Tanzania Program Launched by the Global Health Alliance Western Australia
The Global Health Alliance Western Australia (GHAWA) is a strategic partnership for transcultural health improvement, including a specific intent to assist developing countries in promoting maternal and child health through enhanced capability and capacity in the nursing and midwifery workforce. Formed in December 2009, GHAWA brings together a group of 5 Western Australia based educational partners; Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University, Notre Dame University, and the University of Western Australia, working in collaboration with the Department of Health, Western Australia and health service providers within the state.
In May last year, GHAWA received a significant grant from the Australian Commonwealth international aid and development agency – AusAID, allowing them to develop and begin to roll out a program of education and training in Tanzania.
The Program objectives were determined by a team working with colleagues at the Hubert Kairuki Memorial University (HKMU), the Advanced Practice Midwifery School, and Amana, Mission Mikocheni, Muhimbili and Temeke Hospitals in the Dar es Salaam region. Taking into account this team’s report, resources within GHAWA were used to devise a series of short courses. These courses were delivered by expert clinical volunteers on the ground in Tanzania from mid September, covering subjects such as neonatal resuscitation, post-partum hemorrhage, pre-eclampsia, management of labour, and effective documentation. So far there have been 472 attendances at 25 of these sessions.
A key event for GHAWA was the official opening on 4 December 2011 of the new ‘GHAWA House’ in Msasani Village, just on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam. Mr. Thierry Murcier, the newly appointed Australian Honorary Consul to Tanzania, was there to officiate. The GHAWA House aims to provide both a residence for volunteers and an office for the Tanzanian Project Officer, Bright Aloyce.
As well as providing education facilities, GHAWA will also fund 4 faculty members from HKMU and the Midwifery School to undertake full-time Masters courses. The capacity of the Midwifery School has also been doubled from the previous 40 students as a result of the GHAWA investment in renovation and rebuilding that completed ahead of schedule just after December.
GHAWA has engaged with several NGOs, in order to share expertise and consider how their programs might be mutually beneficial to each other in Tanzania. Recently, the GHAWA Program Director met with the Tanzanian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Bernard Member to brief him in detail on various aspects of midwifery and child health service provision.
There was extreme flooding that inundated parts of Dar es Salaam in December, resulting in 40 fatalities and although none of GHAWA's immediate colleagues were harmed, many had friends who were affected. GHAWA made available assisted as best they could in flood relief efforts, a stark reminder of the real day to day challenges faced at the whim of nature.