Medical Education & Development of Expert Service

Staff shortages for paediatric oncology remain an urgent priority. Even with the required cancer facilities in place, patients will not receive the necessary treatment without doctors, nurses and other health professionals trained in the specifics of paediatric oncology and haematology. Therefore, the need for rigorous educational programmes in paediatric oncology and haematology to train the next generation of Tanzanian paediatric oncologic specialists is imperative. To view and download all our medical resources click here.

MSc in Paediatric Oncology/Haematology

It is an essential part of the strategic plan for Paediatric Oncology to ensure that there are local skilled human resources available over the next 15-20 years to meet the demands of the expanding capacity of Paediatric Oncology services in Tanzania. MUHAS, Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) and other Tanzanian Medical University centres, including Bugando Medical Centre (BMC), KCMC and Mbeya Hospital have a cadre of specialists with postgraduate training in Paediatrics and Child Health (PCH) who have an interest in paediatric haematology/oncology, and who are currently managing patients with haematology/oncology disorders but do not have training in this specialized field.  

TLM designed the locally based MSC in Paediatric Haematology/Oncology was designed, funded and commenced enrolment in September 2013. There are currently 3 candidates in their second and final year and 3 are in their first year. A new enrolment begins every September. This masters programme currently relies heavily on support from colleges and partners from Global Hope and Texas Baylor Hospital. Over time locally trained experts will take on this educational role. This Programme is hoped to train sufficient paediatric haematologist/oncologists for Tanzania and the region of East Africa. .

Nursing Certificate

TLM have hosted successful 10 week nurse training course in Paediatric Haematology/Oncology since 2016. These courses have previously been in collaboration with MUHAS and the Tanzanian government and is a direct entry for practicing nurses. The programme consists of 10 modules that each student must complete in order to gain the certificate. Modules can be completely on an individual basis to allow nurses to continue working while studying in the certificate programme. The programme has also been a wonderful opportunity for visiting experts, trainers and collaboration with outreach centres and international partners alike. We look forward to hosting many more in the future. 

Haematology Lab Training Programme

TLM and CHI have partnered with MNH haematology department for more than 10 years. The specialist MNH flow cytometry service is extremely active and serves the entire country of Tanzania assisting with paediatric leukaemia diagnostics for all in need. CHI in Crumlin still provides back up and all MRD analysis. In 2022 it is hoped to open a second flow cytometry diagnostics service at KCRI in Moshi. In time it is hoped that these 2 centres will also start MRD analysis for Tanzanian children. The joint CHI MNH experts will support the training of the new KCRI centre. 

Pathology training at MUHAS

The number of trained pathologists in Tanzania are hugely inadequate for the current need. We expect this need to rise significantly as access to quality services improve. MUHAS offers a quality pathology training programme. In 2022 TLM supports the training of one pathologist for a year sub speciality training in paediatric pathology.

Palliative care training

Every year TLM supports doctors and nurses to be formally trained in palliative care to provide end of life care to children with cancer and join the existing palliative care team at MUHAS. Over time others will be identified to provide a similar service to the children’s oncology services in sister institutions.

Tumour board Meetings

The number of trained pathologists in Tanzania are hugely inadequate for the current need. We expect this need to rise significantly as access to quality services improve. MUHAS offers a quality pathology training programme. In 2022 TLM supports the training of one pathologist for a year sub speciality training in paediatric pathology.

In order to improve communication between all sub-specialists involved in the care of children with cancer a weekly tumour board is vital. This has been established at upendo ward but will be strengthened and developed over time. Once sister sites have been established these sites will be encouraged to develop separate TBM and in addition are invited to join (via virtual technology) the MNH meetings and present any especially challenging cases. 

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