RWI - AKH Dar es Salaam Program
Nov 29-Dec 4 2021
Our RWI team arrived in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on November 27 th 2021. Given Covid
concerns, we were a small but highly dedicated team of four female plastic surgeons and two
physician assistants from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Memorial Sloan-
Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Over the course of the one-week program, we provided care to 24 women and children
with traumatic injuries that impaired their physical function and appearance. Over half of these
patients were girls younger than age 10. As an example, 3-year-old (insert name) suffered a
scald burn at age one and lost the function of her right arm. We performed reconstructive
surgery to restore mobility, allowing her to use her shoulder and elbow fully. (photo?)
Teaching and training of local surgeons was a top priority on this trip. Ten surgical
residents and three new-graduated plastic surgeons from the Muhimbili National Hospital and
the Aga Khan hospital participated in the program. Our goal was to provide the highest level
of mentorship and hands-on learning to help these Tanzanian residents and surgeons acquire
new skills to restore lives in their country. The residents learned basic plastic surgery skills
such as release of burn scar contractures, while the plastic surgeons learned more advanced
reconstructive techniques, including tissue-transfer for breast reconstruction after mastectomy
surgery. We also held a half-day city-wide plastic surgery symposium attended by over 100
local surgeons and physicians. Using a case-based education model, the symposium covered a
range of topics including management of hand and craniofacial injuries.
This was the sixth time that RWI has worked in Dar es Salaam since 2016. Despite the
challenges of the pandemic, this trip was in many ways our most successful. The long-term
relationship we have established with the Aga Khan and Muhimbili hospitals has allowed us to
very positively contributed to the plastic surgery training of the next generation of Tanzanian
surgeons. With ongoing mentorship, these young surgeons will have the skills and potential to
exponentially increase the care of injured women and girls across their country.
DEC 31st, 2021
Not too late to make your year-end gift!