Jaren Meldrum, MD
Jaren Meldrum, MD
Radiology · Tripler Army Medical Center, HI

Pediatric Radiology in Tanzania

October 12th
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Project Description

I have been working with Dr. Frank Minja at Yale University and a team of pediatric radiologists from Harvard and Stanford to develop a pediatric radiology training curriculum to implement in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, at the main teaching hospital (Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, or MUHAS). I plan to travel to Dar es Salaam to implement the training program through a month of intensive teaching of more than 50 residents and medical imaging health professionals. This is the first pediatric radiology training program in Tanzania and will bring much-needed subspecialty knowledge to the nation.

Population Served

Tanzania has a population of more than 60 million people, but over 55% of them are younger than 18 years. There is a great need for pediatric subspecialty care to serve this large, young population. Tanzania has well-established general diagnostic radiology and has recently begun formal subspecialty training programs in neuroradiology and interventional radiology, proving that it is ready for subspecialty radiologic care. Tanzania is in need of improved pediatric imaging knowledge to serve its majority pediatric population. The project will directly benefit the millions of children in proximity to Dar es Salaam, though this training will also benefit the residents in northern cities, such as Moshi.

Expected Impact

This project is the beginning of Tanzania's first pediatric radiology fellowship program. Dr. Hilda Makungu, a local attending radiologist at MUHAS, has undergone training exchanges in the United States to focus on learning pediatric radiology. Dr. Makungu will lead the in-country effort to train residents in pediatric radiology. My team will help with an in-country training intensive to introduce and reinforce key pediatric imaging and radiologic safety concepts. We have developed a web-based collection of pediatric radiology learning modules that will not only train residents and fellows at MUHAS, but will also soon become an open resource for implementation in similar developing countries. In addition, various pediatric radiologists from our team will periodically return to MUHAS to continue to train radiology residents there. We will continue to correspond online with the Tanzanian residents to reinforce concepts and clarify questions from difficult cases.

Trip Photos & Recap

I worked to elevate the knowledge of pediatric radiology for residents and staff radiologists at the Muhimbili National Hospital and Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, for a month. With a team of visiting radiologists from multiple universities, we contributed more than 40 hours of educational lectures. I trained radiologists in small groups for 50 hours at the workstations. I presented several topics, including pediatric imaging safety and physics, diagnosing childhood bowel obstruction, and imaging appropriateness. I established MRI safety zones in the national hospital. Working with the administration of the hospital and medical school, we gained approval and support to formally establish the first pediatric radiology fellowship program in East Africa, with the first class set to graduate in 2023. This new knowledge will do much to improve the health of children in Tanzania.