Pediatric Radiology in Tanzania

In the East African nation of Tanzania, 55% of the population of 60 million people are younger than age 18. Disease processes that affect adults are different than those that affect children.  Medical knowledge specific to children is essential to care for the health of the Tanzanian population. Currently, Tanzania has established basic medical imaging capabilities (i.e. ultrasound, radiographs, fluoroscopy, CT and MRI scans), but lacks the pediatric imaging subspecialty knowledge essential to improve the health of the young population.

I am a senior radiology resident working to launch the first pediatric radiology fellowship program in Tanzania. As part of a dedicated team of pediatric radiologists from several academic institutions including Yale, Harvard, and Stanford, I have been working to develop and formally approve the first pediatric radiology training program for Tanzania. This project has been underway for more than a year, and will continue to be nurtured for years to come.

This October/November, I will travel to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to launch this pediatric imaging fellowship curriculum at the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) through intensive training of more than 50 medical imaging professionals.

Immediately, this project will benefit the millions of children near Dar es Salaam who will soon have access to improved pediatric imaging subspecialty care. Additionally, the development of the curriculum training resources and practical expertise will be made available to other nations to improve the medical imaging of pediatric populations. (A secondary site is already being primed in Kigali, Rwanda.)

This funding will be applied only to my (1) flights to and from Dar es Salaam, (2) Tanzania travel visa, (3) room & board, and (4) supporting radiology education in Tanzania. I will continue to work as an un-paid volunteer in Tanzania, and will not personally monetarily profit from this project.

This experience will contribute to my knowledge and ability as I embark on a radiology career focused on decreasing health disparities. Personally, I am deeply grateful for your investment in my knowledge and ability to share the life-saving gift of medical imaging to patients in need. More importantly, I am grateful for the way your contribution will make a difference for the children of Tanzania.

I continue to work towards a world where your health is not determined by where you are born.

Asante (thank you)!

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JT Meldrum
Kaneohe, HI

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