Health and Social Welfare minister,Dr Hussein Mwinyi
The Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has donated medical equipment worth over USD140,000 to Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (MOI) to help the facility in conducting surgery to children with hydrocephalus diseases.
The aid has come after a call from the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Tanzania (ASBAHT) and parents of children with hydrocephalus in collaboration with MOI asked for assistance from the Saudi government.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Health and Social Welfare minister Dr Hussein Mwinyi said that it is estimated that about 4,485 children are born with the condition in Tanzania annually.
He said that on average 250 children with this condition are seen every year and are found in different parts of the country.
Dr Mwinyi added that despite the efforts being made, majority of the children born with hydrocephalus and spina bifida do not get medical attention, adding that many of these children who come to hospital, report when it is too late due to poverty.
Other challenges that make children with the disease to report late in hospital are marital and family problems which unfortunately are associated with the birth of children with disability, he said.
He further said that because of challenges facing children suffering from the disease, many of them are also required to rehabilitate services before and after surgery.
MOI Executive Director Prof Lawrence Museru, said that in order for the hospital to improve services in the disease area, it requires modern equipment most of which are expensive.
Museru added that various donated equipment have made it possible for the institute to offer modern treatment to these unfortunate babies.
Director General for Health from Saudi Arabia Dr Tariq Alaramis said that apart from the donated equipment, the Saudi government plans to build another hydrocephalus ward with equipments.
He added that his country will continue to assist Tanzania in the health sector due to good relationship the two countries have.