Newsletter | March 2019
Leadership Message | Purpose-driven commitment

In my role as FCCT’s CEO, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with incredibly dedicated individuals. This month I’ve asked one of them, Tom Flynn, FCCT’s Board Chair, to share his reflections on being a part of the organization and what drives his enduring commitment.

Hazel Reinhardt
President and CEO
Hello everyone. I became involved with FCCT through a college friend of mine, John Reiling, who helped establish the foundation in 2013. He told me of the dire need for cancer care in Tanzania. After practicing medical oncology and hematology for over 30 years, I was starting to plan for retirement and looking for meaningful ways to spend my time.

Getting involved with FCCT certainly looked to be a wonderful way to give back while putting my knowledge and many years of experience to good use. This has certainly proved to be the case, and my experiences with FCCT and our partner institution in Tanzania, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC), have been fulfilling and rewarding.

In this
work I have visited Tanzania and KCMC several times, most recently in February of this year. This time I brought my spouse, three daughters and son-in-law so they could understand why the work FCCT is doing is so important. The country is beautiful (the medical center sits at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro), and the people are wonderful.

What has impressed me the most is the dedication of the doctors, nurses,
pharmacistsand staff. With support from FCCT, the cancer center at KCMC opened at the end of 2016, and since then everyone there has worked diligently to build the services and make them available to those who need them. All of this has happened in a low resource environment serving a very poor population. It is inspiring to see what they have been able to accomplish and their commitment to the patients.

Tom Flynn

Provider perspective | Advancing Care

Yvonne Datta, MD
Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation University of Minnesota

   It’s been a privilege to serve as a member of the FCCT Board of Directors over the past several years. My recent opportunity to travel to Tanzania brought a mix of emotions as I witnessed the efforts of care providers working tirelessly to meet the need of patients.

 I was truly impressed with the Cancer Care Centre and Infusion Centre at KCMC when I visited in January. It was wonderful to see the reality of patients being treated for their cancer, who a few years ago would have gone without. I was also excited about the improvements in pathology, which are crucial for cancer care.

There is a small laboratory within the Cancer Center for processing and interpreting blood samples and bone marrow specimens. The eventual goal is to have an automated CBC and chemistry analyzers within the cancer center.

The main hospital now has two pathologists and several technicians. They have 
an automated tissue processors and have been doing immunohistochemistry stains for breast cancer (estrogen, progesterone and her-2) by hand. They have been given an automated stainer by the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP), but are awaiting the reagents. 

They also now have equipment for telepathology and review difficult specimens with pathologists at Duke University. The clinical lab has recently set-up 
four color flow cytometry, which will help in assessment of leukemias and lymphomas.

It is only through ongoing partnerships and generous support that the Cancer Care Centre and Infusion Centre at KCMC will be able to continue to improve the lives of people with cancer.


Yvonne Datta, MD

Patient Care | Educating caregivers
 Francisco, RN
Francisco is a nurse who finds teaching as important as patient care when it comes to cancer. Because there is a lack of education provided in schools and hospitals, FCCT supported the development of PrevaTrain classes several years ago. 


Through PrevaTrain, nurses have the opportunity to learn about types of cancer that are prevalent in and around Moshi, specifically cervical, breast and pediatric cancers
Francisco attended his first PrevaTrain class in April 2018 and now feels confident sharing his knowledge. He believes education is very important and is greatly needed in his community.
The majority of people in his area are very poor and fear the cost of going to the hospital. Most people also seek care
.from the traditional healers.
As there are several small dispensary clinics near his hospital, he serves as the referral person between the dispensaries and larger hospitals like KCMC.
Francisco helps doctors and nurses decide if a patient may be having signs and symptoms of cancer, and talks with them about what to do next. Over the last five-six months, he has helped refer 10 patients to KCMC for further investigations.
Francisco is determined to keep educating his fellow nurses and community despite the challenges he faces.

Education | Pillar of Hope

Education and awareness are essential in the work of FCCT. Through programs for prevention and early detection we hope to reduce cancer morbidity and mortality rates.

Tanzania was well represented at the recent International Society of Pediatric Oncology [SIOP Africa ] conference in Cairo, Egypt. For the 13th year providers from a range of disciplines gathered to learn and share resources.

FCCT’s own Liz Mtunga (far left) presented on the 10-week nurse certification course in Dar Es Salaam. Other presentations included a new automated chemotherapy program, Wilms Tumor Management in Tanzania, the use of pocket guides on the pediatric ward and nutrition management at Muhimbili National Hospital [MNH.]

Dr. Trish Scanlan from MNH brought a team of doctors and nurses to discuss the impressive work underway.

Bringing together others from around Africa — all in the pursuit of better care and treatment for the children — provides encouragement and hope. Good things are happening here!

You can follow the latest work of FCCT providers and educators on Facebook. You’ll hear inspiring stories of how donor support is making a difference for providers and changing the lives of patients and families.


At this time, raising money for the inpatient ward is FCCT’s primary focus. The inpatient cancer ward is the critical next step to improve the care that can be provided for all of the cancer patients now coming to KCMC. Your generosity in this effort is greatly appreciated.

Visit the FCCT website to see the progress being made and learn how your support can save lives, ease suffering and transform cancer outcomes for the people in northern Tanzania.

Donate Now
Copyright © 2019 Foundation for Cancer Care in Tanzania, All rights reserved.

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