Tanzania To Improve Emergency Health Services

Tanzania To Improve Emergency Health Services

Mpoki Ulisubisya, The Permanent Secretary in Tanzania’s Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, has said that his government is in a process of reducing 40 percent of deaths that occur following lack of proper emergency service support.

He stated that the government’s priority was establishing an emergency medicine department at every district hospital across the country.

“We can no longer overlook the 40 percent of deaths that occur due to lack of emergency services support,” he said.

He wants to ensure that every regional, district hospitals and health centres are equipped with emergency services.

According to him, at least 27 emergency specialists had received emergency care training while others were still undergoing similar training.

Adding that eventually, they expected the number of specialists in the field was expected to increase to 36.

He said the government plan was not only to construct emergency department but also laying down a strategy to educate emergency specialists in emergency care.

However, he noted that lack of medical equipment was still a challenge in Tanzania.

Meanwhile, Emergency Medical Department (EMD) Head of Department, Dr Juma Mfinanga, said 25 percent of the number of patients admitted to Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) was mostly accident victims.

He noted that the number of accident patients admitted to the national hospital was large but the presence of the EMD at the hospital had helped them to reduce the number of deaths caused by accidents.

MediSwitch Aims To Train The Next Generation Of Health Entrepreneurs

MediSwitch Aims To Train The Next Generation Of Health Entrepreneurs

MediSwitch aims to train the next generation of Health Entrepreneurs with the sole purpose of helping them run their practices as a business.

MediSwitch offers practice management talks once a year to the University of Witwatersrand physiotherapy students, as well as University of the Western Cape dentistry students. They have trained over 200 students.

Altron Chief Executive, Mteto Nyati, said, “Healthcare is our focus area for growth and the MediSwitch team is not only offering healthcare practice solutions to the healthcare industry but also extending their expertise to benefit medical students in getting them ready for the business world.

Entrepreneurship and small and medium businesses are the bedrock of SA’s economy. It is generally accepted that half of South Africas GDP is contributed by small and medium businesses.”

Services Manager at Mediswitch, Doloress Nkosi, said, “Many students coming out of university are not always equipped in terms of setting up a business to practice what they learn. They face challenges with dealing with medical aids and billing, which includes understanding the importance of coding correctly so they can receive timely payments.

A wide range of topics are covered by the company’s practice management advisory sessions such as: which medical bodies to register with, management of patient records, the importance of location, practice administration, claims and online payments, as well as improving cash flow.

“Providing medical students with the right skills to successfully run their own business is important to the Altron group – expanding healthcare to all sectors of society in South Africa, and providing young entrepreneurs with the skills to contribute towards the economic growth, reduce unemployment levels, and also alleviating poverty,” concluded Nkosi.

Massive Helium Reserve Discovered in Tanzania

Massive Helium Reserve Discovered in Tanzania

A massive helium reserve has been discovered in Tanzania which is reported to be twice as large as originally thought.

The rare gas is an essential part of the gas mixtures required for deep technical diving.

Unlike nitrogen, helium is not narcotic and therefore technical divers will use the gas to reduce the amount of nitrogen in the mixture, a blend known as ‘trimix’, or remove the nitrogen completely leaving just oxygen and helium in the cylinders (heliox), for the deepest of dives.

Helium is also used for a wide range of scientific and medical applications. In its liquid form it is used as a coolant for major scientific projects such as rocket propulsion and the Large Hadron Collider, but most important of all for medical Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners.

It is considered a non-renewable resource as there is no known chemical method of manufacturing the gas.

Helium is formed during the naturally occurring radioactive decay in rocks and is so light that if it were not mined, it would disappear into space.

As a consequence of the limited supplies, the cost of Helium has risen dramatically over the last decade, making the cost of tank filling awfully expensive for some divers.

The field in Tanzania was discovered in 2016 and was initially thought to contain approximately 1.5 billion cubic metres (54 billion cubic feet) of Helium.

Recent reports, however, suggest that initial estimates were wrong due to flawed sampling procedures and that the Tanzanian reserve may contain as much as 2.8 billion cubic metres of the helium – almost double the original estimate – and there may be more, according to Chris Ballentine and Peter Barry from the University of Oxford, who conducted the studies.

‘We are probably still somewhat understating what is present,’ said Abraham James, ‘but nevertheless, that gives us room to update and improve as we progress.’

The worldwide media is reporting the discovery as a ‘game-changer’ for science and medicine, and perhaps – at least amongst the technical community – a ‘bill-changer’ for divers.

