Three pupils—Wilson, Sadia and Doreen; who survived a horrific road accident that killed 33 school children, two teachers and a driver in Northern Tanzania, on May 6, are scheduled to receive super-specialised medical care at Mercy Hospital in Sioux City in United States.
Toyota Coaster Van they were travelling in to Karatu District, plunged into a gorge as they were descending Rhotia hills.
Read Aljazeera: Tanzania bus crash: Dozens of pupils killed in Arusha
On the day when the road accident occurred along the Karatu-Arusha Highway, missionaries from Siouxland Tanzania Educational and Medical Ministries (STEMM) were miraculously the third vehicle on the site.
The missionaries were traveling from Pohama village in Singida Region where they had gone to witness the construction of a mission hospital. They were on their way to Ngorongoro District, says Mr Lazaro Nyalandu, Tanzania’s Member of Parliament for Singida North Constituency.
When news of the accident was trending on the fateful day, people in Tanzania could not figure out initially who the foreigners were on the accident scene.
Pictures were seen trending on internet, showing the missionaries working with local residents during a rescue process at Rhotia village where the pupils, their teachers and a driver perished in the grisly accident.
But through the heroic triage, the assistance of the locals and first responder efforts of the STEMM team, the 3 badly injured children were salvaged from the bus wreckage, says one STEMM member, Jordan Reed.
Arusha Regional Medical Officer, Dr Wonanji Timothy says that since the accident occurred, the medics from STEMM have been working round the clock with doctors at Mount Meru Hospital in stabilising the children as plans were underway to fly them to the US for further medical interventions.
Yet, on Monday 8th, as Tanzania’s Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan led thousands of mourners in Arusha to bid farewell to those who died in the tragic accident she spoke of how the government was collaborating with the STEMM missionaries to ensure that the surviving children are given super-specialised medical care.
The country’s Minister of Health, Ms Ummy Mwalimu said she had experts from Tanzania’s major trauma centre Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (MOI), to work with the STEMM missionaries and the doctors from Mt Meru Hospital in Arusha, to ensure that the children were progressing well.
A DC 8 Aircraft from a Christian humanitarian aid organisation, Samaritan’s Purse, is expected to arrive on May 13th in Tanzania from United States, ready to airlift the children, their mothers, accompanied by a nurse from Mt Meru Hospital Simphorosa Silalye and Dr Elias Mashalla, ready to fly the children to the states.
Samaritan’s Purse, the organisation that offered the aircraft is led by a President, Franklin Graham, son of Christian evangelist Billy Graham. The organisation provides aid to people in physical need.
The name of the organization is based on the New Testament Parable of the Good Samaritan, in which Jesus uses a parable to teach people one form of the Golden Rule; “love your neighbour as yourself.”
The aircraft which will take the children and those who accompany them to the US, is expected to land on the Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzanian on May 13th, according to sources privy to Medico PRESS. If all goes as planned, the flight to the US will be on Sunday May 14th.
Then, an Air Ambulance will pick them from Charlotte, in North Carolina where it will land, ready to Sioux City, Iowa, where Mercy Hospital is located.