Strengthening cardiology and pulmonology in Tanzania

CommunicationsMedicine, Sharing Strengthening Saving, Tanzania, Uncategorized

In our first two years working at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Tanzania, Seed and the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) have helped transform care in two important specialties – cardiology and pulmonology. 

Stephen Humphrey (second from right) with some of his Tanzanian counterparts and students.

Stephen Humphrey (second from right) with some of his Tanzanian counterparts and students.

Physician Educator Stephen Humphrey, a cardiologist with nearly 40 years of clinical and teaching experience, worked with his faculty counterpart, Dr. Pilly Chillo, to enhance cardiology training and services at MUHAS in many ways. He introduced a portable ultrasound device as a valuable tool for teaching and diagnosis, created systems to improve clinical bedside teaching on the wards, and helped create a new Congestive Heart Failure Unit at the hospital.

“Since Dr. Humphrey arrived in 2013, we have improved our partnership and impact with Seed Global Health each year,” said Dr. Chillo.

“We established a steering committee to develop a Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit at MUHAS and have become a leader in critical cardiac care and research for the East Africa Region.”

Dr. Hassani Ramadan performing a bronchoscopy at Muhimbili National Hospital in Tanzania.

Dr. Hassani Ramadan performing a bronchoscopy at Muhimbili National Hospital in Tanzania.

Physician Educator Bill Thompson had a similar impact on pulmonology training and care at MUHAS. When he arrived in 2014, there was just one doctor trained to use the national health system’s only bronchoscope — an essential tool for diagnosing lung cancer, tuberculosis, and other lung problems. Dr. Thompson trained six local doctors in bronchoscopy and built an online bronchoscopy curriculum that now belongs to MUHAS.

“When Dr. Thompson came, he increased interest in bronchoscopy and strengthened our training,” recalled one of his students, Dr. Hassani Ramadhani. Now Dr. Ramadhani and Dr. Thompson’s other students are providing bronchoscopies for patients at MNH and working to strengthen both infrastructure and training for bronchoscopy in Tanzania.

“The training is our main objective,” Dr. Ramadhani observed. “And not to train ourselves only. Once we are trained, we need to train other people.”