March 2017 Pemba Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania

The kick-off to teaching point-of-care ultrasound and obstetric ultrasound on Pemba Island of Zanzibar, Tanzania was a team effort and truly successful. A needs assessment had been conducted prior with the realization that the hospitals on Pemba Island greatly needed obstetric ultrasound training in order to provide the appropriate care for the pregnant women of Pemba. The team included Drs. Elizabeth Hall, Naomasa Hase, Danielle Matilsky and Tu Nguyen.
The first week was an intense boot camp comprised of didactics and hands-on practice with local volunteers. The students were a mix of physicians, medical officers and nurses traveling far from different areas and coming from three different hospitals: Chake Chake, Micheweni and Wete. They were engaged, diligent and determined as learning ultrasound for the first time can always be challenging. They progressed over the week and we were ready to start working in the field with them.

We divided ourselves each day to travel to different hospitals to focus on hands-on practice with obstetric ultrasound with the participants on actual pregnant patients who were coming in for various reasons. Within the first couple days, we’ve managed to discover pregnant patients of varying gestational age with multiple gestations, fetal hydrocephalus and other pathologies.

This was not only a valuable learning experience for the participants, but also a rewarding experience for us. We learned about the culture, the people, their access to medical care and even a little Swahili. Look out for Dr. Elizabeth Hall’s updates as she continues to teach in Pemba!

Dr. Tu Carol Nguyen
Emergency Ultrasound Fellow
University of Maryland

Dr. Danielle Matilsky
University of Pennsylvania


Pemba US