I am returning to Mvumi hospital, a rural hospital in Tanzania, not far from Dodoma, with a friend, Elaine who is also a nurse and has lots of experience in a wide range of nursing situations. We are self funding, meaning that we will pay for our own transport, accommodation and living expenses.
Mvumi is a beautiful area, though quite poor, especially in the villages, with little access to clean water and/or power. There has been very little rain last season, which has had a negative effect on the harvest, consequently the villagers who rely on their farming for income and food are not doing very well.
We are planning to support in a community wound care clinic, which will be based in the hospital; as well as spend time with the local staff and student doctors and nurses giving them a few updates from home!
The patients normally have to pay for their own wound care, and with little money, training or equipment, even the hospital staff struggle to give the optimum level of care.
Elaine and I hope to bring a level of expertise, as well as materials to help take some of the burden. Many, many local people live with chronic wounds for over 10 years, and assume that they will never recover; last year we were able to prove that this did not need to be the case!
We are also fundraising to help the patients to pay for their care (this will not go to Elaine and I) as well as additional tests (blood tests/x-rays) or even surgery (eg skin grafts after burns) during our stay and after we leave.
We want to ensure that there is enough medication and wound dressings to ensure that any work that we start can continue through until patients heal. We will purchase as much as possible locally, in order to help the economy as well as let the clinicians know that their materials can be just as effective!
There are some occasions when the patients are malnourished and this also compromises their healing potential, so there will be occasions when we will be dipping into the fundraising purse to pay for extra food (especially protein) to help.
We are hoping to take some extra materials, such as wound dressings, assessment equipment etc, but we need to pay for extra baggage (approx. £500) in order to transport it there!
Any assistance that you can give, will be gratefully received.