Each year, 11,000 women in Tanzania die due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth and 66,000 babies do not survive the first month of their life.
As a result, Philibert John Tegambirwa, who is based at Bukoba Hospital in the Kagera region, one of the poorest areas in the country, approached a small, UK-based charity, Safe Anaesthesia Worldwide (SAWW), for help.
He had conducted an assessment of 14 hospitals in his region, recording details of staff numbers and their depth of training, numbers of appropriate anaesthesia machines, oxygen supplies and patient monitoring equipment, and concluded there was a need for a refresher obstetric anaesthesia training course for local providers.
Partnerships for Progress
This prompted Diamedica to team up with SAWW to fund a three day refresher obstetric anaesthesia training course, with the assistance of Tanzanian anaesthetists Dr Bernard Kenemo (Bugando Hospital) and Dr Kaino (Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre), and visiting Dutch anaesthetist Dr Henriette Willigers.
In the Classroom
| They were all very motivated and happy with the course. They felt supported by the Faculty and also they refreshed their knowledge and got new insights.
In all, 16 students benefited from the training.
Dr Willigers said: “The course went very well. We had about 16 participants from 16 different centres. Some had travelled for more than 15 hours by bus to attend.
“They were all very motivated and happy with the course. They felt supported by the Faculty and also they refreshed their knowledge and got new insights.”
The Support Network
In addition to training each student was given a copy of Obstetric Anaesthesia for Developing Countries plus The Oxford Handbook of Anaesthesia to support their continuing professional development – books donated by the AAGBI (Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland). The Lifebox Foundation also donated a pulse oximeter to each student.