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Celebrating 20 years of ground-breaking work in Tanzania

Wednesday, 06 March, 2019
Celebrating 20 years of ground-breaking work in Tanzania

A pioneering partnership between the North East and Tanzania is celebrating 20 years of transforming healthcare.

The multi-award winning link between Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) has been revolutionising healthcare services in Tanzania since 1999; improving patient experiences and reducing overcrowding in hospitals.

The trust introduced laparoscopic surgery to KCMC and has since been training surgeons both on-site and remotely via digital video links.

Northumbria Healthcare is a leader in international relations and its innovative approach to training has seen major improvements to surgical procedures. The surgery can now be performed as keyhole and day-case procedures, reducing the patients need to stay in hospital overnight and therefore also reducing the risks of post-surgery infections.

Brenda Longstaff, head of international partnerships at Northumbria Healthcare said: “It has been a pleasure to work with our colleagues from Tanzania both at home and abroad over the last 20 years. We have worked together to introduce new services to improve healthcare for both the medical centre and the people of Tanzania.”

Northumbria Healthcare has also been working with Pinderfields General Hospital in Yorkshire and more recently the Royal Victoria Infirmary burns unit in Newcastle to assist with the development of Tanzania’s first dedicated burns unit. The introduction of the new burns unit alongside a special education programme has led to a reduction in burns injuries in Tanzania. So far the programme has reached over 2000 children who are spreading the public health message.

Brenda said: “Seeing the positive changes we are making in Tanzania is so rewarding. We have come so far over the past twenty years and are looking forward to the new challenges the future will bring.”

This long-standing relationship won the prestigious British Medical Journal (BMJ) award in 2014 and the ‘patient’s choice’ prize at the ‘Building Better Healthcare awards’ as well as being ‘highly commended’ for both ‘Best Use of Technology and ‘Clinicians Choice’ in 2018 for its ground-breaking video connection allowing surgeons to train medical staff over 5,000 miles away.

Media contact:
Elliot Nichols
0191 203 1512 / 07966 490736