A number of Arusha residents who were planning to fly to India for referral medical services, have cancelled their trips following a two day camp by experts from Saifee Hospital of Mumbai, that provided free diagnostic and treatment to over 1000 patients in the city last week.
A team of 12 Saifee Medical Personnel of a wide range of medical specializations attended Arusha residents suffering from various ailments at the Talcare Medical centre in Themi Hill section of the City.
Mama Elizabeth Nicholaus Lemunge was one of the patients destined to India following serious eye problems that required surgery: "It was too expensive for me, couldn't raise the fare alone, not to mention treatment costs, this was a God-send gift," she stated.
Project Good Health, initiated by the philanthropic arm of the Saifee Hospital of India was the first in Tanzania after being successfully implemented in Zambia. According to the Project Chairman, Mr Abuzar Nurddin Zakir, who is the Secretary and Trustee of Saifee, the free medical camps will now be held twice a year in Tanzania.
One of the country coordinators for the Project Good Health, Mr Hussein Khanbhai of the Arusha-based Hakimia pharmacy, said unlike other professions, doctors always feel bad upon seeing people who are sick yet cannot afford quality medical services.
"That is why we have hatched the initiative of providing essential medical services to the people of Tanzania free of charge, twice a year," he said, using the opportunity to warn local residents about self-inflicting ailments because many diseases that were previously uncommon in Tanzania, such as diabetes, resulted from changing lifestyles.
The Mayor for Arusha, Mr Kalist Lazaro adviced local doctors to borrow a leaf from the Mumbai Hospital by organizing themselves to provide free medical services to people in the rural areas especially villages where many suffer but cannot afford treatment or even the fare to town where better health centres are located.
The Saifee Hospital of Mumbai dating back to 1948, but rebuilt in 2001 and re-launched in 2005 by the Prime minister of India Mr Manmohan Singh, is a 250 bed multi-speciality tertiary care hospital providing medical, surgical, diagnostic and therapeutic services. The specialities range from simple Day-care procedures to complex Cardiac surgery and acute care emergency medicine.
There are 37 beds in Critical Care Units, 4 beds High Dependency Unit for critical patients, 9 State of the art operating theatre suites with international Infection control protocols.
In the aftermath of the 2011 Mumbai bombings, Saifee hospital provided free treatment to victims and affected people of the bomb blast.