Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Heart Surgery Patients Thank India

A TOTAL of 17 heart disorder patients who were flown to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in India for subsidized heart surgeries returned at the weekend after successful surgery.

The patients received treatment through support of the Lions Club of Dar es Salaam (Host) in collaboration with Regency Medical Centre and the Ministry of Health in Zanzibar. Upon arrival at Julius Nyerere International Airport, the patients were received by Lions Club members, relatives and friends.

Dr Ali Amour of Mnazi Mmoja Hospital in Zanzibar, who escorted the patients said they are all in good condition after surgery. Most of the patients had openings in their hearts while others had problems with their valves.

Among the patients was Ms Mbaima Zuberi from the Maasai community who had her malfunctioning valve replaced with an artificial one.

"My mother was in critical condition before the surgery and she could hardly walk even for a short distance. This has, however, changed after the surgery" her son, Zuber Mhondelo who accompanied her, said.

He added: "So many thanks to Dr Rajni Kanabar and Regency Medical Centre which discovered the problem of my mother. We were well received and treated in India and even India's State Minister for External Affairs, Ms Preneet Kaur visited us."

Ms Adriana Gaitan, a mother of nine-month-old Shares, said his son had holes in his heart and due to that he could not breathe properly and vomited from time to time due to that complication but after successful surgery he is improving fast.

"I commend doctors at Fortis Escorts. They did their best to make our dreams come true and as you look at him he is comfortable now, thanks to Ministry of Health in Zanzibar and the Lions Club members who made this trip possible and all well wishers who contributed," she said.

Lion Dr Rajni Kanabar, who is convener of the heart babies project in Lions Club of Dar es Salaam (host), said the Indian minister visited the group and she was deeply touched by the Tanzania Babies Heart Project.

According to Dr Kanabar, the minister was pleased by the project which continues to provide "new lease of life" to patients with repairable heart defects who otherwise succumb to needless premature deaths.

Dr Kanabar said the minister presented them with gifts and wished them a long life ahead and prayed that they become useful citizens of Tanzania. Dr Kanabar said Dhulkhulaifat Salum, a two-year-old baby from Tanzania had problems digesting foods and despite undergoing surgery in Tanzania still felt no respite.

The Co-convener of the project, Lion Shiraz Rashid, also recorded special thanks for regular supporter - Dr Reginald Mengi for sponsoring five heart surgeries for children from Uganda.

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