The news that Tanzanians will now save up to Sh50 million by undergoing neurosurgery at the Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (MOI) in Dar es Salaam instead of abroad has come at an opportune time.
For decades, patients who are able to foot the bill have sought treatment abroad at an average cost of Sh60 million due to lack of domestic capacity to handle complex cases of nerve damage or disorders.
Unfortunately, the poor have either lost their lives or have been condemned to permanent paralysis.
Concerted efforts to build capacity among local neurosurgeons through the Neurosurgery, Neurotrauma and Critical Care Course are also laudable. With Tanzania having only eight neurosurgeons against a demand of 10,000, the four-day intensive course may be the game changer the country needs in this area.
MOI deserves a pat on the back for this huge leap forward that will not only bring economic benefits to Tanzania by retaining funds in the country, but also help experts in neurosurgery to gain valuable experience that will be passed on to more professionals in the sector.
With road accidents still a major problem that contributes significantly to neurological complications, MOI’s initiative is welcome.