Tanzania is still among the countries with the highest number of newborn deaths (21/1000 live births) in sub-Sahara African. Meanwhile, more than 2 million babies are born every year. It is the goal of the Tanzanian Government to improve maternal and child health and to establish countrywide newborn care units in the district and regional hospitals.
Implementation of the first national Master programme in neonatology (“MSc Neonatology”) at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Dar es Salaam.
- Super specialization of three Tanzanian paediatricians to become neonatologists in Cape Town, South Africa, within the African Paediatric Fellowship Programme (APFP). These paediatricians work at Muhimbili University and will serve afterwards as faculty for the master programme.
- Official start of the master programme MSc Neonatology at Muhimbili University (MUHAS) in November 2021 with enrolment of the first postgraduate students.
- In November 2023 graduation of the first neonatologists fully trained in Tanzania.
- Confirmation of the Ministry of Health (MoH) that the MSc Programme will receive government funding and will be sustained after completion of the project.
- Accreditation of the curriculum through the Tanzanian Commission for Universities (TCU)
- Networking with other international partners of MUHAS, e.g. Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
Through successful implementation of effective vaccination programmes and other interventions, the under five mortality (child mortality) in Tanzania has been reduced significantly over the past decades. However, the neonatal mortality rate has remained high and contributes largely to the overall child mortality.
The implementation of a master programme MSc Neonatology at the largest and oldest medical university of the country will support the national goal of improving maternal and child health.
The MSc Neonatology is the first programme for the super specialization in neonatology in the country. Up to now the only opportunities for Tanzanian paediatricians to specialize in neonatology were offered in South Africa and outside the African continent.