AKDN transforms the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salam from a 70-bed facility to a leading 170-bed tertiary care, referral and teaching hospital.
Aga Khan Health Service has undertaken a sizeable expansion of its hospital in Dar es Salaam, recently completing a Phase II US $83.5 million expansion (Tzs 192 billion) that will serve over one million patients in the country each year. The expansion, which was funded through a grant from Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), transforms the hospital from a 70-bed facility to a leading 170-bed tertiary care, referral and teaching hospital. The hospital will now serve as an integrated health care medical facility for the country and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. The Phase II expansion also includes an expansion of 35 outreach health centres throughout the country, 23 of which are already operational.
A Century of Experience
Aga Khan Health Services, Tanzania (AKHST) established its first health centre in Dar es Salaam over 90 years ago and has since, steadily enhanced its service offerings to become one of the leading state-of-the-art hospitals in the region. Building on the legacy of AKDN – the Network founded by His Highness the Aga Khan, its hospitals in Dar es Salaam, as well as Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu in Kenya reach over 600,000 patients across East Africa and the larger African continent.
AKDN operates one of the largest non-profit private healthcare systems in the developing world, with 17 hospitals and over 450 health care facilities providing quality health care to over five million people in the developing world annually. These include 14 ISO-certified and three JCI-accredited hospitals in recognition of meeting international quality standards in health delivery and hospital care.
AKHS: A network of initiatives
With a network of health facilities in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, AKDN hospitals and centers, which are run and managed by Aga Khan Health Services are renowned as the preferred destination for modern healthcare, attracting patients beyond the East African region. Today, the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam – part of a global chain of hospitals – is undergoing rapid expansion as it moves to position itself as a remedy for the increasing number of patients seeking specialized care abroad.
Cutting-edge health technology
The Aga Khan Hospitals known worldwide for their cutting-edge technology and modern healthcare are consolidating their foothold in East Africa with sustained modernization in both infrastructure, as well as equipment.
Through improvements in its human resource base and training facilities, the AK Hospital Dar es Salaam hopes to have a significant impact on the overall quality of health care in Tanzania. Along with more traditional services, such as family medicine, child and maternal care, the development of new specialist programmes in cardiology, oncology and neurosciences will assist in addressing the high increase in mortality caused by chronic diseases, both in Tanzania and across sub- Saharan Africa.
Expansion of the Phase II building at AKHST includes not only structural expansion with an upsurge in its footprint in terms of bed capacity, more operating rooms, more intensive care facilities and top-quality VIP rooms, but also robust strengthening of existing clinical services. In addition to excellent diagnostic services such as cardiac catheterisation and nuclear medicine, the Hospital now offers over 30 clinical specialties and sub-specialties, including Cardiology, Oncology, Family Medicine, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Gynaecology, Nephrology, Neurosciences, Orthopaedics, Paediatrics and Neonatology.
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Furthermore, state-of-the-art technologies including pictorial archiving and communication systems (PACS), a radiology information system (RIS), pneumatic tubes transport system and centralized patient monitoring computer systems have also been introduced, all to support the Hospital’s overarching goal of improving the quality of care.
This is the first and only full-fledged PACS and RIS system in Tanzania, as well as within the global AKHS network, to support its overall goal of improving quality of care and enhanced patient-centered care. Installation of PACS and RIS has been highly innovative and has already offered several advantages – the most immediate and tangible of which has been a 20 percent reduction in stationary cost.
At AKHST, the pneumatic tube system ensures fast, spontaneous and safe transport of specimens to the laboratory from all over the hospital, as well as the transport of medicines from pharmacy to all inpatient areas. This rapid transport system is complemented with computer software, such as laboratory information management systems (LIMS) for laboratory results reports and computerised physicians order entry for sending medication orders and treatment instructions to the pharmacy electronically.
Bridging the Divide, Embracing One and All
This has led to reduction of time patients spend in the hospital without loss in quality of care, reduction in staff costs for hiring porters and at the same time increased efficiencies.
Reaching deeper into the community
The Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam also offers a continuum of care coordinated across its Primary Medical Centres throughout the country, including Dodoma, Iringa, Mbeya, Morogoro, and Mwanza, as well as Outreach Health Centres in Arusha, Dar es Salaam’s Mbezi Beach, City Centre, Masaki, Mikocheni and Tandika and Buzuruga in Mwanza.
At each level of care the focus is on providing services that are needed and wanted by the community whilst building linkages within the system and at the same time, significantly raising local standards.
The Hospital also serves as the training site for the Aga Khan University Postgraduate Medical Education Programmes in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and General Surgery leading to a Master of Medicine degree. In addition, it is the only private hospital to provide Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children accredited internships for medical and pharmacy graduates.