Mnazi Mmoja flooded in rare free medical check up rush

25Sep 2016
Aisia Rweyemamu
Guardian On Sunday
Mnazi Mmoja flooded in rare free medical check up rush

THOUSANDS of Dar es Salaam residents flocked to Mnazi-Mmoja, Ilala District yesterday for free medical check causing chaos to medical personnel offering the service

Dar es Salaam regional commissioner Paul Makonda speaks to people who turned out for free medical check-up at Mnazi Mmoja Grounds yesterday.

About 14 specialists from the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) and private hospitals gathered to provide the services.

Dr. Isaac Maro, the event coordinator said they faced difficulties in attending scores of people who turned out for diagnosis.

“There are just too many people here. We did not expect such a turn up for a free medical checkup,” he said.

He said patients started coming in at the grounds as early as 04:00 in the morning and by 11:00 o’clock, the cameras fixed at the ground recorded at least 11,000 people present at the ground.

In interview, the Afya Check coordinator said that the population at the ground gives the picture that most people are suffering from health problems but they do not have money to access the service.

Dr. Maro explained that they prepared a good system of providing numbers to the patients at the ground but the exercise seems to be difficult. People fail to be tolerant as everyone wants to get the service before the other, he said.

“This is a two day exercise as we scheduled to provide service to 50,000 patients today and 50,000 tomorrow, but with this situation the number of days ought to be increased,” he said.

He appealed to the government to prepare a new system of providing regular health checks freely in order to help those who have no money.

Dr. Derrick Nyasebwa from Uhuru Hospital said that they are camped at the ground for providing checks on heart-related diseases.

Dr. Nyasebwa said that until 10:00am a total of 2000 numbers had been distributed to patients, a small number compared with those who did not have numbers as yet.

“The main challenge here is crowing that leads some of them fail to follow procedures but we are prepared well to help all of them,” he said.

The exercise was officiated by Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda who also spent time to request the people at the ground to remain calm, assuring them that they will all get the service.

Mwinjuma Mkendi (51), a resident of Chanika, was among thousands of people flooding the ground. He explained that although he is suffering for a long time he did not go to hospital because he has no health insurance card, and no money for medical consultation. “I decided to come here because the services are free,” he stated.