While FAME established general surgery as a strategic priority area in early 2017, surgical intervention has been a part of our mission from the very beginning. Our original hospital building plans included two operating rooms, a recovery room, plumbing for medical gases, and an anesthesia machine.
On January 16, 2014, our FAME team partnered with American volunteer surgeon, Dr. Duane Koenig, to conduct our very first surgery. This surgery, like many to follow, would be an opportunity for our small OR team to learn and work under the guidance of accomplished volunteer surgeons.
With the introduction of labor and delivery services in late 2014, FAME launched a rigorous in-house education program focused on building the surgical skills necessary to respond to obstetrical emergencies. To date, FAME has trained seven members of our clinical team in Structured Operatives in Obstetrics.
FAME’s medical volunteer program also continues to play an important role in building and broadening our team’s surgical capacity. In 2018, we established a partnership with Creighton University’s Global Surgery Fellowship Program, welcoming the program’s first fellow on the FAME campus. Dr. Kelly Shine, an American general surgeon, will be working with us at FAME for a full year working side by side with our Tanzanian staff to enhance their surgical skills.
In 2016, GE Healthcare Africa made a very generous in-kind donation that included two additional anesthesia machines, two monitoring systems, two ventilators, and a 220 KVA backup generator. With this critical infrastructure now in place, and a team ready to build and broaden their skills, FAME is now poised to expand its already growing surgery program. In 2018, our team performed a total of 538 surgical procedures, a 36% increase from 2017.