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By Kate McAuliff

10 days

2 partner hospitals

18 surgeries

1 regional training with 20 participants

3 surgeons educators

6 Tanzanian surgeons

2 Mission: Restore staff

…in 1 surgical training visit

Our most recent surgical training visit explored new initiatives and forged new relationships with partner hospitals in Tanzania.

I know, you get it; we did another surgical mission, big deal, right? It is a big deal!

The December Surgical Training was a prime example of Mission: Restore’s work with a complexity of parts moving toward the principal aim to train and build the capacity of surgeons globally.

This visit was a balancing act of approaches. In the first half, we were in Mwanza. There in northern Tanzania, we were on home turf – working with our partners of multiple years. But, this time, we tried a new approach: regional training. In Mwanza, our Regional Training on Reconstructive Surgery brought together doctors, medical officers, interns, and surgeons from all over the region. There, the identified challenge of wound care was discussed at length and medical professionals strengthened their network. They also had the opportunity to observe a skin graft procedure. A few days later, Mission: Restore continued working with new people as they joined ward rounds with interns and registrar doctors from the surgical department. These new methods strengthened our ongoing partnership and we look forward to finding more ways to operate together in Mwanza.

During the second half of the visit, we went all the way east to Zanzibar, the Tanzanian archipelago, where we worked with a new partner hospital in a new context, but returned to our tried and true surgical training method. This government hospital is the main referral point for all of Zanzibar, and we saw the evidence of that with patients lined up through hallways during our initial consultation clinic. For the next week, we provided lectures on various topics each morning to a room of members of the surgical department. For the rest of the day, we used two operating theaters simultaneously to do trainings and surgeries alongside Tanzanian surgeons, interns, registrars, general physicians, and nurses. Our experience has already inspired more ideas for Zanzibar, and we look forward to growing this partnership.

The 10-day training visit in December was full of trying new things, getting feedback, and ensuring everything we do points towards that same aim of empowering and growing surgical capacity. We are continuously collaborating and creating initiatives to have a multidimensional response to the complex challenge of shrinking the global surgery gap.

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