Clinician Profile: Dr. Gloria Manyangu 09.08.2016

Meet CCBRT's Dr. Gloria Manyangu


Gloria Manyangu was twelve years old when she first came to CCBRT for eye treatment. As a patient she noticed how clinicians interacted with patients, making them feel comfortable and respected. More than a decade later, Gloria returned to CCBRT, this time as a doctor on the Maternal and Neonatal Health Capacity Building team.

Dr. Gloria is from the Shinyanga region in Tanzania's northwest corner near Lake Victoria, but she grew up in Dar es Salaam. She completed her medical training at CUHAS-Bugando in 2014 and worked in hospitals in the Tarime district until joining CCBRT in April 2016.

During medical school, CCBRT was always in the back of Dr. Gloria's mind. She was attracted by its reputation for serving the community, specifically regarding disability and its obstetric fistula program. "Ever since fifth year I've applied to work here! On my third try I got an interview and it led to this position," she said, beaming.

Since joining the MH Capacity Building team she has worked in 12 partner facilities around Dar. Her team trains staff at the sites, aiming to strengthen the health system by sharing their expertise with local staff. At the same time, she is able to hone her OBGYN skills by practicing in wards that routinely deliver hundreds of babies each week.

When reflecting on her first weeks on the job, Dr. Gloria laughed, "It was heavy". She was in the Amana District Hospital and it was packed. They had so many patients, some women were delivering in the antenatal room. "I remember meeting a clinician there. She looked at me up and down and asked if I could handle it - it was a bit scary being thrown into the deep end in such challenging circumstances.”

Despite a slightly intimidating first day, Dr. Gloria has thrived. She remembers, "The days were moving on and we were doing a good job. When I started I was not able to do a caesarean section by myself and now I can. I've learned to handle all the obstetric cases". All this practice has enabled Dr Gloria to decrease her average procedure length for a C-section by 20 minutes.

Dr. Gloria credits her CCBRT Capacity Building Programme colleagues and mentors Dr. Timothy, Sister Dorcas, Dr. Brenda, Dr. Issa, and Dr. Mrema as "excellent teachers". She is inspired by CCBRT's approach to caregiving. "We work with ethics. Dr. Brenda tells us, "CCBRT staff are good, capable, and trustworthy." No matter where I'm going I'm trying to be a role model".

Looking forward, Dr. Gloria has two goals: maintain the spirit of CCBRT and reduce maternal and neonatal death. She also plans to give particular focus to heart health because pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) is the leading cause of maternal death. "If it means advising for lifestyle change or if surgery is required, I'll be there, I'll be that advocate".

"It's very possible to reduce maternal death. Despite the many challenges-- shortage of supplies, equipment, electricity-- if we are motivated, we can get it done. The harder we work, the better the outcomes," she asserts.

CCBRT is proud to have Dr. Gloria on the MH Capacity Building team.

To learn more about our work in maternal and newborn health, click here.