Getting to know you — Dr. Deogratias Ngoma, Seed Country Representative in Tanzania

Daisy WinnerBlog, Tanzania

When Deogratias Ngoma joined the Seed team as our first Country Representative in Tanzania, it marked another step along a path he has been pursuing since childhood — working to overcome the shortage of health professionals in his country. Growing up in a family of eight children in rural Tanzania, Dr. Ngoma (known as “Deo” to friends and colleagues) saw firsthand how the shortage of nurses and doctors impaired access and quality of care for patients. And he had decided that he wanted to be part of the solution. When he was still in high school, Deo recalls, “I made up my mind I wanted to be a doctor, and I started pursuing that dream.” By the time he joined Seed in the summer of 2015, he had not only fulfilled that childhood dream of becoming a doctor. He had … Read More

World Cancer Day 2016: A Tanzanian doctor’s fight against cervical cancer

Daisy WinnerBlog, Featured, Tanzania

In 2012, more than 8 million people died from cancer and 14 million new cases were diagnosed – with well over half the cases and two-thirds of the deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). By 2030, the global burden is expected to grow to 21.7 million new cancer cases and 13 million cancer deaths. And the burden will be concentrated even more in LMICs, where scarce resources and critical shortages of trained health professionals often prevent patients from accessing the care they need. An estimated 1.9 million to 3 million cancer deaths could be avoided each year in LMICs with effective prevention and treatment. Every year on February 4 we recognize World Cancer Day to highlight the on-going fight against cancer. World Cancer Day aims to reduce the number of preventable deaths each year by raising cancer awareness … Read More

Scaling up cervical cancer prevention in Tanzania

Daisy WinnerBlog, Featured, Tanzania

[January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month – a fitting time for a story about our support for Tanzania’s efforts to scale up prevention and treatment of the cancer that causes more deaths than any other among African women.] Cervical cancer is almost 100 percent preventable. Screening and treatment can detect and eliminate pre-cancerous lesions before cancer develops, and vaccines have been developed that are effective against the strains of the human papillomavirus that cause most cervical cancer. But every year, more than 500,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and over 266,000 women die from the disease. An overwhelming majority of these women (over 85 percent) live and die in low- and middle-income countries. Cervical cancer ranks as the leading cause of cancer and cancer deaths for women in sub-Saharan Africa. And Eastern Africa suffers from by far the highest … Read More

Bringing vital pulmonology tools and techniques to Tanzania

Daisy WinnerBlog, Tanzania

In the US and other wealthy countries, bronchoscopy – using a long, thin viewing instrument to examine the inside of a patient’s airway and lungs – is an essential technique for diagnosing and sometimes treating lung cancer, interstitial lung disease, tuberculosis and other lung problems. In poor countries like Tanzania, both bronchoscopes and clinicians trained to use them are in very short supply. In Tanzania, the public health system for a country with over 50 million people had only one bronchoscope at its main referral hospital and one doctor capable of using it … until GHSP Physician Educator Bill Thompson arrived in 2014 to work at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS). “We have one professor who used to teach us, but when Dr. Thompson came, the training got intensified and a lot more structured,” recalled Dr. Grace … Read More

Sharing Knowledge. Strengthening Health Systems. Saving Lives. – Cathleen’s Story

Daisy WinnerBlog, Nursing, Tanzania

“Making a difference” is one of my core aspirations.  As a nurse for over 45 years,  I have delivered care in nearly all possible settings: hospital, home, clinic, health offices and all types of schools as a nurse and instructor. Prior to coming to Tanzania, I was most familiar with the health needs of school-aged children and their families as a certified school nurse. I took a holistic approach to providing care and education to students, parents, and teachers on issues from diabetes and asthma to child care and hygiene. When I arrived in Tanzania, I was truly able to fulfill my “making a difference” dream, by working collaboratively with Lucy Kamakaba, my counterpart and Community Health faculty at Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences (CUHAS) in Mwanza, Tanzania.  When I arrived,  we identified there was not a hands-on health assessment for school-aged children … Read More