We’re back safe and sound, enjoying the novelty of hot and cold running water, power and reliable internet. I’m back at the day job; Dave is happily sorting through his one thousand plus wildlife photos down to a respectable number that we can inflict them on our friends.
So what did I achieve on my Madventure?
It didn’t turn out at all how I had anticipated. On reflection it was perhaps rather arrogant of me to think that I could go for two weeks and help in the pharmacy as a spare pair of hands. I did my best to promote pharmacy as a profession beyond that of just supply both within Queens and the School of Pharmacy, and get the ball rolling about including pharmacists as part of the whole health care team. I thoroughly enjoyed giving the talks to the medical and pharmacy students, and meeting young pharmacists just starting their careers. I certainly intend to support Monalisa and Dina as much as I can from the UK and as per their requests, hopefully link them up with hospital pharmacists and schools of pharmacy.
I met with the School of Nursing (KCN) so that if we are successful with the Quadrennial Bid, we’ve sorted out the best lines of communication. They’ve agreed to send photos, regular semester updates, and progress reports from the nurses themselves as to how they feel they are getting on. That way we should be able to see on a personal level, the impact this training will have on the care of sick children.
Chisoma is the only nurse in the entire of Queens with a higher qualification in child health (MSc) and acts as Matron. Neil Kennedy feels that she has been instrumental in improving nursing standards and with more nurses at B.Sc level, staff can be educated and empowered to make decisions without the doctors. They are with the children 24 hours a day where as doctors only see them for about 2 hours on the ward rounds. Nurses with basic grade qualifications have little appreciation of the urgency required and tend to use adult ways on children.
I had a great time with SI Blantyre, cementing our friendship link. Like the members of my club, they are an amazing group of women. Through them I learnt a lot about how disadvantaged girls and women in Malawi can be supported to improve their life chances.
So maybe my Madventure was not so much about what I achieved but what I learnt.
Sharon back at work ploughing through hundreds of emails!