During one of our stays in Zanzibar, in August 2009, we conducted the first brain tumor operation in the history of the island: a year and a half child with a giant brain tumor at-coma.
The operation was successful, and after a week, the patient was discharged. This fact had great media coverage throughout the region, so that the President was interested in the case. The enthusiasm and the imprint of this event were so formidable, that the Ministry of Health of Zanzibar in 2011 facilitated the signing of an agreement to create an Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuro-Intensive Care at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital.
In June 2013, 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 NED Foundation President, Jose Piquer, signed the cooperation agreement ultimately to the creation of the Mnazi Mmoja NED Institute.
The function of this center, which will include two operating theaters, three ICU wards and two consultations will improve neurosurgical care to the entire population of Zanzibar and welcome professionals from the region in order to complete and expand their training ; but in the near future, it is expected to expand health care other related specialties. We consider that this project developed by the Spanish neurosurgery is unmatched by other initiatives. It is undoubtedly the most useful and with greater impact and involvement developed by a national neurosurgical community initiative and is comparable to large international companies’ projects, as has been recently recognized.
The construction of the Mnazi Mmoja NED Institute of Zanzibar, the result of several years of arduous work, collaboration and commitment to the inhabitants of the island, will be the great instrument for the final development of the neurosciences and related specialties. It will mean a greater economic effort to half a million dollars.
Thanks to the generosity of Paul Young, our Honorary President, and other partners, NED has committed to fund more than half of the project.
It will certainly be a milestone in our history and demonstrates the support, coexistence and respect for ‘Zanzibaris’ to the work of volunteers, regardless of race, religion or sex.
Each block of bricks in this building, it symbolizes the work of over 200 volunteers who have traveled to those islands over the years. Furthermore, it already symbolizes the tolerance and peace of the Zanzibar people, 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 the NED projects, this center will advance our goals so that medical and nursing professionals can receive continuing education in current neurosurgical techniques with the necessary surgical instruments in benefit of all the inhabitants of one of the most impoverished regions of the Earth.
The Mnazi Mmoja NED Institute will also provide a permanent residence for the Foundation which will expand the number of missions and volunteers from both Europe and America.