WASHINGTON DC —
Nineteen Indian doctors that have been in Zimbabwe’s eastern border city of Mutare, Manicaland province, offering free medical services to local patients, have finished their tour duty after successfully carrying out more than 1,000 surgeries.
Beneficiaries are upbeat about the free surgeries.
The program, known as the Rotary Medicare Project Vocational Training Team to Zimbabwe, is the brainchild of the Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation. It started two weeks ago at Mutare Provincial Hospital, Nyanga District Hospital and Sakubva District Hospital’s Eye Unit.
Surgeries were conducted in various fields including orthopedics, gynecology, optometry, and others.
Manicaland Provincial Medical Director, Dr. Patron Venge Mafaune, says the specialist doctors successfully carried out 1,100 individual surgeries after setting a target of 800.
She says the specialist doctors were working in five medical categories in the three referral hospitals where patients were screened before undergoing the necessary operations.
Dr. Mafaune says the free medical service was a timely intervention as most people were not in a position to pay for such surgeries due to financial hardships.
She says local hospitals are currently facing shortages of medical doctors and related staff members.
One of the beneficiaries, Lovemore Dzinamarira, was involved in a motorcycle accident. His injured leg was supposed to be amputated but this was addressed by the visiting doctors.
Dr. Rajan Sharma who operated on Dzinamatira’s leg says he is lucky to have had the operation in time and with the right care since he was going to be an amputee or become handicapped.
Another beneficiary of the free medical services is Pfungwa Chakandinakira. The man says he did not have money for an operation that he needed until he was helped by these doctors.
The visiting doctors also came in handy for Gabriel Mabota, who had a recurring heart condition, which he had to live with for years.
Gynecologist Dr. Manisha Jagtap, says her team carried out surgeries on a large number of women with fibroids.
Project advisor and pathologist, Dr. Rajiv Pradhan, notes that the 19-member team was in Zimbabwe as a gesture of extending a helping hand to less-privileged people in Africa.
He says they have also been to Malawi, Swaziland and Rwanda, among other African nations.
The free medical treatments have been timely to most Zimbabweans, hard-pressed to raise money for medical fees.