Thursday, November 8, 2007

Switched Surgery

The Following is from The Citizen Newspaper that I thought you would be interested in knowing

Yesterday we published a hair-raising report detailing a horrendous mix-up in which Muhimbili doctors have performed wrong surgical operations on two patients. In the bizarre mix-up,a 21-year old patient who had been admitted with a swollen knee,took head surgery meant for a student who underwent a simple knee operation instead.

After the wrong surgery,the youth fell into a coma and is now fighting for his life in the intensive care unit. Latest reports indicate that an inquiry has been instituted to carry out investigations in an administrative move to try to establish how the doctors or nurses might have swapped the patients and had them face the knife for ailments they were not suffering from.

What is shocking is that the hospital administration is treating the incident as normal and some doctors would frown when somebody dare ask them about the two young men. Indeed,there are a good number of unreported cases where patients after being operated on,were thereafter to be found with cotton swabs or other foreign objects forgotten in their abdomens.

The recent mix-up at our leading hospital is an incident to be treated with the utmost urgency it deserves and whoever was involved should be held responsible. If their explanation is insufficient let them bear the full brunt of the law. We should not at any stage,or for unknown reasons,condone such inefficiency in our hospitals.

We make this appeal not because we doubt the integrity of the health facility's leadership,but as a wake-up call to the powers that be,to remind them that something nasty has occurred or some medical personnel,for reasons known to themselves,may tarnish the image of the lead health facility in the country.

No one should be prepared to witness such an ugly event happen in the full view of wananchi.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Mine Strike

Once again it has been a long time since my last post and I apologize for that. It is an important event that is currently taking place in Tanzania that has brought me out of my hiatus. At the Barrick Bulyanhulu mine in Northern Tanzania, mine workers are on strike and have halted gold production. This is a defining moment for the future of Tanzanian civil society. Workers are striking for better conditions and health care benefits. Barrick is standing firm in their rejection and has said that striking workers will be terminated. This has not deterred many of the miners who are committed to their caused. I say this is a pivotal momentfor two reasons, the first being that any form of non-violent civil resistance is a plus for Tanzania who has for too long suffered passivity in the populace, secondly because this strike is only the tip of the iceberg for what is in store for the Barrick Gold Corporation. Barrick is facing problems in many of their other mines around the world; including Argentina and Papua New Guinea. The piece that I have said to be working on is also related to Barrick and their gross violations of human and environmental rights in Tanzania. I will still refrain from going into detail until I can fully corroborate my story, however I will say that Barrick may be responsible for numerous deaths in the Mara region, caused by environmental pollution. I will bring more on this as it develops. In the meantime, I urge you to support our fellow Tanzanians in their pursuit of justice and show solidarity to thei cause.