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TRAINING: Clinicians acquire advanced techniques in diagnostic ultrasound application

July 14, 2023 9:00hrs
TRAINING: Clinicians acquire advanced techniques in diagnostic ultrasound application
Participants of the Ultrasound Diagnostic training display their certificates in a group photo. PHOTO | COURTESY of Dr. Martin Rohacek

The Ifakara Health Institute in collaboration with the St. Francis Referral Hospital and other partners successfully conducted training for clinicians to introduce and to repeat ultrasound techniques for clinicians who practice diagnostic ultrasound in their routine clinical work. 

According to the training coordinator, Dr. Martin Rohacek, 26 clinicians participated in the training which took place from July 10-14, 2023 at the St. Francis Referral Hospital in Ifakara Town, Morogoro Region, Tanzania.

Regular courses in abdominal ultrasound, point of care ultrasound, echocardiography, and vascular ultrasound have been offered at the St. Francis Referral Hospital since 2017 in association with the Ifakara Health Institute, Swiss TPH Switzerland, Ultrasound Learning Centre Hirslanden, Zürich, Switzerland, the European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine (EFSUMB), and the University Hospital Basel, Switzerland. 16 courses have been done so far. The hospital has a total of 10 ultrasound machines available.

This course aims to introduce and reinforce ultrasound techniques for clinicians who frequently use diagnostic ultrasound in their daily routines. Its objectives include teaching clinicians how to interpret sonographic findings, combine clinical and sonographic data to make a diagnosis, and introduce contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) to experienced sonography clinicians. It also aims to impart knowledge of Point of Care Ultrasound in accordance with international standards. 

30 multiple-choice questions and 10 ultrasound images with diagnoses were included in the exam. All 26 participants passed the exam, with one (Sosoma N Bunzali) scoring an impressive 79%, exceeding the 70% minimum pass mark, the participant received an EFSUMB Certificate in Ultrasound Diagnostic Module - Abdomen. Examiners PD Dr. med. Jan Tuma and PD Dr. med. Martin Rohacek conducted the exam in accordance with EFSUMB guidelines. 

Participants were very satisfied with the course, suggesting that basic Obstetric and Gynecology ultrasound should be included in future. The course greatly benefited from skilled instructors at St. Francis Referral Hospital in Ifakara. 

These include Faraja Kitila and Shabani Abdallah, both of whom are board-certified sonographers by EFSUMB. Sylvester Kasunga, a board-certified Sonographer, and Victor Myovela, an Assistant Radiologist and board-certified sonographer, furthermore, Geofrey Mbunda, a board-certified sonographer from IHI, enriched the course with his knowledge.

The course was organized by; Dr. Dominick Raffael from St. Francis Referral Hospital, and Dr. Andrew Katende, Dr. Martin Rohacek, and Prof. Maja Weisser from Ifakara. Dr. Jan Tuma, the Co-Director of the Ultrasound Learning Center at Hirslanden, Zürich, also played a vital role in coordinating the course activities.

The course featured instructors and lecturers such as Dr. Tuma, a renowned expert in diagnostic ultrasound and Co-Director of the Ultrasound Learning Center; Dr. Rohacek, a board-certified physician in emergency medicine and diagnostic ultrasound, provided instruction on point-of-care and abdominal ultrasound; Dr. Roland Stieger, an angiologist and board-certified sonographer; and Dr. Sabine Schmidt-Weitmann, a physician and phlebologist with SGUM certification, served as an instructor in sonography at the Medical Centre Schauspielhaus in Zurich, Switzerland.