Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa said in Dar es Salaam during the weekend when he presided over an NMB Marathon meant to raise the funds, that NMB remains one of the government’s important partners in as far as investment in social services including health is concerned.
“NMB has been a regular supporter of the government by donating to communities various items such as desks, learning materials, iron sheets to assist with construction of classrooms but also medical equipment,” Majaliwa said.
He pointed out that fistula has emerged as a serious health challenge facing women in the country many of whom cannot afford to pay for its treatment hence NMB’s decision to fundraise for the group is commendable.
“This is a very good example of good corporate behaviour which other financial institutions should emulate. I want to assure you that the government led by President Samia Suluhu Hassan appreciates such efforts,” he added.
Briefing the PM on the marathon and its intended objective, NMB Board Chairman, Dr Edwin Mhede said the marathon is becoming a popular event hence the target of raising 1bn/- in four years to finance fistula patients will be realised within a year.
“We had a target of 250m/- every year but we have beaten the target because now we have raised over 400m/-. I can assure you honourable guest of honour that we will manage the feat within a year,” Dr Mhede said.
Dubbed NMB Marathon with a theme ‘Mwendo wa Upendo,' the charity event was attended by about 3,000 people who included Health Minister, Dr Dorothy Gwajima, NMB CEO, Ruth Zaipuna and CCBRT Hospital’s CEO, Brenda Msangi.
Speaking at the same event, Zaipuna her management decided to venture into fistula treatment support after seeing that many women are suffering from the disease which is costly to treat hence can’t afford to do so.
“Fistula is a disease which women get during delivery and according to UNFPA, the country has over 10,000 women suffering from the disease,” she said while adding that 3,000 new cases are recorded annually of which only 1,300 get treatment.
“The huge treatment costs are the reason behind many women’s failure to get treatment. We are informed that fistula treatment per woman costs 4m/- which is big for an ordinary Tanzanian woman to afford,” the NMB chief executive noted. She said the bank decided to work with CCBRT Hospital which offers treatment so that the majority of the women who suffer from the disease get treatment.