Baptista has been busy working with one of Dar’s biggest government hospitals to secure some amazing placements in all the major disciplines. He gave me a bit more information about the hospital and what students can expect out of placements:
“This hospital is the biggest referral hospital in the country and offers our students some fantastic opportunities. It treats both private and regional referral patients from all over Tanzania, so the departments will see an enormous variety of conditions, and with almost 2500 beds we know it is going to be busy!
Although it was originally one big hospital, they now have a separate centre for orthopaedics. Tanzania always has busy orthopaedics wards because of the huge number of accidents on the road and in mines. This separate centre makes treating patients far more efficient and allows us to arrange specific placements in orthopaedics, neural surgery, traumatology and physiotherapy.
Over in the main hospital there is scope for some great medical and nursing placements in paediatrics and child health, working with a variety of general conditions and infectious diseases. The team work with congenital, oncological and haematological conditions (such as sickle cell anaemia, lymphomas etc) as well as paediatric diarrhoea and malnutrition. There is also a neonatal section – the only one in Dar - and an outpatient’s clinic for postnatal care.
I was also keen to look at obstetrics and gynaecology placements as this department is always very popular with our midwifery students. I spoke with the doctor in charge and there is potential for students to get involved with emergency and elective operations as well as general antenatal and gynaecological out-patient clinics. Including deliveries, the department has 200 – 400 patients per week, which is great news for students that like to keep busy!
Another student favourite is surgery and this hospital excels in its possibilities! There are scheduled operations two or three times a week in general, gastroenterology, cardiothoracic, urology, paediatrics, plastic / reconstructive and cardiac.
What I like about this new hospital in Dar is the scope for students to get involved in areas that are not available in other parts of Tanzania. In internal medicine there is a chance to get involved in a whole range of specialist clinics including cardiology, respiratory, diabetes, nephrology, neurology, HIV treatment and care as well as dermatology. I also had an interesting meeting with the psychiatry department, which deals with both acute and normal cases. Students would be able to work with patients in the ward on a range of complaints.
The only area I haven’t really touched on is dentistry. There is one ward dedicated to dental operations or conditions related to dentistry such as cancer and trauma. There are also departments in oral surgery and oral pathology, preventive and community dentistry and restorative dentistry. I know that dental students often ask to specialise in areas that just don’t exist in a developing country like Tanzania, so it’s great we can now offer different focal areas in this discipline.
I’m really excited by the potential of placements in Dar – it’s a world away from the limitations we face with Mnazi Mmoja on Zanzibar and I think the students are going to benefit enormously”
For more information on our Dar es Salaam programme, click here.