The Northern Tanzania City of Arusha is poised to become the hub for Orthopaedic treatment and surgeries in the East and Central African region.
This initiative is to be coordinated by expert medical specialists from the United States of America.
The plans came to light as Tanzania hosts 60 Orthopaedic Surgeons from Los-Angeles California on special ‘Operation Walk,’ medical program.
The surgeons from the U.S will be spending a full week in the country performing free musculoskeletal medical operations in Arusha city on invitation from President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
The Medical Program runs from 11 to 17 August 2023 in Arusha City.
“The Orthopaedic Doctors will be performing total hip replacement and knee replacements surgeries to all Tanzanians who suffer musculoskeletal issues, free of charge,” the country coordinator of the ‘Operation Walk,’ Lazaro Nyalandu explained.
Nyalandu, who is the former Tanzania Minister of Tourism, said that though the medical operations camp will be in Arusha, the free treatments apply to all Tanzanians regardless of their residential locations.
“The expert American surgeons have been brought here by the Head of State Samia Suluhu and she has directed that priority should be given to people from poor families, who cannot afford medical services,” added Nyalandu.
However the week-long program for philanthropic surgical services, is on the other hand being described as the starting point for the future plans to set up an Eastern Africa Orthopaedic treatment center in Arusha.
“Arusha City will become the Orthopaedic referral center to cater for other East African countries like Kenya, Uganda, DR Congo as well as the horn of Africa,” Nyalandu explained.
Meanwhile the 60 American Doctors will be conducting free surgical operations at the Arusha Lutheran Medical Center (ALMC) famously known here as ‘Selian Hospital,’ City Center.
According to the General Surgeon at the Arusha Lutheran Medical Center, Dr Goodwill Kivuyo, more than 200 would-be patients have registered for the Operation Walk’s free surgical services by American doctors.
Arusha is now already receiving people from all over the country, coming to seek free surgical treatment from the American doctors.
Dr Kivuyo revealed that many Tanzanians suffer from serious musculoskeletal and other bone complications.
In fact he points out that such problems are topping the list of patients needing surgical care at the hospital but very few can afford treatment.
Surgeries like Knee Arthroplasty, Anterior, Posterior and Lateral Hip Replacement, according to experts, can be extremely expensive, the cost reaching USD 30,000 per person.
Translating to more than 70 million/- Tanzanian Shillings, the charges are enough to scare even a top-salaried individual.
That is why the Tanzania president has invited the doctors from U.S to conduct free surgeries to local residents.
As it happens, many residents of Arusha suffer teeth and skeletal problems because the water in the precinct is contaminated with Fluoride.
Experts reveal that Meru, Longido and Arusha Rural districts have been found to contain the highest concentration of fluoride in their water bodies in the country.
The districts’ natural water reserves have the contamination ranging between five and 30 milligrams per litre.