Alexander Werne, MD
Alexander Werne, MD
Pediatrics · Farmington, CT

Sustainable pediatric emergency care in Tanzania

February 24th
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Project Description

In collaboration with the African Federation for Emergency Medicine, Muhimbili National Hospital, UCSF and other pediatric emergency medicine programs throughout the US, we created a curriculum for numerous levels of healthcare providers as an initial pilot at Muhimbili National Hospital Emergency Department. Over the course of two weeks, we plan to implement a curriculum focusing on pediatric-specific emergency care a large hospital without previously established education surrounding the unique considerations for children in medical emergencies.

Population Served

This project will not only benefit the healthcare workers that work directly at Muhimbili National Hospital, but will also provide a foundation of lifesaving skills and knowledge to community workers who are often the first line in a pediatric emergency situation but not officially medically-trained. As a result of a lack of pediatric-specific curricula for emergency medicine, mortality rates are high and access to age-specific care is inconsistent. Therefore, our project's broader goal is to advocate for more consistent, high quality care for the children that live in the catchment area of this medical system.

Expected Impact

In order to most positively impact the largest number of children in a sustainable way, it is important to empower the healthcare workers who live and work in the community to cultivate a working knowledge base and skillset that they can subsequently teach to future generations of healthcare workers. Based on the success of this initial curriculum implementation, similar interventions may be pursued at additional affiliate locations throughout Africa, with the eventual goal of creating a uniform pediatric emergency care curriculum that is publicly accessible for all lower-resource emergency departments.

Trip Photos & Recap

There were more than a dozen nurses at Muhimbili Hospital who participated in the pilot of our pediatric emergency care curriculum, and it was widely well-received! A didactic and simulation-based curriculum was implemented through a collaborative effort between local Muhimbili Pediatric Emergency attending physicians and visiting UCSF attending physicians, fellows, and residents. The curriculum was a huge success overall in the eyes of the involved trainees, and many were enthusiastic about the potential of expanding this curriculum to other nurses and additional tiers of medical providers in Tanzania and abroad. I can't thank Doximity enough for providing the funding for my travel expenses so that I could be a part of this initiative. I honestly would not have been able to participate without their support!