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Global Health Fellow Helps with First Laparoscopic Hysterectomy in Tanzania

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Duke Global Health Fellow, David Goodman, MD, MPH helped perform what is believed to be the first laparoscopic hysterectomy performed in Tanzania.

The surgery was on a patient from Moshi who was admitted to the wards with heavy menstrual bleeding secondary to a fibroid. The surgery was performed with Nicholas Mazuguni, MD a junior faculty member at KCMC who has been an active participant in the Duke-KCMC Women’s Health Collaboration. His education and development as a faculty member has been supported in part by a MEPI (Medical Education Partnership Initiative) Grant that Duke has received from the Fogarty International Center as part of the National Institutes of Health. 


When Dr. Goodman arrived in Tanzania, he learned about Dr. Mazuguni's interest in minimally invasive surgery, and found that much of the equipment that would be necessary to perform laparoscopic surgery had been donated by the Duke-KCMC Women’s Health Collaboration in the past. They lacked reliable devices to seal blood vessels and perform major laparoscopic surgeries, but they were able to obtain a supply recently.

Dr. Mazuguni has pursued multiple learning opportunities to develop his laparoscopic skills and he felt more confident when Dr. Goodman was there.   In August, Dr Goodman and Dr. Mazuguni set a goal to perform the first total laparoscopic hysterectomy in Tanzania together before Dr. Goodman's fellowship was over. They completed that goal with 6 weeks to spare.   


“I am glad to help bring minimally invasive surgery to women in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. This accomplishment is a good model for what our work in global health should look like. Nicholas had a goal for his own institution, and I had the experience to give him the confidence to pursue it. I received great training as a resident in the United States, and thanks to Duke OB/GYN and the Hubert-Yeargan Center at DGHI I have been able to share that training with the KCMC OB/GYN department. In a world with a lot of disappointing medical complications, today was a real “win” that should be celebrated. I’ve never clapped after a surgery before, but today we did," said Dr. Goodman.


The team pictured includes (from left to right) David Goodman (Duke OB/GYN Global Health Fellow), Esther Mingo (operating room nurse), Lameck Lemgoha (senior resident at KCMC), Nicholas Mazugunzi (junior faculty at KCMC), Sophia Kiwongo (first-year resident at KCMC).