September 22, 2007

Tanzania keen on tie-ups with Bangalore hospitals for telemedicine

With the IT city fast emerging as a global health destination, Tanzania is looking at tie-ups with two Bangalore-based hospitals for telemedicine.

"Lions Club of Dar Es Salam is seriously contemplating tie-ups with Narayana Hrudayalaya and Manipal Hospital in Bangalore in the sphere of telemedicine in the coming years,'' Lion's Club President Hyderali Gangji told PTI on Tuesday. Gangji is here as part of the club's "Heart Babies Project'' wherein 41 poor patients from Tanzania, including 28 children, underwent surgery for congenital and rheumatic heart diseases at Narayana Hrudayalaya. The "cost of surgery here was much lower compared to South A frica, UK and the US while the quality matched global standards,'' he said.

"We will be bringing in 160 more Tanzanian children in the coming months for heart surgeries at Narayana Hrudayalaya and Manipal Hospital,'' he said. India is a preferred destination for surgeries because of cost effectiveness and high success rates. "C ost of heart surgery at Bangalore is $1,650 (excluding cost of valves) and a month's stay,'' Mr Gangji said.

Over 1,300 surgeries have been facilitated through this initiative which was heralded by Dr Rajni Kanabar way back in 1979. One in every 150 children in Tanzania is born with congenital heart defect and over 7,000 children with congenital heart diseases await open heart surgeries which cannot be taken up due to lack of sophisticated surgery centre in the country and they lack the means to go abroad for treatment.

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