Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Moshi, Tanzania
The collaboration between Nijmegen en the Tanzanian health care system has a history of more than 25 years, first of all with Muhumbili University College of Health Sciences in Dar es Salaam. The Nijmegen-KCMC collaboration started in 1997 with the postgraduate programme “Improving Quality of Care through Continuing Education” and training of medical staff of KCMC in Nijmegen. The relationship between both Medical Centers was formalized in 2000, when a collaborative agreement was signed for four years, later extended with the second 4-years phase up to 2007. Presently the next phase is being formulated. The focus during 9 years of collaboration was local capacity building through long-term commitment.
Specific activities were:
- The development of skills training in the MD curriculum and the establishment of a Skills Training Centre, equipped with modern learning materials, as well as the introduction of new skills assessment methods (OSCE).
- Upgrading of local staff by training in specific areas like endoscopy. This went in parallel with the establishment of the Endoscopy Unit in the hospital, now one of the best around. Also, from 2003 an Infectious Diseases Clinic was established, offering modern ARV treatment and care to fast increasing numbers of patients with HIV infection from far around.
- A sandwich program for training of KCMC staff in basic sciences. This program has resulted in Master of Science degrees for KCMC staff in Clinical Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Anatomy and Physiology. This programme is well structured support with gradual transfer of training elements to KCMC. Some trainees later continued collaborative research with Nijmegen groups for a PhD.
- Short visits by Nijmegen staff for skills training, orthopedics and endoscopy. In addition, student exchange was accomplished. Numerous Nijmegen students have enjoyed elective periods offered by KCMC.
- From early 2002 to end 2004 Professor Dolmans held a position as Director of Postgraduate Studies at KCMC, which gave an impetus to further local capacity building.
- During the second phase of the collaboration (2004-2007), while curriculum development and staff training remained important activities, in 2004 the PRIOR research programme on malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis started, later boosted by the APRIORI grant for an additional 4 years. Currently seven PhD-candidates from KCMC are enrolled in these programmes.Meanwhile the College continues developing. A new Strategic Plan was formulated looking ahead from 2005 to 2015 . Nine years after the start of the MD curriculum at KCMC with 12 students in 1997, the intake of students has gone up to 35, 75 and 105 from 2004 to 2006. This success also poses a major challenge on the teaching staff and the management of the College.
KCMC has made considerable progress over the last 9 years:
- increasing numbers of competent doctors, teachers and scientists are the intellectual and spiritual driving force of KCMC and of the College
- improving facilities for specialized hospital care and for practical training of doctors and specialists
- a new modern College building coming up for training and teaching
- a new research building is being build that will enable multidisciplinary collaboration in basic, translational and clinical research.
In future, the strategy will remain: local capacity building and long-term commitment.