Making an Impact

By Amadea Britton, Med/Peds, Mwanza, Tanzania

Amadea Britton, Med/Peds, Mwanza, TanzaniaAlthough shorter than expected due to COVID, my experience was no less impactful. I was able to work closely with Dr. Kristin Schroeder’s local pediatric oncology team which has over 75 pediatric patients in active chemotherapy. The longitudinal program and capacity-building surrounding pediatric oncology are transformational.

Being abroad at the onset of a truly unprecedented global event has given me a lens few of my colleagues have about the COVID crisis. The entire catchment area of Bugando Medical Center (over 17 million people) has fewer than 20 ventilators and there are two pediatric ventilators. There is almost no PPE available and limited hand sanitizer. I can viscerally understand the consequences of what this pandemic means beyond our borders.

I will be thinking of the physicians and residents and nurses there daily until we are through this and will remember what they are facing when it comes time to build preparedness in the future, especially in my job next year as part of the Epidemic Intelligence Service with the CDC.