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Better known as Murthy, is Founder and CEO of Sanitas Hospital, Dar Es Salaam.
Sanitas Hospital, the brain child of Australian entrepreneur Murthy, is a modern private health care provider in Dar es Salaam established in October 2011. Evolving from a day clinic service centre, to a full-fledged, busy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week hospital that came about from the demand of Tanzanians who liked what they saw and received, a ‘European style and standards’ medical facility.
It was the CEO’s goal to provide super specialized services at home since 2012; offering a range of superspeciality surgeries, by inviting super surgeons in various disciplines to carry out surgeries locally so that patients need not travel abroad.
One day in 2015, when our visiting reconstructive surgeon Dr. Iyer from Kerala, India, was here, a woman walked in with an advanced case of lymphedema. There was nothing we could do for her, but in Dr. Iyer’s hospital – Amritha, they provide a treatment that brings the oedema down dramatically and allows the patient live a near-normal life. We made an on-the-spot decision to bear all costs between both Sanitas and Amritha Hospitals and sent Dora to Amritha Hospital. After the MLD treatment, Dora underwent the Reduction Surgery by Dr. Iyer. She also wore the pressure garment and was so ecstatic with her treatment outcome that she agreed to be our ambassador for this treatment.
Our physiotherapist Niki was then sent to India late 2017 to learn the technique; having returned, others were trained, which was then further cemented when an American CDT specialist voluntarily visited us February 2018 with donated compression bandages (unavailable here), to teach them further and treat a few patients.
Word spread that we provided such therapy, out of all the patients we spoke to physically and on the phone we have treated only 30 of them so far, as they are all from the lower economic strata and cannot afford costs of travelling from the interiors to Dar, etc.
In endeavoring to make it known that there is hope for lymphedema patients we have already begun spreading knowledge of its therapy. We trained clinicians from Morogoro, Dodoma and Iringa so far. This was initiated by an ex-soldier from Morogoro, a lymphedema patient who himself received life-transforming treatment at Sanitas.
Those who learned from us would teach others in their region and beyond.
Touched by the lives of people living with lymphedema and other lymphatic diseases, Gean developed a passion for its management, spear-heading the lymphedema programs and liaising between patient and medical staff. As Operations Manager at Sanitas Hospital Ltd, the only hospital in Tanzania to initiate and implement lymphedema treatment, she is driven to raise awareness across her beautiful country.
Sanitas Hospital first gained recognition on a radio health talk show in early 2018, after one of the general practitioners having received training in lymphedema management spoke live to the nation on the subject. This immediately brought in phone calls from sufferers all over the country, from those living in central Tanzania to those living in the coastal and lake regions. Unfortunately, due to their physical conditions, not everyone is able to travel to the city for treatment. Those who have been treated have had great results and relief.
Gean is working to establish a network throughout the country between passionate stakeholders in the health industry and patients, to spread awareness and LE management training. With this in mind it is Gean’s intention to establish a lymphedema association in Tanzania to fall under the umbrella of the Tanzania Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance, so that all Tanzanians whether afflicted by the disease or ignorant of it, can gain an understanding of the disease, and know that relief is available. Patients are not alone, there is hope.