fail due to difficult living conditions and the cost of staying there,” he explained.

Mnazi Mmoja Hospital Chief Executive Officer,  Dr Muhiddin Mahmoud said through the camp, three patients had artificial knee transplants, six have been fitted with artificial hips and two have undergone normal orthopedic surgery.

MOI orthopedic surgeon, Vailet Lupando, said among other things, the main objective of the camp is to strengthen cooperation and enhance the capacity of Zanzibari doctors in conducting surgeries to minimise disruption among patients coming from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam and elsewhere.

He said 65 per cent of orthopedic patients are adults starting at the age of 50s because their organs are worn out due to old age, as well as victims of various accidents who are mostly teenagers.

He said his team is committed to developing partnerships with their Mnazi Mmoja hospital counterparts and providing the services on a monthly basis based on emerging needs as well as sharing knowledge with Zanzibar doctors to enhance their knowledge.

“Our intention is not only to treat patients, but to build specialisation in our fellow Zanzibari doctors so that they can provide specialist services in hip, knee and emotional surgery and afford to conduct these operations here on the islands,” he informed.

He said the cost of the operations outside Zanzibar was between 20 and 30 million shillings, but for the surgery they performed through the camp it did not exceed five million shillings per patient.

Mnazi Mmoja Hospital orthopedic surgeon, Dr Hamid Masoud expressed hope that the collaboration between them would enhance their skills and ultimately afford to carry out major surgeries themselves.

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