OBJECTIVE: The purposes of this study were to assess the feasibility of a sonographic training program at a district hospital in a developing country and to evaluate the effect of the program on public health care services. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A sonographic training program is being conducted on Pemba Island, Tanzania. A maximum of 10 trainees participate in the program. Courses in sonography conducted by European physicians are scheduled every 4 months for 2 consecutive weeks each time. The sonographic training program lasts 5 years and is divided into three stages in which basic, advanced, and specialized courses are organized. At the end of every course, the trainees take a multiple-choice test (score, 1-10) and a practical test with patients (score, 1-5). To advance to the next stage, a trainee needs a score of at least 7 on the theory test and at least 3 on the practical. RESULTS: Three courses have been completed. The total mean scores on the multiple-choice test were 7.4 (range, 6.5-9) at the end of the first course, 7.3 (range, 6.5-8.5) at the end of the second course, and 6.2 (range, 4.0-9.5) at the end of the third course. A shortage of electricity hindered the practical test after the first and second courses. At the end of the third course, the total mean score on the practical was 3.5 (range, 1.5-5.0). Seven of 10 trainees were admitted to the second year of the sonographic training program. The mean monthly hospital earnings during the three-course period were 673,200 Tanzanian shillings. CONCLUSION: Sonography is an affordable technology for developing countries. Training in sonography should be included in the planning of long-term projects in which multiple access and feedback are provided in the same area.
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