ZANZIBAR President Dr Hussein Mwinyi has reaffirmed government commitment to continue working with philanthropists, institutions, and other countries in finding solutions to various challenges facing Zanzibaris.
He made the remark during a meeting with Dr Charlotte Hawkins, a leading specialist in paediatric developmental gait, providing treatment for pain and discomfort associated with the growth and development of the foot and limb.
Dr Hawkins paid a courtesy call on the President at the Mnazi Mmoja State House where the latter said Zanzibar, needs more professionals from abroad to come and work with local staff to provide improved social services in various areas including health and education.
“We are happy with your visit, because many children will benefit from your presence. You have been doing a great and admirable job in the country in supporting health care. We promise to continue working with you,” said Dr Mwinyi.
Dr Hawkins, who was awarded Doctor of Philosophy in 1999 with key research into paediatric lower limb development and triplanar foot deformity, has been in private practice in central London for the past 30 years providing her niche expertise to many thousands of children relieving pain and preventing long established issues relating to the growing limb.
Dr Hawkins is the founder and CEO of her charity in Africa that since 2010 has provided treatment for over 2,500 disabled children born with clubfoot along with the establishment of two artificial limb units for Africa’s many amputee children. Her current projects include the development and renovation of schools throughout Pemba Island in Tanzania.
Dr Mwinyi asked Dr Hawkins to continue with her efforts to help the Zanzibar community in overcoming challenges in health, while pledging government cooperation and support so that she can achieves her goals.
On her part, Dr Hawkins, expressed gratitude to the government for ongoing reforms aimed strengthening the health sector in isles.
The Zanzibar Minister for Health Nassor Ahmed Mazrui said Dr Hawkins has been in the country for 13 years supporting the government efforts in addressing health challenges facing infants born with complications in their feet.
He said during that period “Dr Hawkins has done a great job of providing services at the Abdalla Mzee Hospital in Pemba Island, which include producing artificial legs and shoes used in treating the children, being the first step in eliminating foot defects in new-borns.”
Mazrui further explained that, she has also helped to build capacity of local paediatricians, improve structures and methods in various schools where the children with leg abnormalities are studying.
The health minister also expressed appreciation to Dr Hawkins for motivating philanthropists from outside Zanzibar, to give their donations in terms of finance, technical, and experts to come and help provide better health services.