In A Heartbeat: The Island Doctor

The challenge of being a female doctor is that many of the patients come and instead of calling you doctor, they call you ‘nurse. They think all doctors are male.”  

Dr. Simiyu is the head of the maternity ward at the only hospital on Ukerewe Island in Tanzania. When Dr. Simiyu and her colleagues don’t have the training or tools they need to help a patient, they have to send the patient to the mainland for treatment. Thanks to new training and equipmentDr. Simiyu is now able to provide more specialized care to women and children on the island, and mentor her colleagues at the hospital.  

In a Heartbeat features the stories of people who are championing better health in their communities. Learn how Canadians are helping communities in Africa and Asia drive progress – and how these women and men are changing lives, one heartbeat at a time.

Aga Khan Foundation Canada invests in support and training for community members and a range of healthcare professionals who are champions for change. With the support of the Government of Canada and thousands of individual Canadians, our programs promote the empowerment of women and girls, and invest in health and nutrition, education, economic inclusion, agriculture and food security, early childhood development, and civil society across Africa and Asia.  

Footage for this film was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


With support from: