Tanzania is facing an acute shortage of radiology and imaging experts, making related treatment especially in rural areas more challenging, according to a leading Tanzanian radiologist.

Ramadhani Kazena, the chairman of Tanzania Radiology Society (TARASO), said there were only 60 radiology experts and about 410 radiographers distributed across hospitals in the country most of which did not have any of the two.

Kazena was speaking Friday at the second day of the 9th Pan African Congress of Radiology and Imaging’s (PACORI) congress in Dar es Salaam that has attracted over 300 radiology experts across Africa discussing about challenges and the way forward for this specialised medical field in the continent.

Radiology is a specialty of medicine that uses imagine technologies such as X-rays, radiography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) among others to see within the human body in order to diagnose disease and other abnormalities.

Kazena said although funding was also one of the biggest challenges in this field, yet shortage of experts left many patients unattended or referred to other hospitals where costs were unmanageable.

“There was a time when I was the only radiologist in Dar es Salaam…for two years. But things are improving and maybe we would be better in three years’ time because a number of medical schools have introduced courses related to this field,” said Kazena.

He said global standard ratio was one radiologist to 50,000 patients (1:50,000), with only 60 registered radiologists with approximately 50 million people in the country, local experts are overwhelmed.

He said the government needed to give special focus in training more radiology and related experts.

Kazena said there were less than 10 bio-medical engineers and medical physicians in the country.

Tanzania needs more than 100 radiology and imaging experts, said the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Mpoki Ulisubisya. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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