#ZanzibarSerena – giving back to their community


(Posted 20th December 2018)

The Zanzibar Serena Hotel partnered with the Zanzibar Outreach Program to offer complimentary ear surgery to at least 30 children with hearing problems. The surgeries were conducted at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital in Zanzibar between 8th- 12th December and marks 9 years since the partnership began in 2009.

The ear surgeries are aimed at creating awareness for hearing problems within the ear, nose and throat anatomy. Since inception, over 462 people have benefited from the ear surgery camp. The surgeries were conducted by ENT specialists’ doctors from Zanzibar Outreach Program comprising of Dr. Harish Rupani, Head of Delegation of Volunteer Doctors, Dr. Naufal Kassam, Head of ENT at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital and Dr. Jandu, ENT Volunteer Specialist. Over the last 9 years, the visiting ENT Specialists have been accommodated at Zanzibar Serena Hotel on complimentary basis.

Dr. Harish Rupani, ENT Specialist Surgeon, Zanzibar Outreach Program says, “We strongly advocate for parents to bring their young ones for screening and treatment. A large number of hearing impairment is often diagnosed in childhood and is caused by a number of factors ranging from birth complications, genetic abnormalities, ear infections, medication, damaging levels of noise among others. Detection and treatment of hearing impairment during an early age results in significant better outcomes than intervention in adulthood.”

The World Health Organization estimates that over 360 million people worldwide live with hearing loss. Out of the total 318 million are adults while 32 million are children, 80% of who are low and middle income earners. This makes hearing impairment one of the most common disability in the world.

Wilfred Shirima, General Manager, Zanzibar Serena Hotel says, “We are committed to working with our partners to help create awareness of hearing impairment and reduce the number of children suffering from these cases. This initiative supports our efforts in promoting social growth as hearing loss in children exposes them to high risks of delayed childhood development.”

The success of this initiative has been made possible by the long-term relationship that Serena Hotels has with the ENT specialists developed over the 9-year period. The clinic is primarily for children but the general public can also be attended to. Three adults between the age of 28-35 years and twenty-five children between 9-14 years were treated. During this exercise, the parents and children were enlightened on precautionary measures to prevent hearing loss.

As part of its day-to-day operations, Serena Hotels focus on programs that respond to the needs of the environment, economy and communities within which it operates. All Serena’s programs are aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set out by the United Nation Development Program. Zanzibar Serena Hotel ear surgery initiative particularly aligns to “SDG 3 Good Health and Wellbeing” and “SDG 17 – Partnership to achieve the Goal”. Zanzibar Serena Hotel and Zanzibar Outreach Program intend to carry out the Ear Surgery Camp annually.