It’s taken 9 months since conception of this Madventure in January, developing and forming its shape, to hopefully successful delivery. We’ve packed every inch of hold luggage full of medical equipment, colourful clothing and toys. Dave and I have proved that it’s certainly feasible to start two weeks in Malawi with just 7kg of cabin luggage plus my biggest handbag and his small rucksack.
However I have a big ‘but’. It’s all very well taking out all the thermometers, urine testing strips, minor ops stuff, antibiotics and antiviral medicines – but if there are no nurses with the skills to care for sick children then it won’t have the impact on child mortality that it could.
With the best will in the world, neither of us have any nursing skills, we are both pharmacists. Only training more Malawians to be nurses with this specialist expertise to care for sick children will help. And enable Malawi to achieve Millennium Goal 4.
I had an interesting discussion with one of the GPs that I work with as to why I was bothering and what was the point. His feeling was that the Malawian Government should provide the training, not sponsorship by charities such as Friends of Sick Children in Malawi. Trouble is, until we can get the number of nurses up to a realistic level, moving the work of FOSCiM from support to sustainable and finally to self-sufficiency, this isn’t likely to happen. How many charities do we have in the UK that support what we might feel the UK government should fund e.g. our local hospice?
I’m working on the premise that doing something is better than doing nothing. The whole point for me of being a Soroptimist is to make a difference to the lives of women and children wherever I can.