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International Nurses Day 2020: Case study of the week

31 March 2020


Nursing, a key role in rehabilitative services: Tanzania

Contributor: Aga Khan University

Aga Khan

In Tanzania, 7% of the population has a disability. Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT) is a Tanzanian health care organization which works to prevent disability, provide affordable medical and rehabilitative services, and aid empowerment of people with disabilities and their families. It also seeks to prevent disability through early identification by strengthening the maternal and newborn health system throughout Dar es Salaam.

The pre- and post-operative care is mainly conducted by the nursing team. Rehema Mahimbo is a Principal Nurse at CCBRT.

“When I report to work in the morning, as the head of my unit, I get reports from the nurses on duty,” says Rehema. “They update me on admitted patients, how they’re progressing and if there are any who need special attention. I make sure that the necessary tests are done, that patients are well-prepared for surgeries and that everything is well-documented in the patient’s file.”

She often helps her patients, most of whom come from rural areas, to understand the holistic nature of health. “Through talking with a patient, you might discover that the root cause of their health issues is poor diet, so you have to advise them on that. I also educate them on childcare and reproductive health. Many of them are so happy and grateful that after they get well, they return with their babies so I can see how well they’re doing!”

Rehema has also improved patient confidentiality, by ensuring patient reports are not given openly in front of other patients, and medication adherence. “I made sure that every patient was given their medication as prescribed after I learnt that because of poor documentation, some used to miss their scheduled medication.”