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Arbutus Medical at one of East Africa’s largest trauma centers: Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute


Arbutus Medical is in Tanzania assisting the Canadian Network for International Surgery (CNIS) and Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (MOI) in Dar Es Salaam, through the implementation of DrillCover tools.


MOI is one of the largest trauma centers in all of East Africa and every month, about 600 orthopedic cases are treated here. This magnitude of care is facilitated by its team of 28 orthopedic surgeons, seven neurosurgeons, 25 residents, and 47 OR nurses. The critical care and services rendered by these skilled experts at this hospital are crucial for the region. The volume of patients treated in this hospital substantiates the notion that the tools offered by Arbutus Medical are ideal in this context, due to the rapid turnaround of these tools between cases.


Dr. Ron Lett and Audrey Hebert, RN, from CNIS, assist in the implementation of DrillCover PRO and SawCover kits at the hospital, along with Fedja Mulabdic, the Director of Research & Development. On the first day at the hospital, they set up the new equipment and coordinated with the hospital management, before they collaborated with the reprocessing department to sterilize their tools. For the hospital’s reprocessing (cleaning and sterilization) department, Fedja conducted training to ensure that they become acquainted with the new tools.

Fedja conducts a training session at Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 

The next day, another large-scale training session was held successfully with nurses and surgical residents partaking in it. This kind of training is critical for hospital staff to become familiarized with the tools before they begin leveraging them in the OR. Throughout the trip, their team is engaged in conducting additional training sessions. On the second day of the project, they operated on their first couple of patients to treat three different fractures: an elbow fracture in a 20-year-old male, and two broken hips, one in a 12-year-old female.

Dr. Samwel Nungu who operated on the first set of patients expressed his satisfaction with the drill and claimed that the drill could be maneuvered beautifully, resonating with the idea that they needed such tools. On the third day, the team conducted more training sessions and operated on four more cases: one new hip (59-year-old male), one elbow fracture (65-year-old male), one ankle reconstruction (21-year-old male), and one knee replacement (59-year-old female). The cases continued and by the end of the first week, the team treated seven more cases, all with Arbutus Medical’s new DrillCover PRO and SawCover kits.

Key Takeaway

Until now, the team has remarked that Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute is managed well and properly organized, with adequate systems in place. Moreover, it was reiterated that the new tools will help generate productive outcomes. The Executive Director of the hospital, Dr. Respicious L. Boniface, stated that the new DrillCover PRO and SawCover kits will improve the quality of patient care and hinder the infection rate. The team will be at the hospital for another week, and Arbutus Medical will provide further updates here regarding their work in Tanzania.

An orthopaedic case at Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute. 


This work was made possible through the Government of Canada’s Build in Canada Innovations Program.