As a team of paramedics we came together for the first time to build a toilet and shower block, and make ready a new clinic. This included taking to our host country a substantial quantity of equipment, sufficient to share amongst five health centre’s. We also supplied a Cardiovascular hospital, which happens to be within the region we worked in, with two AEDs, surgical airway and Advanced Life Support equipment. The hospital caters for chronic cardiac conditions for some seventy million people across several countries. It did not have any AEDs. Acute cardiac conditions have no treatment pathway.
The work we did was described as very successful. Once the local children, and of course craftsmen,
showed us what to do we got to work digging, plastering and painting. The result was the completion of the clinic and an amazing opening day just prior to our departure. Much of the clinical workload relates to Musculoskeletal and Respiratory conditions as well Obstetrics. We also encounter conditions we see less frequently in the UK such as Malaria, Sickle Cell and other tropical diseases.
The trip showed what a team of paramedics both wants to do and can do. Between us we believe it’s
possible to bring together paramedic teams and build on the work we’ve started. Thus, Volunteer
Medics was born.
Msitu wa Tembo, Tanzania February 2019
Our first trip as a newly formed NGO far exceeded our expectations. Our volunteers described this as hugely rewarding, enjoyable and challenging and they all have said they wish to come back to continue the work, and some are doing so next year.
We embedded and immersed ourselves into the two villages the Rural Health Centre serves. The work we did was the first part of a longer-term project we have developed with our partners Tatu Projects. This saw considerable work done to improving the fabric of the building, including installation of plumbing, work on the electricity supply and repainting. We also provided training to the Home Based Care and Community Health Worker volunteer teams. These truly inspirational individuals completed training on IPC, pulse oximetry and patient transport and triage.
We also spent a great deal of time working alongside the resident Doctor, Abdullah and his small team, involved in patient assessment and treatment. This culminated in a medical caravan treating some 282 patients over the course of a single day alongside other local health organisations. Our volunteers worked far harder, and achieved a great deal more than our partners, and even ourselves expected. The success was down to such a wonderful team, thank you all.
Msitu wa Tembo, January 2020
We have continued to build upon our previous two trips and again had an amazing team of paramedics and nurses. We focused on the eradication of cholera, building five new toilets at the dispensary and twenty for the two schools adjacent to the health centre. These cater for around one thousand pupils, who in some cases walk for six hours a day to attend school.
We also undertook another record-breaking medical caravan seeing in excess of 350 patients along with our partners. This is a staggering achievement and indicative of the level of engagement now being achieved in the community by our teams.
The volunteers also provided training on nutrition, particularly sugar and salt misuse and their cardiovascular impacts as well as diabetes awareness. This was reflected in the number of wounds treated that were exacerbated by the consequences of diabetes.
We also took the opportunity to engage with more remote parts of the community and have started to look at developing programmes to facilitate health care provision to these communities.