We are now in our third year of this initiative and so far have achieved the following:
- We have trained and supported two local nurses particularly in the much needed area of midwifery. As a result of research over the last few years, we are focusing on midwifery as a key area which requires urgent attention. Due to a lack of facilities in Mkwaja village (Saadani), first time pregnant mothers have to travel 3 hours by bus to the town of Pangani and live there for the final 2 months of their pregnancy bringing great discomfort and financial burden to young expectant mums. Running midwifery courses in Mkwaja village and supplying the necessary equipment will allow pregnant mothers to remain at home in Mkwaja for their full term.
- The medical students have provided First Aid training to the park rangers in Saadani & Selous, local school teachers in Kisaki and Mkwaja as well as providing updated training to our own camp staff.
- Information booklets written in Kiswahili have been circulated to young mothers as well as clinics and workshops given by the medical students highlighting symptoms of common illnesses young mums may find with their babies and young children and what do do to prevent such illnesses as well as treatment.
- In March 2013 we were fortunate enough to be visited by Dr Jonathan Wong and Dr Ronnie Arulnesan who, at the time were final year medical students from The London School of Medicine & Dentistry. Jonathan devised, installed and personally trained on site the local nurses on a computer medical records system for the village of Mkwaja assisted by Ronnie. The Pangani District Chief Medical officer attended for the presentation in March. The computer system is low maintenance, long lasting and designed to leave a small energy footprint. For this we received a commendation from the Pangani District Health Authority for Jonathan’s efforts. We are extremely grateful for the time and effort Jonathan took to not only devise the system but to ensure that training was given on its usage.
Doctors on Safari will now be moving onto a new level, thanks to the work of some of our student doctors and the information they provided.
In 2014, we will be starting a programme to bring experienced midwives from UK to train groups of nurses from the greater districts around our local communities. Full reports will appear once the programme has begun.
We are also in early discussions with Bridge2aid Dental Care, and looking to bring their outstanding work to our communities.