By Farai Dauramanzi
Residents of Manicaland will receive free surgical treatment from Indian surgeons in the first half of May 2015 courtesy of Rotary International’s Medical Mission project.
The 25 specialist surgeons from India will perform more than 1000 eye, dental, gynecology and heart surgeries at Mutare Provincial Hospital, Nyanga District Hospital and Sakubva District Hospital in a space of 10 days. The mission’s team will comprise of 4 eye surgeons, 3 or 4 gynecology surgeons, 3 or 4 dental surgeons as well as 2 general surgeons among other specialists.
While speaking at a press conference that was held in Harare on 22 January 2015, Dr Rajeev Pradhan of the Rotary International who had come into the country to assess the project requirements said the project will provide an opportunity for local doctors to learn from their Indian counterparts.
“An important component of these missions is also capacity building. We have given a request to government (of Zimbabwe) to deputy trainee doctors from various other medical centres and hospitals so that they will get a chance to work with us to gain more experience and we have also decided to organize even academic lectures for them,” said Dr Pradhan.
According to Dr Pradhan the host hospitals are also set to benefit from the 800, 000kgs of equipment and medical supplies which will be brought in by the mission, “We bring supplies and we normally plan to bring extra supplies. The purpose is that the supplies and the operative instrument we bring as well as the equipment is donated to the hospitals through the Rotary.”
“This helps local surgeons to continue to work and perform surgeries so that they get the confidence of working alone, they get the supplies and they will be better equipped to perform these types of surgeries (specialist),” added Dr Pradhan.
Dr Pradhan also explained that the mission’s service was mainly targeted at people living in rural areas who have limited access to medical services.
“We are going to give free service from our side and we believe that the poorest of poor people should be availed the opportunity,” said Dr Pradhan.
Kenneth Chibesakunda from Zambia who is the 2014 – 2015 Governor for Rotary International District 9210 which covers Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia said that the project was important to the district as it brings in expert doctors.
“We chose Nyanga after Minister Supa (Mandiwanzira) made an appeal to us in May last year that Nyanga required medical services and we thought we should answer that call and we invited our friends who generously agreed,” said Chibesakunda.
Chibesakunda said that his organisation was excited about the project and expressed gratitude to the government whom he said were heavily involved through its Ministry of Health.
The Medical Missions project has so far performed 55, 000 free surgeries in African countries such as Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Rwanda, Lesotho, Swaziland, Madagascar and Sierra Leon. This will be the first time for the project to come to Zimbabwe.