MNH doctors prepare for bone marrow transplant

17Jul 2019
Henry Mwangonde
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
MNH doctors prepare for bone marrow transplant

Preparations for the provision of bone marrow transplant services at the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) have received a boost after its experts began specialised training on managing and handling patients.

Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH).

Trainers from the Oxford University Hospital (OUH) who are in the country are training MNH doctors on systematic anti-cancer treatment and bone marrow transplant treatment in readiness for the beginning of provision of the services.

Speaking at during the opening of the training on Monday, MNH head of teaching, research and consultancy Dr Faraja Chiwanga who spoke on behalf of the Executive Director Prof Lawrence Museru said cancer treatment remains a big burden that has not very well being addressed in the country.

Particularly the haematological cancers whose treatment is associated with bleeding and sepsis, and require transplant for cure," she said.

According to Dr Chiwanga per year, MNH receives 120-140 adult patients with conditions whose treatment requires chemotherapy administration and subsequent bone marrow transplant.

"This may be a tip of ice-berg in the overall burden at MNH and in Tanzania as many of the patients may not make it to MNH to be diagnosed, and many still would perhaps be diagnosed in other referral hospitals," she said.

She said MNH has resolved to change its practice, and decided to treat such conditions locally, and contribute to the efforts of the Government of Tanzania (GoT) to reduce referral abroad.

According to her, this was a starting project in many similar endeavours between MNH and OUH, which will include capacity building in care provision and research.

MNH announced some weeks ago that it will start offering bobe marrow transplant later in the year.

The first batch of experts are scheduled to complete specialized training abroad by end of next month.

MNH has in recent years enhanced its capacity to provide major services whereby the first was Cochlear implant, radiology intervention and now kidney transplant.

The hospital first launched kidney transplant services and later in the year sent its experts for training on conducting liver transplants.

The kidney transplant was the second achievement in a row by the hospital after a successful cochlear implant surgery in June 2017.

The move reduces costs of liver transplant by 50-percent. One successful transplant costs about 100million/- that is for treatment in India which is regarded as the cheaper destination.

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