Tanzania: MNH Provides Radiology Services to 600 Patients in Two Years

THE Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH )) has made strides in providing interventional radiology services to nearly 600 patients since the services were introduced two years ago.

Patients who received the service include those with tumors in dental (hemangioma and lymphangioma) tumors in kidney, head, fibroids and other diseases.

According to experts, Interventional Radiology is a medical specialty which provides minimally invasive image-guided diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

MNH Head of Radiology Department, Dr Flora Lwakatare told reporters over the weekend that health experts at the national hospital were now capable of providing the services after receiving training from international radiologists from Canada in cooperation with the USA based Emory and Dartmouth universities.

She said interventional radiology has helped to reduce cost of seeking overseas treatment.

"In interventional radiology, we use X rays, CT-Scan fluoroscopy and ultrasound to treat a variety of health conditions, such as tumors and conduct renal analysis and treat uterine fibroids without performing surgery, and it takes some hours before the patient could walk freely back home on the same day. This reduces expenses and time and averts risks associated with surgical process," said Dr Lwakatare.

She said interventional radiology can treat ailments such as percutaneous biliary drainage and nephrostomy tube placements which were accessed from abroad and nursing wounds after surgery would take up to six weeks.

The radiologist added that the coming of foreign experts facilitates knowledge transfer to local medical practitioners (Radiologists), adding that the recent team of experts led by Dr Ash Murray have extended the training to Ocean Road Cancer Institute.

She said that it was their expectation that the services will also be extended to other health facilities such as referral hospitals in the country with the intention of moving the services closer to the people.

On his part, Canadian International Radiologist, Dr Ash Murray called for more investment in such treatment, saying that even if it initially sounds to be costly, it saves more time, money and risks of undergoing surgery.

"Hospital (MNH) administration and the government must consider more international radiology to train local physicians and assure availability of devices because they are costly, but people recover shortly after treatment."

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