During one of our stays in Zanzibar, in August 2009, we carried out the first brain tumor operation in the island’s history: a one and a half year old boy with a giant brain neoplasm in a coma. The operation was successful and, after one week, the patient was discharged.
This fact had a great media impact throughout the region, so that the President of the Republic was interested in the case. The enthusiasm and footprint of this event were so formidable that the Zanzibar Ministry of Health facilitated in 2011 the signing of an agreement to create an Institute for Neurosurgery and Neurointensive Care at the Mnazi Mmoja Hospital.
In June 2013, the Vice-Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Zanzibar (Tanzania), Dr. Jamala Taib, Managing Director of the Mnazi Mmoja Hospital and the President of the NED Foundation, Jose Piquer, signed the collaboration contract definitive for the creation of the Mnazi Mmoja NED Institute.
The function of this center, which will incorporate two operating rooms, one ICU, three hospitalization rooms and two consultations, will be to improve neurosurgical assistance to the entire population of Zanzibar and to welcome professionals from the region in order to complete and expand their training. ; although in the near future it is planned to expand medical care to other related specialties. In our opinion, this project developed by Spanish neurosurgery is unmatched by other initiatives. It is undoubtedly the most useful initiative with the greatest impact and involvement developed by a national neurosurgical community and it is comparable to the large projects of international societies, as recently recognized.
The construction of the Mnazi Mmoja NED Institute in Zanzibar, the fruit of several years of hard work, collaboration and commitment with the inhabitants of the island, will be the great instrument for the definitive development of neurosciences and related specialties. It will mean an economic effort of over half a million dollars.
Thanks to the generosity of Paul Young, our Honorary President, and other partners, NED has committed to funding more than half of the project.
Without a doubt it will be a milestone in our history and it shows the support, coexistence and respect of the ‘Zanzibaris’ with the work of the volunteers, regardless of race, religion or sex. Each brick block of this building will symbolize the work of more than 200 volunteers who have traveled to the archipelago over the years. Furthermore, it already symbolizes the tolerance and peace of the people of Zanzibar, their appreciation, hospitality and harmony with all of us, where we have always felt part of the community.
Thanks to the invaluable help of volunteers, companies and individuals who believe in NED projects, this center will allow us to advance our objectives so that medical and nursing professionals can receive ongoing training in current neurosurgical techniques with the necessary surgical instruments in it benefits all the inhabitants of one of the most impoverished regions on Earth.