…….Rotary International brings Indian doctors to Manicaland
MUTARE- Lovemore Dzinamamira was resigned to facing amputation after he was involved in a motorcycle crash which left his leg badly hurt.
As he was not covered by insurance, Dzinamamira had to foot his medical bill which ran into thousands.
When doctors attended to him at Mutare Provincial Hospital, Dzinamamira was told he needed immediate attention to save his leg. This required money which did not have.
“I was involved in accident ne motor bike yekubasa and when I was admitted here the doctors told me that my condition was very serious.
I was told I required immediate attention which needed money that I did not have.
I was devastated by that news,” he said.
However, today Dzinamamira is now smiling thanks to efforts by a team of foreign doctors which offered free surgical services to Manicaland residents.
He is a beneficiary of an outreach program for vulnerable communities organised by Rotary International which ran from 5 to 13 May 2015 in Mutare and Nyanga.
“Today I am very happy because I can now walk, even though I am using crutches it’s better because I know I will walk someday,” said Dzinamamira.
The outreach program
Rotary International Past Assistant District Governor Job Torindoh said this program was organised by Rotary District 1902 which is comprised of Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.
He said a total of 19 specialist doctors and eight volunteers, assisted by Zimbabwean surgeons, participated in the program aimed at assisting vulnerable communities.
“Rotary district 1902 which comprises four countries teamed up with two Indian Districts and one American district to make this project a reality “This program was aimed at all Zimbabwe, but of course we were also looking at the vulnerable those who cannot fend for themselves. Rotary International motto is of service above self.
“We were looking at those people for one reason or another, particularly those who could not afford operations, who had been asked to come for operations and they could not manage to do that for financial reasons.
“We were also looking at those who could not have their operations done because the hospital is incapacitated in one way or the other.
Hence when the doctors came they also brought equipment which they were using,” said Torindoh.
Torindoh also revealed that this program will continue rolling under Zimbabwean doctors who will also be offering free services to patients.
Tirondoh said although there was an overwhelming turnout of patients seeking free medical assistance program it surpassed its target of 800 patients, with the patients attended by the last day reaching over a thousand.
“This program is actually carrying on, so good was the spirit of impartation and working together such that Zimbabwean doctors took it upon themselves to carry on this program for free even after this program ended,” he added, “We are still working but as of yesterday we had hit 1100 patients.”
Patients were treated of several ailments, including fibroids, fractures, eyes procedures, dental surgery as well as multi specialist procedures.
Although the mission was officially described as a success some residents who spoke to 263Chat said the selection criterion was questionable.
A lady from Dangamvura who only identified herself as Mai Zulu said she was turned away under unclear circumstances while others were admitted dubiously.
“I woke up at 4am on Monday and walked all the way from Dangamvura area 16 because I had no money for transport. When I got to Mutare Provincial Hospital I was told to wait “By 12 I had not been attended yet some people who obviously knew hospital staff just came in and were attended. I even complained and a male nurse threatened me until I left. What they are doing is not fair,” she said.
Torindoh admitted that patients were turned away because they had failed to undergo a screening process.
“We tried to let it be known that these doctors were particularly coming to carry out operations. So we were expecting to have people who had been screened and deemed to be waiting for operations, but when people had that there were free facilities they just came.
“Including those who needed examinations and yet those were not the one who were targeted and unfortunately those had to be told to step aside,” he said.
Ironically, the mission was initially delayed by a day, when Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Officials confiscated medical equipment and drugs demanding duty. Patients were turned away on the first day with doctors only attending to them in the morning.