On 8 November, Tanzanian President Kikwete underwent a successful operation to remove a cancerous prostate. The operation was conducted at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, USA. The President remained in the US for three weeks for recuperation before returning to Tanzania.
President Kikwete thanked all Tanzanians for praying for him and commended the media for conveying the right message away from distortion. “In September, last year, I went for a medical check-up and doctors diagnosed me with prostate cancer. They told me that since it was still at a manageable level, an operation could remove it completely and stop it from spreading to other parts of the body. Before going for the operation, I wanted to ‘put the house in order’”, he added, explaining that he had been waiting for the Constituent Assembly to complete preparation of the proposed new Constitution.
“Although I looked normal and continued with my duties, the illness remained a source of ‘inward misery.’ It took eight months to inform my wife but she is great and encouraged me to undergo treatment. I am glad am cancer free. Doctors said that after such an operation a patient could survive for 30 years depending on one’s age,” he said.
President Kikwete explained that since the 1990s when he served as the minister for energy and minerals, he cultivated the culture of undergoing regular medical check-up. He appealed to ‘wananchi’ to emulate that way of life.