Priscal Mwingira, the patient who was on Friday discharged from the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in Dar es Salaam said she was suffering from end-stage kidney failure and was on haemodialysis for over a year.
“I thank my brother, Bartholomeo, who donated his kidney to save my life,” she said as she wept.
Her 27-year-old brother, Bartholomeo Mwingira, had donated a kidney that led to the operation and giving a new lease of life to his sister.
“Kidney failure is a disease like any other disease, so people should not fear it,” she said while thanking the MNH management for their hospitality and successful surgery.
Priscal, who is a teacher and a resident of Morogoro, said she can now hope to perform her teaching duties without problems.
She said a person diagnosed with kidney failure was assumed to die soon for the reasons that the treatment was very expensive and available only overseas, but now it was available in the country and patients should take the chance and come for surgery.
The patient called on well-wishers to donate kidneys for their loved ones and relatives to give them a second chance to live, urging the government to pump in more funds to MNH for more kidney transplants.
Bartholomeo said life would be back to normal after six months as instructed by the doctors after the transplant operation.
MNH Senior Public Relations Officer Aminiel Algaesha said doctors were satisfied with the woman's health since the transplant was conducted on November 21.
For many years, Tanzanians suffering from kidney failure had to be referred abroad, especially to India, for a procedure costing over Sh100m per patient, whereas the cost at Muhimbili was around Sh21m.
A local team of surgeons collaborated with foreign experts for the successful kidney transplant, the first to take place in the country.
A nephrologist at MNH, Dr Jacqueline Shoo, said the kidney transplanted patient was in a normal health situation as any other person.
After ten days under intensive care, she was discharged to continue being cared for at home.
“It’s not an easy task to take care of a kidney transplant patient. Both the donor and recipient were recuperating well and should return to normal activity soon enough," the medic said, noting that the care and supervision conducted on the two patients showed signs of their rapid recovery.