Canada-Tanzania partnership will enhance clinical skills and training
This project is a 2020 recipient of grant funding from the Royal College’s new International Development, Aid and Collaboration (IDAC) program. This grant supports projects that improve health profession education and local capacity in low- and middle-income countries.
Physicians from the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine, including Dianne Mosher, MD, FRCPC, Tom Feasby, MD, FRCPC and Gwen Hollaar, MD, FRCPC, are expanding a longstanding partnership in Tanzania to address locally identified needs in physician training and practice.
“On a recent visit, our Tanzanian clinical partners asked us to help them improve their clinical skills and clinical training programs,” said Dr. Mosher, associate dean of Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement at the Cumming School of Medicine. “Royal College IDAC funding will help us achieve that.”
Building on an established partnership
The Cumming School of Medicine has worked since the early 2000s with the Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences (CUHAS) at Bugando Medical Centre in Mwanza, Tanzania. Collaboratively, they have developed many educational programs including a Master of Public Health, a joint PhD, an International Medical Education Leadership program and Kolabo — a psychiatry and mental health education program. The strong relationship that developed between these two organizations has enabled the partners to build robust governance and accountability structures, comprehensive risk management strategies and evaluation models.
“This cohort of Tanzanian clinical leaders is now ready and eager to work closely with colleagues from Canada to build their capacity in specific clinical areas,” said Dr. Mosher. CUHAS wishes to increase physicians’ expertise and skills in the ICU, and in pediatric emergency, and obstetrics and gynecology. They have also asked for assistance with curriculum development and evaluation in some of their residency training programs.
A joint planning exercise
The expanded work planned for 2020 will start with a joint planning exercise between the Cumming School of Medicine and CUHAS. University of Calgary specialists will spend a week working alongside their Tanzanian counterparts in their clinics, operating rooms and emergency rooms. This experience will form the basis of a needs assessment and a resulting plan to improve clinical skills. Some training possibilities include clinical mentorships, specialized courses and simulation training in Tanzania, as well as observerships in Calgary.
“We will work closely with the Tanzanian residency program directors to understand their programs, their strengths, limitations, needs and opportunities,” said Dr. Mosher. “Together, we will develop plans to address these issues.”
Due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions, a number of project activities originally planned for earlier this year have been delayed. Some activities have since restarted, while others are waiting for an appropriate and safe time to resume.