History of the Project In Tanzania
The Project was pioneered in 1979, by a young Tanzanian doctor, Dr. Rajni Kanabar. The scope of the project grew under the umbrella of the Tanzania Heart Foundation, Lions Club of Dar-es-Salaam (Host), Ministry of Health and Regency Medical Centre. 1 out of 200 children in Tanzania is born with a congenital heart defect.¹ Through this project, in over 33 years, more than 2500 children have been successfully operated upon.
The cost of surgery is subsidized to approximately US $ 2,500 in India and discounted airline fares help serve this noble cause. The Indian High Commission in Tanzania contributes by issuing gratis visas to these children.
History of the Project in Vancouver
This project was initiated by a group of International Scholars at the University of British Columbia who came together to champion this noble cause.
Our team comprises of passionate students hailing from Tanzania, India, Belgium, Kenya, Thailand, Turkey, South Africa, Indonesia and the Philippines who are determined to make a positive difference.
Our team created a video to promote our initiative, which was sent to Tanzania and showcased by the Lions Club of Dar-es-Salaam in the presence of dignitaries and celebrity Master Chef ‘Sanjeev Kapoor’. At this fund-raising dinner, a sum of US$ 23,000 was raised.
To raise greater awareness at UBC, we have organized a multitude of events. Our group was selected to deliver a ‘Highlighted Project’ presentation and to conduct a Workshop at the renowned UBC Student Leadership Conference. Our team has also organized fundraising events such as a ‘Cake and Chocolate Sale’ during the Valentine week and Hakuna Matata cultural night, which yielded impressive collections. Furthermore, we have collaborated with the Caribbean African Association and professors who focus their research around existing healthcare discrepancies.
Our ultimate goals include dialogue around long-term sustainable solutions to enhance medical facilities in Tanzania and within the short-term current situation of urgency, to raise fund for open-heart surgeries in India.