Hospital in Africa will get fresh support from trust

Dr Chilonga Kondo, second left, and Dr Gileard Masenga, second right, from KCMC with Brenda Longstaff, centre, Prof Richard Walker, far left, and Liam Horgan from Northumbria Healthcare.
Dr Chilonga Kondo, second left, and Dr Gileard Masenga, second right, from KCMC with Brenda Longstaff, centre, Prof Richard Walker, far left, and Liam Horgan from Northumbria Healthcare.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is working together with Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) to deliver day case surgery to the local population.

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

It 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.

For almost 20 years, Northumbria Healthcare has worked in collaboration with KCMC to provide training and support to healthcare professionals.

As well as day case surgery, this time around the Northumbria team is focusing on digitalising records, understanding the cause of overcrowding, testing diagnostic radiology equipment, supporting staff on wards and assisting in theatres.

Brenda Longstaff, head of international partnerships at the trust, said: “We’re really excited about going back.

“It’s serious work, but it’s such a pleasure to do it with people whom we now call friends.

“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.

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