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Tanzania introduce day case surgery with help from Northumbria

Friday, 02 March, 2018
Tanzania introduce day case surgery with help from Northumbria

Northumbria is working together with Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) to deliver day case surgery to the population of Tanzania – a first for the country.

This ground-breaking project will see patients returning home the same day after surgery, something which has never been successful in Tanzania before.

This new way of working will reduce the risk of cross-infection for patients, meaning less time in hospital and fewer instances of patients required to stay longer than necessary. As Tanzanian families are required to pay for their medical care, this opportunity to have surgery in a day will overjoy patients and minimise the cost of a hospital stay.

Brenda Longstaff, head of international partnerships said:

“Incredibly, it is ten years since we delivered Tanzania’s first training course in laparoscopic surgery. Since then KCMC has carried out more than 600 successful keyhole operations.

“You really need to see it to believe it.”

For almost 20 years, Northumbria Healthcare has worked in collaboration with KCMC, providing training and support to healthcare professionals. This time around, the team – alongside introducing day case surgery – are focusing on digitalising records, understanding the cause of overcrowding, testing diagnostic radiology equipment, supporting staff on wards and assisting in theatres.

Each member of the NHS team will contribute to better the services at KCMC and will return to practice here in the UK with renewed dedication for the NHS. The clinical and leadership skills they return with are invaluable to the ‘day job’ with many saying it was invaluable to their development as clinicians.

Brenda added, “Each step of the way we push boundaries and together make a difference; not only to the population of 13 million that the hospital serves (not a typo!) but to thousands more as doctors come from across Tanzania and beyond to train with the team.

“We’re really excited about going back. It is serious work but it’s such a pleasure to do it with people whom we now call friends.”

Media contact:

Elliot Nichols – Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

0191 203 1512 / 07966490736