Tanzania: A Lot Of Support Given By Aga Khan For Govt Development Plans

Tanzania- A Lot Of Support Given By Aga Khan For Govt Development Plans

His Highness the Aga Khan, The founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), told President John Magufuli that his network will expand the Dar es Salaam Aga Khan hospital and build a university in Arusha.

His Highness the Aga Khan, said the expansion of the Dar es Salaam Aga Khan Hospital would see an increase in the number of beds from the current 72 to 172.

“We will also improve the oncology and cardiovascular departments at the hospital to be able to offer better and more treatments. This will go hand in hand with bolstering medical training,” His Highness the Aga Khan told President Magufuli.

He further said that the university to be built in Arusha, will train African leaders so as to improve their capacity to serve the continent better,”

President Magufuli praised and thanked His Highness the Aga Khan for the contribution of the AKDN in the socioeconomic development of Tanzania.

President Magufuli also said his government would be ready to offer assistance and cooperation to AKDN whenever asked.

“President Magufuli also requested His Highness the Aga Khan to consider investing in Tanzania’s new capital, Dodoma,” the statement from the State House read in part.

The statement added: “President Magufuli has also asked AKDN institutions, especially those offering health and education services, to find ways of reducing service fees so as to be more affordable and accessible to low-income earners.”

Speaking to reporters after the talks, His Highness the Aga Khan said he had also discussed with President Magufuli the role African media should play in pushing for the development of the continent.

“It has been a tradition, which has come from outside Africa, to use or develop political news as prime material for communication. That is really wrong. Media has a much wider role particularly in the developing world,” he said.

“We need professionalism in the field of media. We need people who can comment on medicine, economics, religion, politics, constitutionalism; all these issues,” he added.

Today His Highness the Aga Khan is expected to lead a religious ceremony at the Diamond Jubilee Hall that will be closed to the media.

Kenya To Enhance Occupational Safety For Doctors

Kenya To Enhance Occupational Safety For Doctors

Jantine Jacobi the UNAIDS Country Director for Kenya said that the East African nation requires a healthy workforce in order to end HIV as a public health threat by the year 2030.

“We are working with other partners to try to solve the issue of stigma and discrimination of health workers who are infected with HIV so that they can access the care they require,” Jacobi said during a forum to discuss issues relating to health for doctors and occupational safety.

She added that Kenya needs a health safety program for doctors because the country is losing doctors due to work-related stress including HIV.
Jacobi stressed on the fact that the workplace should be a safe environment where employees can perform their task without the fear of injury or death.

“Kenya should implement and develop workplace safety and health programs in order to improve the welfare of doctors,” she added.

Fredrick Oluga, Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist Union Secretary-General, said that occupational safety and health of medical practitioners is an important component of a functioning healthcare system.

“However, this understanding seems not to be shared across the system as doctors have been neglected and their well being either forgotten or not prioritized leading to deterioration of health and safety of doctors with fatalities being reported in some cases,” Oluga said.

He added that there is lack of confidential and proper reporting channels with regards to injuries sustained at the workplace while the stigma associated with seeking medical care amongst doctors continues to impede the access to medical care for doctors.

Tanzania: Chinese Firm to Build Hospital Equipment Factory

Tanzanias Chinese Firm to Build Hospital Equipment Factory

Neusoft Medical Systems Company Ltd from China has been offered a project by the government of Tanzania to construct a medical equipment manufacturing factory.

The anticipated factory will be capable to manufacture and design a wide range of medical products that monitor, diagnose and treat diseases and conditions that affect humans.

Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children on September 18, signed the contract with the Chinese company on behalf of the government.

“The Chinese company will build a medical equipment manufacturing facility here that will be capable to manufacture medical equipment such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), X-ray machines etc,” he said.

He further said the factory would be the largest in Africa which and would also offer training to local medical specialists on how to use the equipment.

Dr Ulisubisya expressed his optimism that the move will benefit the country in terms of the new technology that the Chinese company will bring in.
“The medical equipment will be manufactured here and we will be able to buy the equipment directly from them at a lower price,” he said.

“It will help in improving healthcare environments in our hospitals hence people will be able to access the latest technology.”

He thanked and assured the Chinese company of government’s support to facilitate the construction of the factory.

Tanzania: Bugando Medical Centre Launches Heart Fund

Tanzania: Bugando Medical Centre Launches Heart Fund

An initiative has been launched by Bugando Medical Centre (BMC) dubbed the Heart Foundation Lake Zone Chapter, for seeking money to support training of cardiologists.

Complications of heart-related diseases are increasing in the Lake Zone with a few cardiologists at the main heart institute.

More than 700 people, who were screened for heart disease complications during a World Heart Day campaign were diagnosed with different heart complications.

