Clinician Profile: Dr Gloria Kinasa
CCBRT is pleased to welcome Dr Gloria Kinasa to our Anaesthesiology Department – or, more appropriately, we are pleased to welcome her back! Dr Gloria has returned to CCBRT after three years of sponsored training at the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences. CCBRT provides these scholarships, in partnership with Global Affairs Canada, to build healthcare capacity in Tanzania and strengthen staff skills.
Before CCBRT, Dr Gloria worked as a general practitioner in a private hospital in Dar es Salaam, but knew she wanted to go back to school for specialisation. An anaesthesiologist at CCBRT helped coordinate her training, under the agreement that she would return after graduation to use her new skills in service of high-quality disability, maternal and newborn healthcare.
Why anaesthesiology? As an undergraduate student, Dr Gloria participated in a German exchange program, where she first took an interest in surgery. Anaesthesia makes surgery possible – and requires a special kind of doctor. “Anaesthesia is a lot of pressure, but you have to be calm. You can’t panic. You show the patient you’re okay, and they know they’re okay,” she explains.
After three years of training, Dr Gloria knows that anaesthesiology was the right specialisation for her. She loves the attention to detail required for her work: “Your mind must be totally focused, because drug action is something you see right there. If a patient’s heart rate is low and you take action, knowing the precise pharmacology and physiology, you’ll see a change. Other medical treatments take months to work, but anaesthesia works in seconds!”
At CCBRT, Dr Gloria can be found in theatre, administering anaesthesia – say, eight orthopaedic surgeries, two plastic surgeries and six eye surgeries on a given day. Each procedure tends to be quick, but Dr Gloria likes to get to know her patients and understand their stories: “Parents can be heartbroken when their babies are born with disabilities. As clinicians, we must remember that our patients may have felt this stigma for quite a long time.”
Dr Gloria enjoys her work in the Disability Hospital, but is also excited to join the anaesthesiology team in the future Maternity & Newborn Hospital. In training, she told her mentor about her special interest in obstetric anaesthesiology – a field that, she believes, needs lots of support in Tanzania. “For mothers in labour,” she states, “it is always hard, but we can help them feel better. We are advocates for our patients.”