Family is important in Tanzania. It is important the world over. For 35 year old Tasiana, starting a family was beginning to seem like an impossibility. After multiple doctors and hospitals, and 4 unsuccessful pregnancies, two of which were stillbirths at term, she was beginning to think she would never be a mother. Pregnant with her 5th child, she was desperate to get some answers. That’s when she found Dr. Walii Msuya and FAME Medical. After taking a complete history and reviewing her records during that initial consult, Dr. Msuya made a commitment to Tasiana – he would do his level best to determine what was causing her inability to deliver a healthy baby. Reaching out to volunteer US-based OB/GYN consultants and his colleagues at home, studying on-line journals, and using his own clinical skills in the days and weeks to follow, he came up with a working diagnosis—Antiphospholipid Syndrome or APS. APS is an autoimmune disorder in which the body recognizes certain normal components of the blood and/or cell membrane components as foreign substances and produces antibodies against them. In pregnancy, this is a very high-risk situation for both mother and unborn baby, with mother’s body essentially attacking the placenta which damages the blood supply to the baby and usually causes death to the unborn child. Needless to say, the management is exceedingly delicate, requiring closely controlled anticoagulation for the mother during pregnancy.
Anxious to get high quality prenatal care, Tasiana began FAME’s prenatal program in March, while Dr. Msuya and our maternal health nurses followed her closely. Following treatment protocols for this condition, she was admitted to the labor ward at 38 weeks for close observation and fetal monitoring, with a scheduled C-section to follow a few days later. Both Tasiana and her unborn baby remained stable, so she was taken to the Operating Room on August 23rd where she delivered a strong 7 pound baby boy. And after just a few short days in the hospital, Tasiana was able to take her healthy newborn home — her hope renewed, her dream finally a reality.
A culture of patient-centered care and life-long learning is what we try to cultivate at FAME Medical. Dr Msuya exemplifies both. A doctor who treated this woman like a member of his own family, a doctor who committed himself to finding some answers that would make a difference in a family’s life, and a doctor courageous enough to step up to the plate despite the challenges, knowing that Tasiana was out of options. Thank you , Dr. Msuya. We are proud to have you on the FAME team!