Tanzania’s dire neurosurgeon deficit worries experts

Dr. Ranjan has treated about 1,500 Tanzanians with complex brain and spine ailments over the last ten years

Dr. Ranjan has treated about 1,500 Tanzanians with complex brain and spine ailments over the last ten years

At least 4,000 newborns in Tanzania have neurological complications and only 1,000 get a chance to access specialists’ services for possible treatment, health experts say this problem poses a great danger to thousands of lives across Tanzania.

Tanzania, the East African nation with nearly 50 million people has just nine neurosurgeons. Of the nine, seven are stationed Muhimbili National Hospital and two at Bugando Referral Hospital.

This dire lack of spine and neurosurgeons in the country force thousands of Tanzanians to seek for treatment abroad, and thousands more who cannot afford going abroad for treatment end up living with their illnesses and or possibly die.
The World Health Organization recommends that all countries must have at least one neurosurgeon for every 100,000 residents, for Tanzania, the ratio is 1:5,000,000.

Dr Radhey Mohan, Vice President –International Business Development at Apollo Hospitals Hyderabad revealed “many Tanzanians, including thousands of children, die each year from hydrocephalus, encepheloceles, head and spinal trauma and other correctable conditions.”

Courtesy of collaborations between Tanzania-based Hindu Mandal Hospital and Apollo Hospitals, many of these Tanzanians are due to be attended to by the Head of Neurosurgery at India’s Apollo Hospitals Hyderabad, Dr. Alok Ranjan.

Mr. Ranjan, a Spine and Neurology Specialist, has treated over 1,500 Tanzanians with complex brain & spine ailments over the last 10 years. He will arrive in Dar es Salaam next week and he is expected to work closely with the team of doctors at Hindu Mandal Hospital during his stay in the country.