12 March 2019

Africa: Aga Khan Building Capacity for E. Africa Healthcare Professionals

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There is need for capacity building Tanzania health sector to increase the number of healthcare practitioners as well as the quality of medical equipment and facilities as well. Short of increasing and improving the number of healthcare providers, then the country will continue to suffer grave loss of manpower due to pervasiveness of otherwise treatable diseases.

The government of Tanzania is very cautious of this danger and is taking strategic steps to face it, among them been, inviting the private sector to invest in the health sector. In this regard, the Aga Khan Hospital and Aga Khan University has been conducting an internship program for almost a decade now.

ALSO SEE: Tanzania's Prime Minister Majaliwa praises Aga Khan's healthcare system

Since the first batch of four medical interns were enrolled back in 2010, the demand for the internship space within the Aga Khan Hospital has more than tripled. Now the program has 64 medical residents and takes in 60 interns each year from across Africa.

There are currently 62 interns comprising of; 22 medical interns, eight pharmacy, 18 nurses, 13 laboratory technician interns and one radiology intern. The increase of interns went hand in hand with expansion of training space, services and human resources.

This expansion is part of the just completed Phase 2 project that comprised of building an entire new wing that was launched on 9th 2019 by the Tanzania Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa and Tanzania's Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Hon. Ummy Mwalimu.

The two top government officials were hosted by Her Highness Princess Zahra Aga Khan who was there on behalf of her father His Highness the Aga Khan. The government recognized the contribution that the expansion brings to healthcare delivery inn the country and beyond.

With completion of the USD 83.5 million wing, the hospital will now serve over one million patients each year, a great stride in providing affordable and quality healthcare to Tanzanians and the entire East and Central Africa.

Becoming A Dr (MA): Aga Khan Nurturing Health Care Providers

At Aga Khan, the postgraduate training programs are matched up with the Family Medicine program which helps integrate internship training at the Aga khan hospital with the Aga Khan University postgraduate training and the Continuing Medical Education.

This means that the interns not only get hands on experience, 'but are nurtured to become holistic clinicians, nurses, pharmacists and lab techs.'

From internship, the future doctors start residency (Specialization) and complete their Masters programs. While others go for sub-specialization, many come back and join the Aga Khan Hospital. With the expansion of the PGME programs more opportunities for training are now available.

Currently there are alumni furthering their studies in Kenya, Lesotho and South Africa amongst other countries.

'Thus it is clear with proper mentorship, adequate resources and conducive learning environment young professionals from Tanzania can compete equally in global stage.'

Aga Khan hospital has state of the art technology and first class professionals who act as role model for the young doctors. Furthermore, Aga Khan is the first and the only JCIA accredited hospital in Tanzania and among the top ten in Africa.

'This combination of high end technology, top notch professional and world quality recognition makes the Aga Khan Hospital a much sort after internship placement site.'

The tertiary teaching hospital status means that the interns who train at the Aga Khan Hospital are able to study or work anywhere in the world.

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