This summer I travelled to Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania for 5 weeks, to carry out my nursing clinical elective as part of my nursing degree. For my placement I chose to split my time over two departments within the Muhimbili National Hospital, the first was the emergency department and second was the obstetrics and gynaecology department. Thanks to the Principal’s Go Abroad Fund, I was able to give back to the communities within Dar Es Salaam – to the people who have so little, as well as donating to the hospital, where resources are scarce.
- First day at the Muhimbili National Hospital. Even light scrubs are too hot for the African heat.
- Emergency Department main entrance
- First weekend off from placement was spend in the local children’s orphanage
- Along with these toys, we donated some simple things that many of us take for granted i.e. toothbrushes, toothpaste, and most importantly food, mostly carbohydrates.
- Amazing that the simplest of things can create the biggest smiles
- Weekend on Safari at the Mukumi National Park
- Up close to several animals, but this is the best picture by far
- I was lucky enough to spend a day in the labour ward, witnessing child birth for the first time. With little resources and no pain medication, it was incredibly difficult to watch.
- New born babies are wrapped in ‘Kangas’ (a patterned sheet), that is identical to what pattern the mother would be wearing. This is how babies are linked to their mothers as no name tags are provided for the new born children or the mothers.
- Visiting the local markets in Dar Es Salaam
- The most beautiful painting I seen at the market
- Visiting the village museum. Where we got to learn about the different tribes that were spread across the country, as well as the traditional homes found throughout Tanzania. At the end we were treat to a traditional tribal dance. This lets tourists, like myself, explore the cultural heritage of Tanzania.
- Local private beach. Stunning spot to relax after a hard week on placement
- We visited a spice farm when we travelled to the beautiful island of Zanzibar, where we got to see what kind of spices the locals grown, for example: vanilla pods, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon. We also got to try several tropical fruits, which were incredible, i.e. pineapple, green oranges, watermelon, bananas and coconuts.
- The wooden boat from Zanzibar island to prison island to see the giant turtles
- 160 year old turtle. The oldest turtle in the sanctuary was 196 years old.
- St Joseph Cathedral, Dar Es Salaam. Mass was from 10am till 12 noon in the English language.
- My favourite picture from the full trip. During my time in the obstetrics and gynaecology department, I spent the majority of my time in the neonatal and term baby units. The room I am standing in is for the orphaned babies (due to complications during labour, surgery or post labour) or babies who’s mothers were too critically ill to look after them. I had the greatest pleasure of feeding, washing and giving all my love to these tiny humans, because noone else could… My heart was so full.
Tanzania was the most incredible experience, something I will never forget. One day I hope I can have the resources, knowledge and money to make a bigger difference.
N.B. all pictures were taken with verbal consent from the staff and mothers