NetOne donated surgical equipment to the UZ Department of Dentistry and Oral Health Care at Parirenyatwa Hospital this morning, to facilitate a facial reconstruction surgery for a 29-year-old young lady, suffering from a rare condition which has seen her face being largely deformed.
Taremeredzwa Mapungwana was born on the 14th January 1991 in Mutare. In 2004 she developed what everybody thought was just “a pimple” which for any teen girl would be normal and would just disappear. However, when the pimple did not vanish and instead kept growing into a huge tumor; she consulted health practitioners who diagnosed her with Ossifying Friboma.
Ossifying Friboma is a tumor of odontogenic origin that exclusively develops in the tooth-bearing areas of the jaw. In October 2004 she underwent surgery to remove the tumor and Taremeredzwa thought her life would get back to normal. After only a year she discovered the tumor had recurred and to date, she has undergone a total of 16 surgeries to remove the stubborn recurring tumor.
The last operation resulted in her jawbones being removed as this was deemed to be an area where the tumor was highly prevalent, this then left her face largely deformed.
Speaking at the handover ceremony NetOne Public Relations Executive Dr. Eldrette Shereni highlighted that “NetOne gave Taremeredzwa an opportunity to fulfil her career aspirations when she joined the company initially as graduate trainee and is now working as a Products Officer in our Products and Innovation department. Her story is not only touching, but resonates well with 2 of our key Corporate Social Investment Pillars, namely One Health which seeks to promote healthy lives and well-being for all in line with SDG 3; as well as One Care which focuses on philanthropic initiatives centred on vulnerable groups and individuals like Taremeredzwa who has a unique and rare condition. To this end we set aside a total budget of USD57 000 to fund her facial reconstruction surgery and have used part of those funds in procuring the requisite equipment in order to facilitate the two surgeries she requires. As such we have managed to purchase equipment worth ZAR203 313 which we are handing over today to the team of surgeons that will be conducting her operation.”
Dr. Eldrette Shereni further indicated that, “As NetOne we would want to be instrumental in assisting Taremeredzwa in fulfilling her dream to the fullest and giving her an amazing smile back. This will assist in ending the social stigma, physical and emotional pain she has suffered over the years, as a result of her condition. We hope and trust that our donation today will no doubt trigger the first step which is her upper jaw reconstruction surgery which is scheduled to happen over the next few weeks.”
This resonates with NetOne’s mission to transform lives, not only through communication solutions but life changing initiatives such as this one.
Dr. Fiona Makoni, Head of the University of Zimbabwe Department of Dentistry and Oral Health thanked the NetOne team for their kind donation and said “This gesture is testament to the fact that whilst the country is seized with fighting the deadly Coronavirus that has befallen the world, there are other critical conditions such as Tare’s that still require due care and attention. I would like to extend our utmost gratitude for this kind gesture that will go a long way in capacitating the team to effectively conduct surgeries such as this one. “
Taremeredzwa Mapungwana thanked the University of Zimbabwe Department of Dentistry and Oral Health care team for walking the fifteen-year journey with her and encouraged them to continue showing love and compassion to patients with unique conditions. Taremeredzwa is looking forward to the operation which she deems will restore her confidence and allow her to lead a “normal life” without the stigma from society. She also expressed her sincere gratitude to the NetOne team for this life changing donation that will positively impact her life and that of her family in the foreseeable future.