Historic Homecoming: Zimbabwean Becomes First Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon to Return, Treat Children At CURE International Hospital

Dr. Chitsamatanga (second from the left) in discussion with Dr. James and Dr. Lubega at CURE Malawi in 2017.

UK-trained doctor is the first native-born surgeon to return to practice pediatric orthopedics in the Sub-Saharan country

CURE International has helped make history today for the people of Zimbabwe.

Today at CURE Zimbabwe, Dr. Tongai Chitsamatanga became the country’s first Zimbabwean in history to return to the country to serve as a full-time fellowship trained pediatric orthopedic surgeon!

“It is a personal milestone, as well as a proud professional achievement, for me to be able to return to my beloved Zimbabwe to improve the health of children. Pediatric Orthopedics is my passion,” said Dr. Chitsamatanga. “I hope to heal, and maybe even inspire, many children who live in the country where I grew up.”

Dr. Chitsamatanga grew up in Bulawayo and later moved to Harare for medical school. After an internship, he worked at a mission hospital for six years. It was while he was at the mission hospital that he realized God’s calling was for him to do similar work in the future. He trained in General Orthopedics with the College of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa (COSECSA), graduating in 2017.

“CURE International is honored to make history with the return of Dr. Chitsamatanga to Zimbabwe,” said CURE International President and CEO Justin Narducci. “Tongai represents a new generation of highly-trained African medical professionals who choose to return to Africa to improve the lives of their countrymen. CURE will continue to invest in the next generation of national surgeons in all countries and regions we serve.”

The Zimbabwean undertook a trauma and limb reconstruction fellowship at the University of Oxford NHS in 2019. He also recently became a Clinical Fellow in Pediatric Orthopedics at the University of Derby and Burton NHS Trust, UK. A longtime supporter of CURE International, Dr. Chitsamatanga first attended a pediatric orthopedics course run at Beit-CURE International Hospital in Malawi (Beit-CURE Malawi) in July 2013. He later completed a nine month fellowship at Beit-CURE Malawi hospital in partnership with The College of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa (COSECSA) Oxford Link (COOL).

Dr. Tongai Chitsamatanga checking on Promise’s frame at CURE Malawi in 2017.

Dr. Collen Msasanure, President of the Zimbabwe Orthopaedic Association, said, “We are all excited and grateful that Dr. Chitsamatanga is joining CURE Children’s Hospital of Zimbabwe. Over the past few months, the volume of work has increased beyond our expectations. We are grateful to God for the help that he is going to bring to so many children with orthopaedic deformities in Zimbabwe. Welcome, Dr. Chitsamatanga.”

Thousands of young lives are changed every year because of the dedication of doctors like Dr. Chitsamatanga, who put their abilities to work for some of the most deserving children in the world. CURE International remains committed to training local healthcare professionals in order to grow local healthcare systems in the regions we serve.

About CURE Children’s Hospital of Zimbabwe

Established in April 2021, CURE Zimbabwe is the first and only hospital in the country of 14 million people to provide orthopedic care for disabilities such as clubfoot, bowed legs, and knock knees to children regardless of their economic status. The teaching hospital has 13 beds, three operating theaters, and an outpatient clinic. The hospital was refurbished by the Zimbabwe Orthopedic Trust in partnership with the Zimbabwean government and is located adjacent to United Bulawayo Hospital in Bulawayo.

Photo of the CURE International Canada

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