MUSC Heart and Vascular Board of Directors hosts dinner for Tanzanian Ambassador to the U.S.

The MUSC Heart and Vascular Board of Directors hosted a dinner reception at McCrady’s Restaurant in honor of Her Excellency Ambassador Liberata Mulamula and Paul Mwafongo, Tanzanian Economic Affairs Plenipotentiary on Thursday, February 5, 2015. Jill Chalsty and Ralph Edwards, on behalf of the Heart and Vascular Board, recognized the dedication and hard work of the MUSC cardiology team led by Drs. Eric Powers and Peter Zwerner in battling heart disease in Tanzania, and reinforced their commitment to raising funds and awareness to support these efforts. 

Powers and Zwerner have been driving forces in developing an advanced training program in partnership with Muhimbili National Hospital at the country’s first advanced cardiac care and catheterization center in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 

The new cardiac center, which opened in 2014, marks a significant shift in Tanzania’s ability to care for its population of 50 million. In the past, the government has had to send patients to India for heart care.  As part of MUSC capacity building efforts in Tanzania and through philanthropic funds generously earmarked by donors for this partnership, the Heart and Vascular team sent physicians, nurses and students to Muhimbili National Hospital over periods of time to train counterparts in-country on life-saving procedures and techniques. 

Ashley Waring, MUSC cardiology resident and former student recipient of the MUSC Center for Global Health travel grant, shared her experiences traveling to Tanzania for the first time.  Waring’s main objective was to work with her Tanzanian colleagues to implement a database to establish a baseline of relevant data and information, which can be tracked over time to evaluate the program’s progress and outcomes. Waring achieved her objectives and what she gained in return was so much more as can be evidenced in her own words.  

Several special guests attended the event including former U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania, Robert Royall and his wife Edith; local artisan Mary Jackson—known for her distinctive sweetgrass basket pieces on display in museums across the country—and her husband Stoney Jackson; local artisan Mary Whyte Coleman, known for her paintings, and husband Smith Coleman; and Dan and Vicky Sullivan.

See Ashley Waring's full speech here.