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Huge boost for 500 child heart patients

OVER 500 children with heart complications from marginalised and vulnerable families are set to benefit from treatment at Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI).

This follows a donation of more than 115m/- collected during the first phase by a special team formed by Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda.

JKCI Executive Director, Professor Mohammed Janabi, said that diagnosis and treatment of heart defects were costly and that some families needed help to foot the bills.

“The RC promised to support 10 children every month by paying 20m/- . As we all know surgeries here are costly; thus we need other people to assist,” he said.

He noted that the amount which had been collected would support children between January- December 2020.

Prof Janabi said at least two million children are born annually in Tanzania and that one per cent of them have congenital heart disease. He said 25 per cent require operation.

Prof Janabi expressed his gratitude to Mr Makonda for sponsoring children by soliciting funds from his friends and other well-wishers.

He called on Tanzanians to continue supporting the cause as some parents were not able to afford bus fare to Dar es Salaam.

One of the beneficiaries, Ms Veronica Lucas from Mwanza, expressed her joy after successful surgery.

“When I first arrived here I knew it was a minor surgery so I told my relatives to raise funds for me and my son sent me bus fare; but when I got here, the doctor explained to me that the problem was big and we were supposed to stay at hospital for a bit longer, ” she said.

Chairperson of the committee, Dr Charles Kimei, said the aim was to collect 1bn/- which would be spent on supporting the children.

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Mwandishi: HILDA MHAGAMA

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