It was the middle of last year that I first heard about a place in Tanzania called Musoma. This enchanting town is the capital of the Mara region, and sits on the eastern edge of Lake Victoria.
I learnt more about this town during a charity walk that aimed to raise funds for dental and medical facilities at Musoma Hospital. This walk was organised by a Dr Manny Vasant (MBE), a dentist by profession, and a truly inspirational humanitarian by nature. He has worked ceaselessly for many years now, trying to improve the healthcare of Musoma – a town with an acute shortage of basic hospital equipment, so vital for survival.
Up until the 1960’s, the town thrived on gold mines, dairy produce, fish, agriculture, sisal and other small scale industries. Sadly, with economic decline, healthcare suffered. Currently, the Musoma regional hospital is the main hospital in town – serving a population of over a million.
When Mr Vasant first visited the hospital, he met a fellow Oshwal, who lost his 9 month old baby due to the lack of an oxygen machine and basic equipment. This could not go on any longer and Manny made it his personal mission to improve healthcare and education in Musoma.
With the funds collected so far, two schools have been refurbished, emergency care facilities at Musoma Hospital have been improved, and a dental surgery unit has been constructed. More details of these wonderful projects are available on the website – www.musoma.org
Iringo School (formerly Nanakchand Primary School) – one of the projects
Mukendo School – stationery, new desks and other furniture, have now been provided.
There is no doubt that these projects are working, and they are slowly improving the lives of the people of Musoma. Most of all, they are bringing hope to a place which was close to giving up. It makes us realise that people are always willing to improve their lives – it’s human nature; but they can only do this if they have the means (facilities and equipment). Sometimes, all that’s needed for a people to thrive, is a strong foundation to build on. And that is what these projects are doing. And the refurbishment of the schools highlights the importance of education in rebuilding society.
Best of all, there are opportunities for us to partake in short-term teaching or just helping out. This includes dentists and doctors, who are willing to provide their services for a period of 6 weeks or longer. I think we can all contribute in some way – financially or physically. Even a little goes a long way….
All the information that you require is on the website – www.musoma.org. Check it out, you will not be disappointed. Tell everyone. Things can only get better.
Article by Mr Keval Ashok Shah (currently working in Lincoln County Hospital, as a Senior House Officer, in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery)