On June 20, the first base for a new surgical bloc at the Mount Meru Hospital, in the Tanzanian city of Arusha, was set. The new building will be built thanks to the collaboration of the members from the Department of Odonto-Stamology of the Bellvitge and Sant Joan de Déu campuses (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences). These UB members are part of the Kili Clinicians Association, which aims to offer healthcare, teaching and research support in northern Tanzania.
This cooperation is part of a wider context: the UB has an agreement since 2014 with the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College (KCMUco) of Tanzania. As part of this agreement, there will be teaching staff exchanges within the Erasmus+ program, to work on a Dentistry program in KCMUCo.
The collaboration memorandum between the UB and KCMUCo includes the launch of a bachelor’s degree on Dentistry in the African centre. The figure of these dental surgeons is essential, mainly in remote areas far from city centres, where they can conduct these prevention tasks, diagnoses and dentistry treatments. At the moment, in Tanzania, where there is only a Faculty of Dentistry in Dar es Salaam, the capital city of the country, there is an important need for these professionals. In fact, their ratio is one dentist per every 46,000 inhabitants.
In this collaboration context, Elias Isaack Mashala, orthopedic surgeon at the Mount Meru Hospital in Arusha, is preparing his doctoral thesis’ project at the UB, with the lecturers Jaume Miranda-Rius and Lluís Brunet-Llobet as supervisors. Mashala, researcher at KCMUCo, carried out a research internship in 2019 in the Sant Joan de Déu Campus, within the program for young researchers from Subsaharan Africa, driven by the Coïmbra Group.