Development of Several Subspecialty Training Programs Helps Complete RSNA's Global Learning Center in Tanzania

Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences now offers 2-year fellowship programs in neuroradiology and women’s imaging

Frank Minja
Mwajabu Salehe, MD
Balowa Musa Baraka, MD, MMed, MSc
Mwajuma Jumbe, MD
Irene Mhalu, MD

RSNA’s Global Learning Center (GLC) at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania recently completed its work, which included creating neuroradiology and women’s imaging 2-year fellowship programs.

GLCs are partnerships between RSNA and established radiology departments based in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The three-year program pairs a team of four RSNA volunteer radiologists with four members of the host radiology department faculty to design a customized curriculum tailored to the facility’s unique educational needs.

Established in 2021, the GLC at MUHAS was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, which halted all international travel. Therefore, the GLC program directors and team members quickly modified their plans to travel to Tanzania, instead relying on RSNA online education tools, regular didactic lectures and case review sessions via Zoom to identify specific training needs and develop robust educational programs.

The U.S.-based GLC faculty, led by program director, Frank Minja, MD, an associate professor of radiology and imaging sciences at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, met online with MUHAS department staff.

“We quickly pivoted to online learning platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic to maintain our momentum,” Dr. Minja said.

While working online was the only option during the pandemic, the MUHAS-based faculty were further hampered by poor internet connectivity during the earlier online meetings. One of the first and best investments by the GLC was optical fiber internet connectivity and Wi-Fi access at the Muhimbili campus, which facilitated seamless online sessions.

“The RSNA Global Learning Center has facilitated increased access to high-quality educational resources for radiologists and radiology trainees in Tanzania, including the 24-hour free available Wi-Fi they connected that provided us with an opportunity to access online courses, webinars and educational materials covering various aspects of radiology and medical imaging,” said Mwajabu Salehe, MD. “This access also enabled us to review cases via Zoom at least thrice weekly with the neuroradiology faculty that is abroad without any internet connection problems.” Dr. Salahe is one of the first neuroradiology fellowship graduates and is now on faculty at MUHAS.
GLC Tanzania group

Faculty gathers during one of the on-site visits to Muhimbili University of Health and Sciences (MUHAS). 

Identifying Fellowship Needs

Once connected, the GLC team worked together to develop the training curriculum with onsite assistance from local faculty.

“Having a dedicated curriculum team of both U.S. and MUHAS faculty helped in the development of the curriculum and a local team followed up on aligning it to MUHAS and local authorities’ standards,” said Balowa Musa Baraka, MD, MMed, MSc, MUHAS faculty director.  “RSNA’s recruitment of radiology subspecialty volunteers with their directors to streamline the training process with didactic and onsite training was helpful in the start-up of the women’s imaging fellowship and clinical service.”

The women’s imaging curriculum, part of a series of fellowship programs created for the institution, provides training and educational tools to improve access to breast cancer screening and helps lower the country’s breast cancer mortality rate. MUHAS is the only university department in Tanzania that offers a 2-year Master of Science (MSc) fellowship program with a focus on women's imaging. 

“Starting the women imaging fellowship program was the greatest accomplishment from GLC,” said Mwajuma Jumbe, MD, women’s imaging fellow at MUHAS. “This is the first women’s imaging’s imaging fellowship training program in sub-Saharan Africa. Now we have interest from all over Africa, with colleagues from Nigeria and Kenya, applying to pursue radiology fellowship training in Tanzania.”

As part of the women’s imaging fellowship, RSNA and GE HealthCare collaborated to provide mammography technology, training and educational tools to MUHAS. As part of the agreement, GE HealthCare provided a mammography suite to MUHAS teaching hospital, the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), which includes 2D and 3D digital breast tomosynthesis, Contrast Enhanced Mammography (CEM) and CEM biopsy capabilities. The agreement includes maintenance of the system at no charge to the university.

GLC Tanzania Stakeholders

The breast center at Muhimbili National Hospital was unveiled during a recent celebration. GE HealthCare and RSNA stakeholders and Muhimbili National Hospital staff as well as other dignitaries were in attendance. 

Promoting Awareness of Educational Opportunities

Every other year, MUHAS holds a summer radiology symposium entitled, Advancing Subspecialty Radiology Training in Tanzania. To highlight the new fellowships at their hospital, the combined GLC faculty members worked to broaden the conference topics to include women’s imaging. 

Over two days, more than 150 radiologists from eight countries throughout Africa attended the conference.

“Collaborating with the RSNA Global Learning Center has offered sponsorship to MUHAS faculties to attend RSNA annual meetings and has facilitated networking opportunities with other health care institutions, professionals and researchers across the world. This has enriched our academic experience by making fruitful use of the mentorship opportunities that were presented,” Dr. Salehe said.

Continued Collaboration

The professional relationships established during the GLC won’t end with its completion.

“Since we have already formed a professional bond, we hope to continue collaborating through research projects, continuous medical education through physical and online routes,” said Irene Mhalu, MD, MUHAS women’s imaging fellow. “I also look forward to sharing our experience in radiology and collaborating about patients who we attend to.”

Ultimately, the benefits from the GLC will affect patient care in Muhimbili and beyond.

“The impact of the RSNA Tanzania GLC is to provide an effective and sustainable model for collaboration in radiology subspecialty training, that can hopefully be replicated in other LMICs,” Dr. Minja said.

Partial funding for the Muhimbili GLC was provided by a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The three-year NNSA grant served as a small portion of the overall U.S. contribution as part of Article IV of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, designed to facilitate access to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including for medical purposes.

For More Information

Learn more about Muhimbili National Hospital.

Learn more about the RSNA Global Learning Centers.

Read previous RSNA News stories about the Global Learning Center at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences:

RSNA Global Learning Center Faculty for Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences

Core Faculty

Frank Minja, MD, Program Director

Timothy Rooney, MD

Toma Omofoye, MD

Sheila Sheth, MD

Alice Chong, MD, MHCI

Christopher Filippi, MD

Bruno Policeni, MD, MBA

Shweta Bhatt, MD


Volunteer Faculty

Pradnya Mhatre, MD

Priyanka Jha, MBBS

Pamela Causa- Andrieu, MD

Ramapriya Ganti, MD, PhD

Jessie Jahjah, MD

Matthew Caley, MD

Christina Sumner, DO

Maitazvenyu Mvere, MBChB

James J. Abrahams, MD

Hemant A. Parmar, MD

Pejman Jabehdar Maralani, MD, FRCPC

Yvonne W. Lui, MD

Suresh K. Mukherji, MD

Rajan Jain, MD

Sundeep Nayak, MD

Carlos Zamora, MD, PhD

Suyash Mohan, MD

Rohini Nadgir, MD

Amit Desai, MD

Vivek Patel, MD

Jeffrey Ware, MD


Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences Faculty

Balowa Musa Baraka, MD, MUHAS, Program Director

Zuhura Nkrumbih, MD, MUHAS

Lilian Salingwa-Matiku, MD, MUHAS