BMC Director, Dr Abel Makubi said there are only one cardiothoracic surgeon and two cardiologists at BMC, which is the main heart institute for Lake Zone residents.

He added, “To support the government to improve the health sector the basket fund initiative was taken.”The fund will be used by the government to train health experts and provide medical equipment to hospitals in the country,” he said.

Prof William Mahalu, The head of cardiothoracic surgery at BMC, said they hoped that through the funds generated from the basket, they could also construct another heart institute in the Lake Zone to cater to the increasing number of heart patients.

Prof Mahalu explained that BMC began offering heart treatment services in 2007 and that so far, 352 patients had undergone open heart surgeries and 176 minor ones.

According to him, heart diseases were currently more of a lifestyle-oriented disease because people ate foods, which were high in calories and failing to do exercises.

He urged people who are in their forties to undergo regular screening tests for heart diseases.

Ms Glory Joseph, Cardiologist at BMC said: “More than 700 children aged between 0 and 15 years, who were screened for heart diseases at BMC this year, 300 were diagnosed with different heart defects that required major heart surgeries.”

Tanzania- Toshiba Medical Donate Viamo Ultrasound To Help With Surgeries

Tanzania- Toshiba Medical Donate Viamo Ultrasound To Help With Surgeries

Viamo portable ultrasound system was donated by Toshiba Medical to assist with the surgeries at Bugando Medical Centre, which serves about 13 million people.

These surgeries were carried out on children with anorectal malformations and Viamo was used to image their spinal cord and urinary tract. Training was given to local staff on how to perform exams on patients with similar abnormalities.

Dr Steven J. Kraus, division chief of fluoroscopy and staff pediatric radiologist in the department of radiology at Cincinnati Children’s, said: “We look forward to this mission in Tanzania so that we can educate and provide necessary resources in an underserved community,“.

He added that technology like the Viamo ultrasound is more difficult to come by in those regions. That makes it a challenge to perform routine imaging for anorectal malformation, which occurs in one in 5,000 live births.

In February 2010 Toshiba Medical received FDA clearance for the Viamo ultrasound. It was designed with advanced radiology capabilities that were previously unavailable on portable ultrasound systems.

This marks Cincinnati Children’s second annual mission to Tanzania — the last mission was carried out in May 2016. Next month, it will be completing its third mission to the East African country using the Viamo ultrasound.

For this mission, Cincinnati Children’s also partnered with the nonprofit organization Mending Kids, which provides surgical care to children around the world. Through the organization, thousands of children have received corrective surgeries for congenital heart defects, orthopaedic abnormalities, severe scoliosis, colorectal anomalies and significant cranial facial deformities.

Anesthesia Training Camp To Be Held In Tanzania

Anesthesia Training Camp To Be Held In Tanzania

Anesthesia experts from East African countries will be meeting at the Muhimbili Orthopedic Institute (MOI) in Tanzania to undergo a four-day training on Managing Emergencies in Pediatric Anesthesia (MEPA).This is the first time MOI is hosting the training.

He said the training will help Tanzania anaesthesia experts to operate children with different medical problems.

”It’s an honour to be part of an event which is one of its kind and has never taken place in East Africa before while also taking into consideration that a majority of the training was being conducted in Sub Saharan countries,” he said.

Mpoki Ulisubisya, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary said the training will train a lot of anaesthesia doctors and equip them with modern ways to operate children who are involved in an accident.

Ms Rosemary Mukunzi an Anesthesia expert from Rwanda urged African leaders to invest in anaesthesia experts and surgeons because the only way to achieve millennium development goals was to invest in doctors.

The training was led by experts from the University of Kwazulu Nata in collaboration with South of Anesthesiologists of Tanzania.

Dubai To Entice Medical Tourists From East Africa, China And Russia

Dubai To Entice Medical Tourists From East Africa, China And Russia

Dubai aims to attract Chinese, Russian, Ethiopian, Kenyan and Tanzanian medical tourists.

A team of the Dubai Health Authority and Dubai Medical Tourism Council is working with an international patient’s team and doctors from the Canadian Specialist Hospital on strategies to attract more patients into the city.

The International Medical Travel Journal reported that the Canadian Specialist Hospital in Dubai has an international patient centre and has been promoting medical tourism since 2006,

Hospitals, clinics, and medical tourism organisations have been requested to work better with the hospitality, tourism, and aviation industries globally and locally, particularly with international and local travel agents, hotels, and passenger airlines.

It was reported that in June 2016 medical tourism in Dubai yielded revenues of around AED1.42 billion (US $390 million) in 2016, up from AED1.40 billion in 2015.