Representatives from PORALG and professional associations viz AGOTA (OBGyn), SATA (Anesthesia), NATA (Nurses), MATA (Midwifery), Ophthalmology, and SURG-Africa Tanzania.
SURG-Africa supported development of a national operating theatre logbook for Tanzanian hospitals. Standardised data are necessary to plan for surgical services provision. By developing a national surgical data collection instrument we contributed to the improvement of the country’s Health Management Information System.
In 2017 we did an extensive baseline study covering 47 hospitals in the Northern Zone. The aim was to assess the state of surgical services looking at all possible angles, including data collection. One thing that we found was that each hospital used its own operating theatre logbook in the form of improvised notepads, surgery-specific registers, different medical registers re-purposed to surgery, and other local inventions. Lack of standardized data collection tools resulted often in vital information being either missing or not uniformly collected across health facilities. Until now.
SURG-Africa identified the gap in surgical data collection and started an initiative to improve this situation. From the beginning it was fully supported by the project’s Advisory Committee: Dr. Gwajima Dorothy (Current Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MOHCDGEC)), Dr. Sarah Maongezi (NCD co-coordinator), and Tumainieli Macha (from the MOHCDGEC Monitoring and Evaluation department).
The initiative was also presented to other stakeholders who were subsequently invited to contribute. We worked in collaboration with the MOHCDGEC, President's Office, Regional Administration and Tanzania Local Government (PORALG), Tanzanian Surgical Association (TSA) and other organisations involved in improving surgical services provision and surgical safety. Currently the tool is being piloted in two regions of the country.
Operating theatre logbooks will mean a significant quality jump for surgical data collection nationwide. We are proud of having participated directly in the development of this tool and we are looking forward to seeing the impact it will have on the country.
The role of SURG-Africa: