Eva’s dream is to be an Anaesthetist

”My dream is to be an Anaesthetist!” says Dr Eva Shanga, who has just started her specialist training in anaesthesia & intensive care thanks to a training stipendium from Life Support Foundation.

Her interest in anaesthesia began while she was a medical student. eva shangaThe dramatic birth of her first child made her realise the enormous need for more anaesthetists in Tanzania. Her unborn baby was showing signs of becoming sick and she needed an emergency caesarean. Unfortunately, in the hospital where she was giving birth, there was no anaesthetist. A doctor was called from another hospital but it took over two hours for him to arrive. Those two hours were the longest in Eva’s life, but eventually the operation could be carried out, and a healthy baby boy was born. Henry is now two and a half and has been joined by a little sister, Helen, 5 months.

Eva was born in Tabora and grew up close to Mount Kilimanjaro. Her father died when she was a child and her mother was disabled so she moved to live with relatives in Dar es Salaam. She went to medical school in Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College before returning to Dar es Salaam to work as a doctor. For the past two years she has been in-charge of the medical department at Temeke Regional Hospital.

100 babies are born every day in Temeke. The hospital has only one operating theatre which is shared witIMG_0580 (2)h the surgical department. There are no anaesthetists in the whole hospital. All anaesthesia is done by anaesthetic nurses.

Eva is extremely motivated to become an anaesthetist. She leaves home at 6.30 am and is rarely home before 9pm. She misses her children, and feels sad to be away from them, but knows that her studies are vital if she is to help the situation. ”There are only 15 specialist anaesthetists in Tanzania”, says Eva. ”After my training there will be one more! Temeke will get its first specialist in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care. That means that the Tanzanian’s who can’t afford a private hospital can at last have access to a trained doctor when they have operations at Temeke.”

”Thanks to my stipendium from Life Support Foundation I can at last realise my dream.” adds a smiling Eva.

Berith Tingåker