Monday, 2 June 2014

From Uganda by one of our students: Anna Pringle

I went to Uganda with the hope to develop myself both professionally and personally and I can

honestly say I achieved this 100%. Working in Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH) for two weeks was one of the most physically and emotionally challenging experiences of my life. Some of the things we take for granted in the NHS: patient identification numbers, patient records and privacy are not as important here.  Doctors are scarce and beds in maternity are only available for mothers who have had cesaerean sections.

Staff at MMRH
Largely, the patient's family and friends become their 'attendant' and assume responsibility in all aspects of cares for the patient. The attendants had to bathe, feed and record vital signs and they even had to collect the medication from the drug trolley.

I kept a diary whilst I was out there which I completed every day, now three months later it still surprises me
when I pick it up to read it again. It's surprising how quickly you forget how overwhelming each day was.  Much of the care I witnessed was below the standard we would expect in the NHS, mainly due to resource limitations. It was difficult at times to see a patient suffer and be able to do little about it; being unable to help a patient because they could not afford to pay for treatment was incredibly difficult.  My time in Uganda has left a lasting impression.
Anna (left) with fellow students
Jayne Dangerfield (right) and
Georgina Wood (centre)

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