Meet Tariq, a 4 year old little boy, who first became sick in September 2022. His parents attended 5 different health facilities around their home in the South Eastern part of Tanzania. It was a freezing cold isolating moment for the family since no one seemed to be able to help their child as he became weaker and weaker.
In January 2023 at the edge of losing hope the family met a guardian angel in the form of a doctor from Ligula Hospital (one of the TLM NCCN* partner hospitals) in Mtwara, region over 500kms from Dar es Salaam, who contacted them with the TLM team. Tariq urgently needed transfer to Muhimbili National Hospital for a conclusive diagnosis, management and treatment. Tariq’s father who had been battling to find care for his child had unfortunately no means to pay the bus fare and was grappling with hypertension and diabetes himself making the situation almost unbearable.
Thankfully Tumaini La Maisha were able to step in and provide the support needed to transport Tariq, his father and big brother to Dar es salaam; and then help him access the care and treatment he needed. He was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, which required him to stay on Upendo and Tumaini wards and in Ujasiri House for many months to receive the intensive treatment he needed.
Currently he is doing very well and has started the gentle maintenance phase of his chemotherapy which will last 3 years and will continue to receive treatment as an outpatient. His big brother is taking great care of him, since his father needed to get back home to the rest of his family. Tariq is attending weekly clinics, where he always spends time in our play and class room. You will not see a bigger smile than the one he greets us with each week.