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Margaret Tierney, MD
Margaret Tierney, MD
Pediatrics · Minneapolis, MN

Quality Improvement Initiative in Arusha, Tanzania

January 13th
Arusha, Tanzania

Project Description

I plan to work on a pediatric-focused quality improvement project in Arusha, Tanzania. This project will start with an on-site needs assessment in the Pediatrics Unit and NICU of two local hospitals (one rural, one urban). I'll be working with local staff to identify potential areas for improvement and projects that they feel would be beneficial. In early communication with local staff, one already-identified project that I plan to work on is creating educational training on newborn exams, to be available for local registrars.

My hope is that the needs assessment will result in multiple potential projects that can be worked on by both myself, and my colleagues who will be working at these sites in the future (multiple resident physicians rotate at these hospitals each year). Ideally, this project will be the start of an ongoing QI effort carried forth by rotating residents and local staff.

Population Served

This project will benefit the pediatric population of Arusha and the surrounding area. By spanning two hospitals, it will benefit both urban and rural populations. This population warrants healthcare improvement efforts due to the high under-five mortality rate in Tanzania. Additionally, these specific sites offer the opportunity for longitudinal projects and the potential for a larger, lasting impact.

Expected Impact

I anticipate this project will be the start of an ongoing QI effort at these sites. I expect the initial project of creating education/training on newborn exams for local registrars will lead to improved newborn care. However, I feel the larger impact of this project will come from the needs assessment, which will lead to multiple, longitudinal QI projects carried forth by rotating residents and local staff. I anticipate these projects will improve the overall quality of care in pediatrics at these sites. Multiple colleagues of mine who will be working at these sites in the future have committed to implementing or continuing projects that are identified in the needs assessment. I hope to have continued involvement in these projects after I return by assisting with any work that can be done remotely (eg background research), and by acting as a mentor for future rotating residents.

Trip Photos & Recap

This project was based in the pediatric units of two hospitals (one rural, one urban) in Arusha, Tanzania. It directly involved local pediatric providers and visiting resident physicians from the US. By providing education and resources for local providers, it aimed to have a broader impact on the local pediatric population. This project was intended to be the start of an ongoing educational collaboration between local providers and visiting residents, so our hope is that it will have a continued impact on these groups and on the health of the local community.