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    Shaukat Syed
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IMI First Delegation to Tanzania

Tanzania, Africa

On June 6th 2013, for the first time in IMI history, a delegation of six IMI members arrived in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, with a full schedule of capacity building lectures and meetings to further IMI’s presence in Africa. The delegation consisted of Dr. Barkat Jaferi, Dr. Batul Ladak, Dr. Ghulam Mehdi Sumar, Dr. Sarwat Hussain, Zainab Ali, Dawn Sharp, Mohammad Jaferi and Zafar Jaferi.

That same day the delegation visited Wali ul Asr, a complex that includes an orphanage, school and health clinic. Delegates brainstormed ways in which to leverage the most important assets of IMI, its members, to help the Tanzanian community. Institutionally a shard charitable purpose was apparent when visiting the orphanage, school and clinic. The program offers orphans opportunities, enriching their lives by ensuring their education through the university level. Similarly the clinic offers services for no cost (or very low-costs) to all without the ability to pay and in need of any of the various services that are offered. Among the services offered are family planning, child birth, dental and eye examinations just to name a few. Overall, the trip to Wali-ul-Asr was instrumental in providing delegates with insight into ways that IMI can help in Tanzania-both with capacity building and furthering health/science education, as well as with primary care at clinic locations.

The following day IMI, in collaboration with CHB and CMB Tanzania, gave the first ever CME in Tanzania, presented by Dr. Sarwat Hussain. The topics of discussion included Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Cancer Treatment and Radiology of Hepatocellular Cancer and Beyond. The CME was a great success and received by a very enthusiastic crowd. On the eve of June 7th, IMI health professionals presented a broad range of topics including presentations by: Dr. Sarwat Hussain on Diagnostic Radiology and Cancer Management, followed by Dr. Barkat Jaferi on A History of Diabetes, wrapped up by Dawn Sharp with her presentation on Kinesiology and Nutrition. Well over a hundred medical professionals attended and the enthusiasm and dedication was palpable.

The sessions continued on June 8th 201. IMI delegates presented a diverse list of topics including: Dr. Sarwat Hussain who presented on Diagnostic Screening for Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Dr. Barkat Jaferi presented on Hypertension, Zainab Ali R.N. presented on Culture and Communication in Healthcare and Dr. Batul Ladak who presented on ????.

The following day delegates presented at a local nursing school in the KSIJ-Jaffery Complex. This complex, located on Morogoro road, only minutes from where the delegates where living offers education in various fields including business, nursing, accounting, and education. Topics of presentation were as follows, Dr. Sarwat Hussain presented on Patient Dignity and Confidentiality, Zainab Ali R.N. presented on Pressure Ulcers, Escalation & De-escalation, and Culture and Communication in Healthcare and Dawn Sharp presented on Nutritional Health.

On June 9th delegates flew to Arusha famous for Mt. Kilamanjaro the largest mountain in Africa, for yet another round of presentations. Dr. Sarwat Hussain presented at the Khoja Center on Introduction to Radiology followed by a Q&A session led by Dr. Sarwat Hussain and Dr. Barkat Jaferi. The Q&A session in Arusha was very popular with most of the attendees participating.

The following day, the delegation visited a Maasai School known as Mti Mmoja Khatmul Ambia Institute where a primary and secondary institute has been setup for Maasai children with over 200 children attending. The significance of this project is without it, the Maasai children may never even learn a language let alone how to read and learn. Delegates were welcomed with open arms by the children. Students range from 3 years of age to 21 years old.

On June 12, IMI Delegates arrived in Mikumi at a Catholic Health Ministry run hospital, where the primary task was assisting patients. The staff was ecstatic to receive us, they had been in contact with Dr. Barkat Jaferi for several months prior to our visit and had at least 60 patients ready to be seen. Upon arrival, Dr. Maximillian, the head doctor at the 240 bed hospital, gave the delegation a tour of the various wards. The infectious disease department was very advanced when compared with much of the third world in terms of HIV/AIDS treatment.

The following day the delegates visited another hospital/dispensary run by the Catholic Health Ministry in Morogoro. Dr. Barkat Jaferi attended several dozen patients before heading towards the Catholic Ministry’s headquarters in Tanzania where we were received with open arms by Bishop. While conversing with the Bishop we were better able to understand the specific needs of the Catholic Health Ministry in Morogoro.

The IMI trip to Tanzania was a great success, spearheaded by our own two doctors Dr. Ghulam Mehdi Sumar, a Swedish dentist who was born in Zanzibar, and Dr. Barkat Jaferi, an Internist from New Jersey who was born in Pakistan, and supported by Dr. Batul Ladak, IMI HQ’s Representative to Africa. All were instrumental in organizing and orchestrating this great success, silently arranging our trip to provide the most comfortable and easily the most accommodating IMI U.S. trip abroad. Their efforts, undoubtedly with the hard work in diligence on part of all of the delegates and IMI HQ, has helped provide a foundation, a bridge between IMI and the sub-Sahara which, will remain strong for years to come.