The Northumbria Tanzania International Health Link

The trust has worked in colloboration with Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in Tanzania since 1999.

The link was established after Professor Richard Walker, director of research and development and consultant physician, led a team to visit KCMC to explore training, research and education opportunities with the hospital. Inspired by KCMC's drive and determination to improve healthcare in Tanzania, the trust forged a formal institutional link to take activities forward.

KCMC is located in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, in Moshi, in the North East of Tanzania. The hospital is one of the largest referral hospitals in the country, serving a population of over 12 million people.  As in many African countries, people pay for their healthcare in Tanzania and, as one of the poorest countries in the world, this often means people can delay seeking treatment and care. Consequently, KCMC is presented with a high volume of patients with often very severe, debilitating illnesses and injuries requiring a great deal of healthcare intervention.

Our partnership, which is supported by Bright Northumbria, is founded on sustainable improvement and making a long-lasting difference to health - at home and in Tanzania. Over the years, we have undertaken a number of different healthcare projects together to improve a range of healthcare services and our partnership goes from strength to strength.  We have made a number of significant achievements over the years, including introducing laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery, setting up a BSc physiotherapy programme, launching a community ultrasound service and developing a burns care service.

Every year, teams of healthcare professionals from our trust and across the world volunteer through our Northumbria Tanzania International Health Link to visit the hospital and undertake planned project work. Projects and visits are coordinated by our international partnerships team. Volunteers deliver teaching and training to help build skills and knowledge in KCMC. Through the support we receive from our charity Bright Northumbria, we have also provided support to source much needed equipment and resources to help the hospital develop.

The Northumbria Tanzania International Health Link is described as 'one of the largest health links between England and Africa' (source: THET website)