Leaders, Teams and Situations Outside the Norm
Edited by Cristina M. Giannantonio and Amy E. Hurley-Hanson
Chapter 9: Dr Lehman: extreme healthcare leadership along the shores of Lake Tanganyika
There are leaders who are innately driven to serve people and provide hope in extremely remote areas on earth. One such area exists where tour buses refuse to travel and cannot reach due to road conditions or where only charter flights land with little or no radar. The indigenous people travel primarily by boat or walk hours for healthcare. This story is about a team of intrepid doctors and healthcare workers willing to work along the Lake Tanganyika region in Tanzania, East Africa inhabited by over 3 million people. Most of all this is a short story about a medical doctor with an infectious laugh, walk-on-hot coals attitude and the professional capability to save thousands of lives, named Amy Lehman, MBA, MD.Today the African continent stands on the edge of extraordinary growth and development overshadowed by healthcare demands connected to escalating disease and healthcare worker shortages. It is a major dilemma for most developing countries caught in a race for economic growth. Historically, rural healthcare services in developing countries lags behind urban, ‘big city’ healthcare and economic resources. Consequently, in developing countries most of the population lives in rural to extremely remote towns or villages, especially in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The rural population is loosely organized and often isolated, beyond the reach of social safety nets or infrastructure: high-capacity roads, 24-hour electricity and safe, clean drinking water.
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