Funded by Global Affairs Canada, Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Dalhousie University is one of 20 teams of Canadian and African researchers, alongside African decision makers who will join forces to identify, test, and deliver life-saving interventions to secure the future of pregnant women and children.
Dalhousie University researchers are collaborating with partners from the Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health (TTCIH) and the Morgoro Regional Hospital in Tanzania. The 5-year project entitled “Accessing Safe Deliveries in Tanzania (ASDIT)” aims to improve access to, and the performance of, emergency maternal care across the country.
The team of Dalhousie University researchers is led by John LeBlanc and comprised of Doug McMillan, Heather Scott, Ron George, Marsha Campbell Yeo, Gail Tomblin Murphy and Shawna O’Hearn. The project has incredible support from Pat Rodee, Jennifer Morawiecki, and Chris Wirz with International Research and Development and Suzanne Sheffield at the Centre for Teaching and Learning.
TTCIH is a health training institution, established under a public-private partnership between the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Novartis Foundation and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. The main goal of the TTCIH is to support the Tanzanian government’s national health reform policy for strengthening human resource development through providing quality health training, facilities and services.
Each month, the Global Health Office blog will be profiling one of our partners. We were fortunate enough to have Zabron Abel from TTCIH join us in Halifax for two weeks. I had the opportunity to have lunch with Zabron last week and asked him a few questions about the ASDIT project and his time in Halifax. I am including some of the information from our discussion, as well as from the launch of the ASDIT project on Monday November 23rd.
- Could you briefly describe the history of the TTCIH?
TTCIH is the Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health located about eight hour drive from Dar es Salaam in a town called Ifakara. Established 50 years ago, TTCIH provides quality training programs, facilities and support services for the strengthening of human resource development in Tanzania
- What is your role with the TTCIH?
I am the e-Learning and Marketing Manager which involves coordinating marketing, promoting the TTCIH and attracting new partnerships. The e-Learning part of my role includes designing, developing and delivering training using information and communications technology. We use these materials to train health workers in a variety of disciplines.
- You have partnered with Dalhousie before. How would you describe your previous experience?
TTCIH has had a long-standing partnership with Dalhousie University since 2005. TTCIH believes that the driving force of success is partnership. There have been a number of successes in this partnership, including training through faculty development, microresearch, and hosting Dalhousie medical, nursing and pharmacy learners as part of their training.
- Could you describe the current ASDIT project and your role within the project?
The ASDIT project is focused on maternal and newborn child health. The project aims to evaluate the scale up of a training program for emergency obstetrical and neonatal care in Tanzania. The training upgrades the skills of associate clinicians, midwives and nurses to perform emergency care. The project will explore the barriers and enabling factors to scaling up CEMONC which will assist in policy and planning at the regional and national level. My specific role is to provide post-training support and mentorship by creating e-learning resources for the health care team to use when they return to their rural clinics.
- What is your favorite thing about Halifax, and Dalhousie University?
Halifax is a really cool city. The people are humble and there is not as much pressure as you see in bigger cities. As for Dalhousie University, I like the organization, faculty and programs.
- Other than seeing snow (the last time Zabron visited was in the month of April so he didn’t get to experience Halifax in the winter), what are you excited for on this trip?
The TTCIH believes in partnerships, and I am excited to be able to explore more areas of partnership, and expand our current partnership with Dalhousie University.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to thank Dr. Pemba (Director of TTCIH) for his vision, and believing that partnerships are instrumental to success. He has been key in the success of both the TTCIH and myself. Dalhousie University should keep thinking of developing countries for open collaboration, partnerships, visibility and benefits for students on both sides.
Thank you to Zabron for having lunch with me (at Pete’s in the SUB – yum), participating in an interview, and for braving the cold to take a brief tour of Dalhousie upper campus.
Safe travels back to Tanzania, and hope to see you again in the future as the partnership between the TTCIH and Dalhousie University grows!
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