FREE RECONSTRUCTIVE WOMEN’S AND GIRLS’ SURGERY PROGRAM NOVEMBER 2022 TOUCHES 25 BENEFICIARIES IN TANZANIA
(Putting their smile back)
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 30th November 2022, The Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam in collaboration with Reconstructing Women International (RWI) and Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) completed 23 successful plastic reconstructive surgeries including breast reconstruction for women and girls from across the country.
These free plastic reconstructive surgeries are performed once every year since 2016 at Aga Khan hospital, Dar es Salaam and are led by a team of plastic surgeons from the United States, Canada and Europe working closely with Tanzanian medical professionals to build local capacity for plastic reconstructive surgery. The aim of this program is to restore physical function and enhance the quality of life of women and girls in Tanzania. In doing so, these women are empowered to build their self-confidence and become productive members of their families and communities. So far 218 Women and girls have benefited through this program.
During his address, Dr. Aidan Njau, Consultant General Surgeon at The Aga Khan Hospital said ‘capacity building is one of the strongest components of this program, clinicians here at Aga Khan hospital including myself have benefited tremendously through this component, I have personally performed ten (10) successful breast reconstructive because of the knowledge and skills acquired through the program. I thank the Aga Khan hospital leadership team for this innovative initiative and the RWI team for their partnership and support. This year, more hospitals in Tanzania have participated including Bugando hospital Mwanza and Mnazi Mmoja referral hospital, Zanzibar on the screening process and surgical camp’’
Speaking during the phase seven (7) of reconstructive surgeries camp for women and girls at the Aga Khan Hospital Dr. Edwin Mrema, Head of Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery at Muhimbili National Hospital said “this time we are operating nearly 23 patients and we have consulted more than 400 people across Aga Khan Health Service network in Tanzania mainland and Mnazi Mmoja Hospital in Zanzibar. We are so happy to help those most in need, those who got injured but they do not know where to go, we have given them an opportunity to receive help. It is also a great opportunity here in Tanzania to be able to bring these donors from United States , Canada and Switzerland also known Reconstructive Women International (RWI), this team help us on treatment of these patients, equipment and medical supplies requires for these procedures, capacity building for our fellow surgeons, resident, nurses and enabling the whole exercise on free of charge. This has been an impactful partnership project that has been implemented by the Aga Khan Hospital, Reconstructive Women International and Muhimbili National Hospital for the past seven years with successful experience bringing the smile back for these vulnerable women and girls”.
Dr. Adrea Pusic, Plastic Surgeon, Reconstructive Women International, Team Leader said during the media briefing that “Our Reconstructing Women International team is very happy to be back in Dar es Salaam for the 7th year of our collaboration with the Aga Khan and Muhimbili hospitals. We are a team of 6 female plastic surgeons from Canada, the United States and Switzerland. The goal of our work is to help train local surgical residents in plastic surgery techniques to benefit the people of Tanzania. This week, we have been working closely with 3 plastic surgery residents and 9 general surgery residents to teach reconstructive surgery procedures including cancer reconstruction and trauma care. Our special focus is on conditions effecting woman and children. On Thursday, we will also be holding a city-wide medical symposium to raise awareness and understanding of how plastic surgery can improve patient lives. We are very grateful for our partnership with medical teams at the AKHD and Muhimbili hospitals and for the support of the local community in Dar es Salaam.”
To fund this largescale initiative, contributions are made from the Aga Khan Hospital Dar es Salaam Patient Welfare Program, Reconstructive Women International, Khalid Islamic Foundation, corporate partners and Individual Well-wishers. Overall financial contributions assist in covering all costs of care provided including, pre-operative requirement (medical screening), intra-operative component (surgeries and hospital stay), post-operative care (dressings and rehabilitation) and support on patient-relatives meals and accommodations. Total expenditures in these surgeries for 2022 amount to 210,000,000 objectively affecting key priorities of this program including ¹ Empowering women by restoring their physical functions, ² Create access to high quality healthcare to those who are not able to afford, and ³ Bring international expertise to benefit the people of Tanzania. This partnership program has impacted over 250 beneficiaries since started and mark the importance of public private partnership in supporting those with need and compliment efforts of the government of Tanzania to serve the deserved and less privilege members of our communities.
For more information on this statement, please contact:
+255 784 898 190