From surgical training missions to sustainable collaboration
Surgical missions to Haydom Lutheran Hospital (HLH) in Haydom, Tanzania are nothing new. For years, surgeons from High Income Countries (HICs) have travelled there for short periods to address the great surgical need by operating on patients during their visit. However, this model of surgical short-term missions falls short of creating lasting impacts in these communities. Global Surgery Amsterdam is focused on creating sustainable collaboration to create systemic changes in access to safe and affordable surgical care.
GSA focuses on training missions, where we provide unique “on the job” and “off the job” training. We train a variety of medical staff, including surgeons, nurses, theatre staff from Haydom and the surrounding areas on surgical topics based on their expressed needs. Rather than focusing on the short-term, we ensure that HLH provides quality aftercare and that we focus on building the surgical capacity of the local health system so that they can independently provide the same surgical care in the future.
Haydom Lutheran Hospital is a referral hospital for 3 million located in northern Tanzania, approximately 300 kilometres southwest of Arusha. Current surgical care cannot meet the demand for treatment of certain things, such as burns, scarring (contracture), fractures, complex wound care and cleft lip and palate. As a consequence, patients can face permanent disability, discrimination, exclusion, and economic hardship.