During Dr. Abel Mussa’s internship, he was one of eight doctors in a hospital department that saw about 400 patients a day. Dr. Mussa performed more than 200 C-sections during his training, and frequently noticed that mothers would often not survive the surgical procedure. After a number of tragic outcomes, he began to dig for answers.
“Why did this mother die?” Dr. Mussa recalled asking himself, “I could not sleep – I was losing my courage – it was very troubling…I discovered that during a C-section, the woman is under general anesthesia and there are a number of complications that they can encounter that would cause them to lose their life… I completely changed. I had to tell the head doctor, I want to finish this year and then I am going to back to school and I am going to start the program in anesthesia.”
Dr. Mussa pursued advanced training in anesthesiology, and worked with GHSP Physician Educator Dr. Bronwyn Rae. “ When I first met Bronwyn I was in the first year…she got me into the [surgical] theater, where the theoretical and the practical can come together. It was a transforming step for me…it was her support that helped push me forward.”
The support Dr. Mussa received from Dr. Rae and other GHSP Volunteers throughout his training influenced his decision to stay in Tanzania and train future generations of anesthesiologists.
“If you don’t have people who are well trained, if you don’t have people who are equipped, and you don’t have the equipment to provide safe anesthesia, then surgery probably is a place where people are going to die,” says Dr. Mussa.
Dr. Mussa has returned to the same hospital where he was an intern, this time as a teacher. He is training and overseeing all the anesthesiologists at the hospital, supervising the surgeries, and advocating for improved patient care. With the support of partners like Seed Global Health, He believes Tanzania will more than double the number of anesthesiologists in the country in the next three years. “I am very thankful for all that has been done by Seed Global Health,” he says. “More students are joining the department because of [Seed’s] support with training and equipment.”
You can help by supporting Seed’s crowdfunded campaign. Your donation will be used to provide tuition, books, and training for anesthesiology residents in Tanzania as well as ensure they have the equipment and supplies needed deliver anesthesia effectively and safely.