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Photojournalism: Tanzania

Moran’s global outreach team partnered with Tanzanian ophthalmologist, Dr. Frank Sandi. During five days time I photographed the team of doctors and nurses that treated over 1000 patients and performed cataract surgery on almost 500 people.

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Patients walked, biked, and took the bus to the Benjamin Mkapa Hospital in Dodoma Tanzania on a road built as part of China’s “Economic Belt and Silk Road” initiative to improve infrastructure in Tanzania. This includes the construction of oil pipelines to help Tanzania generate electricity with it’s own resources while giving the Chinese access to oil and gas reserves in Tanzania. The Chinese Embassy in Tanzania donated 30m worth of equipment to the Hospital.
 
 
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The hospital kitchen sat outside next to the trash burn. The air smelled of warm ugali, grilled fish and hospital waste. The scent of plastic IVs, metal syringes, bloody bandages and pharmaceutical waste filled the air.
 
 
 
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Moran’s global outreach team partnered with Tanzanian ophthalmologist, Dr. Frank Sandi. During five days time the team of doctors and nurses treated over 1000 patients and performed cataract surgery on almost 500 people.
 
 
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One of the main characters of the story are Omary, a 26 year old man living blind from congenital cataracts for over 15 years and Lily his adopted sister. Lily and her mother living in Dodoma heard about Omary’s condition and decided to take him him into their home to try and find him a cure. The morning after Omary’s first surgery on his left eye, he started vomiting, showing signs of malaria. Lily took Omary to the hospital’s ER where he was given six different antibiotics in hopes that he would recover in time to get surgery on his right eye before Moran’s outreach team left.
 
 
 
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Power outages were common and every hour or so Moran’s technicians would restart the computers and medical equipment during surgery. On the second day the water line to the hospital broke and bodily fluids were poured down the sink with a bottle of water.
 
 
 
 
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Lily’s father passed away two years ago, leaving her mother to take care of five children. Her mother is a woman of undeniable strength and working two jobs she has sent all of her children to college. Lily studies urban development in college with a goal of improving local infrastructure. Omary dreams of learning how to read and making change in his community as a politician, “Politics run in my blood” he told Lily. After surgery when Omary could finally see Lily he cried.
 
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