By Judica Tarimo
An international charity organization, Humanity-First, has donated breast-cancer diagnosis machines to the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), a major boost to the protracted battle against breast-cancer.
The assistance was extended as part of the organization’s world-wide initiative to support pro-poor development endeavours, Humanity-First is a brainchild of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, a religious fraternity with membership from many regions around the world.
The Deputy Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Seif Rashid Suleiman, received the donation at a brief handing-over ceremony held at MNH premises late in the week.
In his remarks, the deputy minister said the donated equipment worth over USD 100,000 comes at a time when the government had stepped up strategic and focused interventions to battle breast-cancer, a critical health problem, affecting adversely women of child bearing age and above.
“Breast cancer poses a big threat to the health and lives of many women in Tanzania, and of course, other African countries,” said the deputy minister. The government cannot tackle this problem on its own and needs the support of private sector initiatives especially charitable organizations like Humanity-First, he told the hospital staff gathering.
Suleiman appealed to capable organizations at the local level and from among the development partners, companies and all people, to get united and rally behind the government’s initiatives aimed at combating breast-cancer in Tanzania.
The minister described the donation by the Humanity-First as a positive and exemplary gesture that should be emulated by other development partners.
The chairman of Humanity-First in Tanzania, Sheikh Tahir Mohmood Chaudhry asked the government to assist charity organizations in clearing donation equipment at the port.
He said on many occasions the clearing process is marred by unnecessary delays, prolonged and bureaucratic procedures. “This trend discourages good people who want to import donation equipment for the development of social welfare of our people,” the charity organizer intoned.
Responding, the deputy minister pledged to provide full support organizations intending to import donation items for health sector improvement. “The most important thing is communication. We need to communicate early so that we (ministry) could understand the kind of support you need from us and extend it accordingly,” he declared.
Dr. Lulu Fundikira, Head of the Radiology Department at the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), said the mammography machine donated by Humanity First was being used for diagnosis of breast condition, especially cancer detection.
One of two experts dispatched by the government to learn best practices in the management of breast-cancer treatment unit in US said the donated equipment is used for early detection before symptoms appear, helping patients to stem the developing problem.
Speaking at the occasion, MNH Executive Director Dr Marina Njelekela, expressed profound appreciation to Humanity First, saying that the equipment would help to improve service delivery at the country’s biggest hospital, and boost practicals of medical students on the other hand.
Apart from support to the health sector, Human-First also extends assistance for a wide range of sectors—including education, water, energy and social welfare, according to Chaudhry, who also doubles as Amir and Missionary in-charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Tanzania.
Humanity First is an international charitable trust established to promote and safeguard the preservation of human life and dignity. It is a non-political, non-sectarian international relief and development agency that works with the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, the country director affirmed.
SOURCE: GUARDIAN ON SUNDAY