Parents of surviving students optimistic of medical treatment in US

15May 2017
Edward Qorro
The Guardian
Parents of surviving students optimistic of medical treatment in US

PARENTS of the three students who survived last week’s school bus crash are optimistic of the medical treatment given to their chirldren once they arrive in the United States.

Two girls and one boy - the only three survivors of last week's horrific school bus crash in Arusha that killed 36 people - prepare to board a plane yesterday at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) on their way to the United States for specialised medical attention.

The parents are confident that their children will return to Tanzania in good health and in perfect conditions following the fatal road accident that claimed the lives of their 32 colleagues, two teachers and a driver.

Speaking at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), moments before the Douglas DC-8-72CF jetliner christened Samaritans Purse with their children on board, took off for Charlotte in North Carolina, the parents were full of optimism over the medical attention their children were bound to receive as they were being airlifted to the US for specialised treatment.

Elibariki Mshana, a father to Doreen Elibariki said he harbored his hopes on the medical attention his daughter will be provided with in Sioux City.

“I’ve no doubt on the services provided by the medical facilities in the US, I hope to see my daughter returning in perfect health unlike how she left today,” explained Mshana. Mshana said he was also counting on the Almighty God to heal his daughter.

Echoing similar sentiments, the parent of Sadia Awadh, Awadh Abdallah described the airlifting as a crucial moment for their survival of their children.

Awadh said the medical attention rendered to their children during their stay in the US will be a positive step towards a total healing of the wounds and injuries the children sustained in the fatal crash.

The parent also took time to acknowledge the support and the generosity of Siouxland Tanzania Educational and Medical Ministries (STEMM) in planning and coordinating the airlifting of the three children.

Awadh urged the government to crack a whip on reckless driving in a bid of preventing further tragedies.

On his part, Godfrey Tarimo, a father to Wilson Tarimo said he was confident that their children would return home to continue with their studies after the medical attention in the US.

“It was such a big crash that claimed a lot of innocent lives, but I’m very confident that these children will one day walk normally and continue with school,” said the parent.

The three survivors will be accompanied by their parents, Dr Elias Mashala who is an Orthopedic and Trauma surgeon at Mt Meru Hospital and a nurse, Simphrosa Silalye.

Relatives and family members joined the Arusha Regional Commissioner, Mrisho Gambo in seeing off the three survivors.

The Samaritans Purse landed at KIA on Saturday evening ready for their airlift.
At exactly 11.42, the aircraft, with the survivors onboard, left KIA for Charlotte North Carolina, via Cape Verde archipelago for refueling.

Once they land in North Carolina, the three students will board another chartered plane for Iowa.

Singida North MP Lazaro Nyalandu , who orchestrated the airlift, attributed the success of the medical flight to the close cooperation between the government and STEMM doctors.

The lawmaker said the STEMM doctors got in touch with Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organisation providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world led by one Franklin Graham who provided the plane.

Nyalandu also challenged the government to capacitate Mt Meru Regional Hospital so that it copes with such disasters.

On his part, Gambo urged all Tanzania to continue to pray for the survivors as they fly to US for specialised treatment.

The regional commissioner said it was saddening to see how the airlift and the events that preceded yesterday’s event being politicised by some politicians.

Gambo was reacting to a Facebook comment posted by Arusha Urban MP, Godbless Lema who was critical of the contributions in form of condolences sent to the regional commissioner.
In his comment, the firebrand MP alleged the exercise was not transparent.