Zanzibar conjures up so many exotic images but there is another side to ‘spice island’, one that brings a special kind of visitor. Iqbal Fasal report
Ru MacDonagh, a consultant urologist from Taunton, Dr Jon Rees, my GMP and a doctor at Nailsea, Bristol, amongst several other medical professionals, have been instrumental with local teams in Zanzibar, in setting up HIP~Z Health Improvement Project, Zanzibar,a British charity, which is now in a joint venture agreement with the Ministry of Health,
Interestingly, the singer Peter Andre is also now involved with HIP~Z, helping to raise awareness of the serious lack of medical facilities and extremely low life expectancy on the island.
Over the past few years, HIP~Z has grown to encompass organisation and management of two hospitals, which offer essential very low cost treatments for up to 250,000 of the islanders who would otherwise be unable to afford surgical, maternity or other even basic, primary health care.
There is still a lot to do; a lot of medical items to be procured with many challenges ahead, but, encouragingly, lives are being saved and made better, one at a time.
Retired Brighton-based dentist, Dr Feroz Jafferji, originally from Zanzibar, returned to the island three years ago and linked up with old classmates to set up OZ, Outreach Zanzibar (http://outreachzanzibar.org).
OZ has now combined forces with HIP~Z to organise at least two new fully functioning dental clinics, based in two separate hospital locations in Zanzibar, to offer so many people a chance to have simple restorative dentistry, who would otherwise have no access to any dentistry, except perhaps the most basic form of pain relief from locally trained therapists.
This is a really ambitious plan, one which I have committed to assist and enable – as a UK-based dentist with East African origins and many fond childhood memories.
I hope fellow dentists can donate any redundant dental items – large equipment, hand instruments, consumables (in date or even slightly out of date are acceptable). From my previous experience when I appealed on behalf of Dental Help Africa many years ago, we were overwhelmed with almost 600 parcels arriving from all over the UK.
We do have ‘a man and a van’ available, so are able, within limits, to collect certain essential large equipment, by mutual agreement, if you feel your items have some use.
To donate, visit http://www.hipz.org.uk/donateHIPZ. Send any items to:
HIP~ Z Appeal for Zanzibar, c/o Dentalsaver (UK), Unit 9 , Carey Develoments, Tweed Road, Clevedon, BS21 6RR. Ring 01275 853323 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.