July 22: Zanzibar, Tanzania

During initial meetings in April between PURE, the Minister of Health, and local stakeholders, diagnostic imaging was identified as a major priority of the health system in Zanzibar, a chain of islands of the coast of Tanzania. Now, four months later, Dr. Abiola Fasina, a fellow in emergency ultrasound from the University of Pennsylvania, is in Zanzibar working with PURE, the Zanzibar Ministry of Health and ZADIA, the Zanzibar Diaspora Association. Below is her report:

“Hello from the Spice Islands! So far I’ve visited the main referral hospital on Unguja Island, Mnazi Moja, which is located right near Stone Town. I’m exploring current limitations to ultrasound use here as well as possible future directions for training through discussions with various medical staff members. Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Zanzibar’s second main island of Pemba to assess 5 rural hospitals. It is an exciting time on Pemba Island as both the hospital at Micheweni and Mkoani are to become district hospitals by next year. This means improved access to specialist care and new additions or improvements to their physical space. The theme emerging from my assessment so far is an acute need for ultrasound in the care of obstetric and trauma patients in particular.

This week, I’ll visit the 2 district hospitals here on Unguja Island and then met again with local stakeholders and ministry of health staff. The government of Zanzibar and local staff are really keen on getting this program off the ground and providing improved care and service to their patients.”

PURE and our partners in Zanzibar are seeking funding to execute a locally relevant ultrasound training program by early 2016. Please contact us if you are interested in getting involved!

Mkoani Chake