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01.12.2019 | Original Research | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

International Journal of Emergency Medicine 1/2019

Impact of short basic emergency medicine training in introducing emergency medicine as a specialty in Sub-Saharan Africa: experience from Tanzania

International Journal of Emergency Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2019
Peter S. Mabula, Hendry R. Sawe, Victor Mwafongo, Juma A. Mfinanga, Michael S. Runyon, Brittany L. Murray



Emergency medicine (EM) is a new specialty in Tanzania. Little is known about how to introduce EM to health care providers (HCPs) in hospitals without EM. We determined the impact of a 2-day EM training program on the understanding, perception, and choice of EM as a career amongst HCPs at hospitals in Tanzania without EM.


This was a pre- and post-training interventional study including randomly selected HCPs from four tertiary hospitals in Tanzania without EM. Understanding, perception, and desirability of EM as a career were assessed before and after a 2-day university-accredited basic EM short-course training given by EM physicians. A paper-based Likert scale (out of 5) questionnaire was used, which were analyzed by T tests, Mann-Whitney, and Kruskal-Wallis tests.


During the study period, 96 health care providers (100% capture) in the four tertiary hospitals participated in the study. The median age of participants was 34 years (IQR 28–43); 35 (36.0%) were males. Sixty (63%) were nurses, 26 (27%) doctors, and 3 (3%) were administrators. The four hospitals were equally represented. Median pre-training scores for all Likert questions were 3.49 (IQR 3.3–3.9); understanding 3.3 (IQR 3.0–3.7), perception 3.40 (IQR 3.1–3.7), and career decision-making 3.7 (IQR 3.3–4.0). Post-training scores improved with median scores of 4.6 (IQR 4.5–4.7) overall, 4.7 (IQR 4.0–4.7) for understanding, 4.6 (IQR 4.5–4.9) for perception, and 4.7 (IQR 4.3–4.8) for career decision-making (all p < 0.01).


A 2-day training in basic EM care had a positive impact on understanding, perception, and career decisions regarding EM amongst Tanzania HCPs that work in hospitals without EM. Follow-up to assess long-term impact, and expansion of this program, is recommended to foster EM in countries where this is a new specialty.
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