Sustainable reduction of child mortality by qualified health personel

This project received the Else-Kröner-Fresenius award for medical development cooperation in 2016 including prize money of 100 000 Euros. The Else-Kröner-Fresenius Foundation (www.ekfs.de) distinguished this project for its exemplary conception, its sustainability and its impact on health service delivery for children and adolescents in Tanzania.

In 2006, Dr. Christian Schmidt, a GTP board member, initiated a 3-year-long paediatric specialty training at the Bugando Medical Center / Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences in Mwanza (Tanzania). Together with other GTP members (Dr. Werner Schimana, Dr. Carsten Krüger) he had developed a practical curriculum, which then was accepted by the university as well as the state authorities in the same year. At that time there had only been 56 paediatricians serving 17 million children in the country. Until then a paediatric specialty training had only been possible at two universities (Moshi and Dar Es Salaam) and it was not free of charge. Since the launch of the paediatric specialty training in Mwanza 31 paediatricians were successfully trained there (as of 2017) of whom all, apart from two who failed to complete the training and one who is working abroad, are still working in Tanzania.

In 2008 Dr. Schmidt handed his responsibilities over to the GTP member Dr. Züchner, who continued and expanded the work there until 2016. The programme was then handed over to Tanzanian colleagues. Every year, GTP lecturers travel from Germany to Mwanza to teach paediatric subspecialties due to the massive lack of local doctors.

A new development is the expansion of this programme to include the University of Dodoma. The head of the programme is a Tanzanian paediatrician who was himself trained in Mwanza. The specialty training in Dodoma is designed according to the model in Mwanza, has already been accredited and is supported by German lecturers from within GTP since 2017. It is planned, however, to include more and more lecturers from other universities in Tanzania and neighboring Kenya, Malawi and Uganda in terms of a South-South exchange.

GTP will use the prize money to support four project components:

  1. Co-financing stipends over 3 years to participants of the Master of Medicine programmes in Mwanza and Dodoma
  2. Financing visits for on-the-job training of participants in African neighbouring countries and Germany
  3. Technical and structural support of the specialty programmes (medical devices, textbooks etc.)
  4. Co-financing visits of guest lecturers from Germany, Tanzania and African neighbouring countries.

We thank EKFS for the award and we will continue to campaign for sustainable structures to improve the health of children and youth in Tanzania with this speciatly training.

Photo copyright: Thomas Köhler / photothek / EFKS

1. Parlamentarian undersecretary at BMZ, Thomas Silberhorn MdB
2. Dr Carsten Krüger, Dr Antke Züchner, Dr Auma Obama, Dr Christian Schmidt (from left)