What are they doing now?
Mubashir Jusabani’s dream of becoming a physician began at an early age, after breaking a number of bones as a child. During his visits with the orthopaedic physicians, he felt their compassion and dedication. He realized that compassion was a vital part of healing and felt he would like to provide such care for others in the future and, at the age of 12, he had decided on his career. However, he didn’t know then that he was also destined to make an impact on orthopaedic care in Tanzania.
Dr. Jusabani, an orthopaedic surgeon resident, shared his experiences with HVO, over a Zoom call, while he was between orthopedic and trauma surgery classes in Cape Town, South Africa where he is pursuing advanced spinal training.
After graduating from Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre Medical School, KCMC, in 2016 Dr. Jusabani began studying to become an orthopaedic surgeon.
In his work/studies at HVO partner site Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Dr. Jusabani had the opportunity to meet a number of HVO volunteers, who shared a variety of skills. One volunteer who really had an impact on his life was Dr. Dheera Ananthakrishnan who, over the course of a two month assignment, gradually introduced Dr. Jusabani to the principles of spine surgery and nuances of patient care in this specialized field.
In 2018 Dr. Jusabani met Dr. Don Hoang, a plastic surgeon, who taught Dr. Jusabani the basic principles of soft tissue reconstruction. Long after Dr. Hoang’s departure, his teaching guided Dr. Jusabani and his team through numerous instances of providing patients with successful limb salvage surgical treatment – cases that would otherwise have ended with limb amputations.
When asked how HVO has impacted him as a medical professional Dr. Jusabani stated, “I realized that the exchange of skills and medical knowledge between different parties leads to development of better patient care.”
Dr. Jusabani has been fortunate to work with various HVO volunteers and to be the recipient of HVO scholarship opportunities. In December he received an HVO scholarship to attend the Global Spine Congress (GSC) in Paris in 2021, the first on the-ground scholarship since the pandemic started. He was motivated to apply for HVO assistance after receiving the Wyss Scholarship in 2019 which allowed him to attend his first Global Spine Congress in Toronto, Canada. He felt that attending the GSC in 2021 would contribute towards his goal of becoming part of the leading spine team in East Africa.
At the conference in Paris he was inspired by senior spine surgeons who shared their experiences with post-operative complications and the way they dealt with negative outcomes. He learned about practices to reduce the incidence of complications, but also how negative outcomes provide learning opportunities in order to perform better surgery.
After each of the GSC conferences, Dr. Jusabani returned to Moshi, Tanzania and shared the wealth of knowledge that he gained from leading spinal care experts. From his trip to Paris he learned that “pre-op planning is of utmost importance, in talking to our patients about the potential benefits and what could possibly go wrong.” He also shared that “you should always criticize each case. As junior doctors, take each case as a learning case and see where you can improve.”
In January 2018, while Dr. Jusabani was a junior resident in the spinal unit at KCMC, significant improvements were made in spinal cord injury patient care at the medical center in Kilimanjaro where a multidisciplinary care rehabilitation ward was instituted. Dr. Jusabani stated that as an orthopedic surgeon he felt he could only help with a portion of his patients’ recovery. The multidisciplinary group gave patients a better chance for a successful recovery. The team consists of an orthopedic surgeon, a neurosurgeon, a neurologist, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nursing staff and orthopedic residents who do rounds visiting patients with spinal cord injuries once a week.
HVO’s vision is to develop the capacity of health professionals like Dr. Mubashir Jusabani so that they can provide better care to their community. We wish Dr. Jusabani all the best in his continued studies in Cape Town, and we look forward to hearing about the continued contributions he will make to the medical community when he returns to Tanzania.
Below are various articles he’s co-written and published.
- A case report of atlanto-axial instability in a Down Syndrome patient
- The characteristics of traumatic spinal cord injuries at a referral hospital in Northern Tanzania
- Penetrating spinal cord injury causing paraplegia in a bird hunter in rural Tanzania
- Kilimanjaro porter spines
- Understanding surgical care delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa: a cross-sectional analysis of surgical volume, operations, and financing at a tertiary referral hospital in rural Tanzania