Lourdes Hospital Hosts Tanzanian Clinicians For Advanced Training in Mammography

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lourdes Hospital in cooperation with Radiologists Without Borders, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing global access to vital diagnostic imaging services, will spend the next two weeks providing critical training and educational opportunities for two Visiting Fellows from Muhimbili University, in Tanzania.

Under the guidance of Lourdes Hospital's Breast Care Center and Dr. Tariq Gill, Medical Director of Lourdes Diagnostic Imaging and founder of Radiologists Without Borders, Dr. Lulu Said Fundikira and radiographer Catherine Semkudi will undergo an intensive training program designed to teach the most current strategies on breast cancer prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment options. Dr. Fundikira and Ms. Semkudi hope to use this initial training, and ongoing stateside support, to heighten public awareness and create a more effective mammography and screening program at Muhimbili University in Tanzania.

Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa with a struggling economy and rapidly increasing population that has doubled in size since 1978. According to local statistics, of the 36 million inhabitants, women between the ages of 30 and 50 are most vulnerable to cancer. In Tanzania, cancer is highly gender biased, occurring three times more often in women than men. Presently, cure rates of highly curable forms of breast cancer is only at 15%.

"Ours is a mission of multiplication," explains Dr. Gill. "We hope to provide these women with the clinical expertise necessary to create a highly effective breast screening and treatment program. In return, our expectation is that they will teach others, and propagate communities with appropriate and sustainable breast care services."

Dr. Fundikira obtained her medical degree and subsequent Master's Degree in Diagnostic Radiology at the University of Camaguey Medical School in Camaguey, Cuba. Ms. Semkudi, a native Tanzanian, attended technical training schools both in Africa and Japan. She and Dr. Semkudi have expressed a strong interest in using their combined talents to help create a greater number of trained medical professionals in Tanzania.

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For further information about this or any media inquiry, call Lisa Donovan, Media Coordinator, Lourdes Public Relations, at 607-772-1274.

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