Machame hospital is over 100 years old, situated at 1500 meters up the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the site of one of the six clinical officer training schools in Tanzania.
The majority of health care in Tanzania is delivered by non-physicians health care workers, and clinical officers are on the front line, often the first people to see patients as they come to dispensaries, clinics and district hospitals. The CNIS FIRST -Fundamental Interventions, Referral and Safe Transfer- course is designed to give the students basic skills in assessing patients, evaluating their severity of illness and arranging for early treatment and, if necessary, safe transfer to a higher level of care.
On Saturday June 2, 2012, CNIS ran the one-day instructor workshop for the local faculty. The feedback was very positive and they were ready to apply their new skills by teaching the student course the following Monday, June 4. By the next Friday, we had completed the two courses. Forty-one students had graduated. The response from
the students was overwhelmingly positive. There were suggestions for repeat courses longer courses and everyone felt that FIRST should be a permanent part of the curriculum. As on student said, “I graduate in three months. I now feel that I am ready to go out and use these skills with my patients.”
By Dr. Robin Fairfull-Smith, CNIS Surgical Associate (Tanzania)