Currently, there is a program Road2IR, who's mission is to provide image-guided, minimally-invasive therapeutic and diagnostic procedures for a wide range of medical conditions. Although there is established benefit to these procedures, this region of the world lacks access to these resources.
Upon discussion with Dr. Frank MInja (neuroradioloist, founder of Road2IR), while radiology is an important piece, there are many instances where radiographic abnormalities will be detected, but follow up care/management is not possible given lack of other subspecialties, namely neurology/neurosurgery.
As a clinical neurologist, my role will be to assess the current neurologic capacity of Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The goal is the fill in the gaps, via education/case collaboration/resource allocation to enhance the quality of neurologic care provided to these patients.
The beneficiaries will be the healthcare workers at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), as well as the patients being treated here. The goal is to build a neurosciences foundation here via education/collaboration with local physicians so that they can provide better neurologic care in a region where neurology is severely lacking.
The expected impact is to create a sustainable, collaborative environment between Emory University School of Medicine (Neurology) and Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS). Medical mission trips can sometimes cause more harm than good, if the impact/effect is transient. The goal here is to create a partnership, that is self sustaining in nature. The collaboration for neurology case discussions would continue remotely via tele-resources. Additionally, the end goal is to create an annual or bi-annual elective in which Emory Neurology residents would travel here to continue to foster this collaboration, which in the long run would improve the quality of neurologic care in a resource-limited setting.
This outreach trip was an invaluable experience for my personal growth as a budding physician. We were able to foster relationships with local neurologists at Muhimbili Hospital in Tanzania. We rounded with the neurology team on the inpatient service, seeing cases with a wide range of pathology (HIV related Neuro-infectious diseases, stroke, epilepsy, neurodegenerative diseases, and much more). To see how medicine is practiced in other parts of the world is an important perspective to experience, and we have come up with ways to collaborate in order to improve patient care as well as stimulate interest in neurology via didactic sessions to generate interest among medical trainees to become future neurologist (world-wide shortage of this sub-specialty). The plan is to set up a sustainable collaboration/partnership in which neurology residents and attending physicians will go 1-2 times per year to Muhimbili hospital to continue collaboration with patient cases and participate in didactic/lecture series.