A doctor and nurse swapped Tanzania for North Tyneside to learn valuable skills and experience as part of an international health link.
Dr Nicholaus Mazuguni and nurse Neema Natai spent time at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to gain learning to share with colleagues back home.
The pair, who work at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in Tanzania, completed Commonwealth Professional Fellowships at the trust.
For more than 15 years Northumbria teams have provided training and support to staff at KCMC to transform patients’ experiences.
The next projects will focus on improving patients’ experiences in maternity and intensive care which have been bolstered by Nicholaus’ and Neema’s placements.
Nicholaus, who first came to the trust in 2007 as a medical student, spent time observing how gynaecological care is delivered in clinics, on the wards and in theatre.
He said: “I was delighted to return to Northumbria and I have gained valuable experience of how gynaecological care is delivered here.
“This visit has been a real eye-opener for me and there are many elements of the service provided that we can adapt and use.
“While laparoscopic surgery is commonplace in the UK, it’s only starting to be used in Tanzania.”
Neema has worked in the intensive care unit at KCMC for 14 years and is one of the senior nursing sisters. It was the first time she had left Tanzania.
She spent time in the intensive care unit at The Northumbria hospital and with the tissue viability, which deals with skin and soft tissue wounds, and infection control teams.
Neema said: “I’ve really enjoyed my placement at Northumbria Healthcare and learning from the teams both in hospital and in the community.
“It’s been a fascinating experience for me to be able to see how care is delivered in the UK and the practices in use. While the principles of high quality patient care are the same, I have been staggered by the equipment in use here.
“Due to the high numbers of patients we have on our wards at KCMC, infection control is more of an issue for us and while we don’t have the equipment you have, we try our hardest with the resources we have, and improvise where we can, to provide the best care we can for our patients.
“I’ll take a great deal back with me from my time here and am extremely grateful for the opportunity.”
Brenda Longstaff, head of international partnerships at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “We were delighted to welcome Nicholaus and Neema to our trust. They have had a great visit and packed a lot into a short time.
“Their visit, funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, will help us to take forward two very important projects in maternal care and intensive care.
“We’re sure that with the skills and knowledge gained from their visit they will return to KCMC with enthusiasm and determination to take our projects forward.
“This will mean better care for the people of Tanzania.”