Yale’s Minja bringing interventional radiology training to Tanzania

These figures show a radiograph taken during transarterial chemoembolization for cancer of the liver

After leading the implementation of a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) to dramatically improve access to medical imaging in his home country of Tanzania, Dr. Frank Minja at Yale School of Medicine (YSM) is working alongside residents and faculty from Yale and other institutions to establish a three-year longitudinal program in Tanzania geared at training radiology residents, nurses, and technologists in interventional radiology.

Interventional radiology (IR) is a versatile and minimally invasive procedure that allows doctors to treat complex medical conditions and diseases through a tiny incision in the skin. IR was initially developed as a subspecialty of diagnostic radiology and has been an established clinical specialty in the United States, Europe, and East Asia since the 1960s, with an estimated 3,000-4,000 practicing IR physicians in the United States alone. However, in most of the world, especially in countries with limited resources like Tanzania, there is little to no access to the numerous benefits of IR because few doctors in those countries have been trained to use it.