The Weill Cornell Medicine Tanzanian Neurosurgery Program was initiated by Dr. Roger Härtl in 2008. The program revolves around Bugando Hospital in northern Tanzania, a regional center that serves a population of 14 million people, as well as the Muhimbili Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Institute in Dar es Salaam. The program consists of several components:
- Dr. Härtl and his team train local surgeons to perform basic neurosurgical procedures using locally available equipment and resources. The team trains Tanzanian doctors hands-on, empowering them with a high level of expertise for performing neurosurgical procedures and managing neurosurgical disorders. Providing the highest level of surgical training for these eager, talented surgeons also impacts every other aspect of treatment, including nursing and anesthesia as well as general and intensive care — setting the bar high encourages a positive response and team effort that involves all disciplines.
- Promising Tanzanian surgeons are selected for short-term observational fellowships to experience high-level neurosurgical care firsthand at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. This facilitates a flow of information between Weill Cornell Medicine physicians and Tanzanian surgeons once the surgeon has returned home.
- Every year, a neurosurgery meeting is organized with international faculty members in East Africa who combine lectures, practical workshops and even live surgeries. African surgeons and nurses travel from across the continent to participate in this annual meeting.
- Regular conference calls and Skype conferences are held between our Weill Cornell Medicine team and Tanzanian colleagues to discuss challenging cases and patient management.
- A database and patient registry enable monitoring of surgical patient care and ensure quality. We monitor neurosurgical procedure outcomes in order to make decisions about resource allocation and the success of the program.
Dr. Härtl and the Weill Cornell Medicine team make an annual trip to Tanzania each fall, bringing much-needed training to the under-served population. Support their mission with a donation today. Donate Now
A young brain tumor patient in Tanzania, ready for surgery
Dr. Maria Santos (right) preps a patient for brain tumor surgery.
Dr. Härtl reviews scans with the team.
Physicians interview a Tanzanian patient.