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I have been very fortunate
to be part of the St Mary’s Hospital, Isle of Wight – Juba Teaching
Hospital Link (Southern Sudan). I have made 1 needs assessment
visit in March 2008 and 2 further training visits. There is much to
be gained by being involved in overseas links and all parties gain.
Good communication and leadership skills are vital as there is no
structure to training in Southern Sudan at present but we are
working with the Ministry of Health to remedy that.
I have learnt the importance
of being able to think laterally as there are very little in the
way of resources, either for teaching or clinical use. It is
important not to impose Western standards of care as it is
impossible and would only serve to demoralise the local healthcare
workers even more but by working alongside them it is possible to
show them good practice and they are keen to learn – hence you
learn to be patient and tolerant. One also learns humility. We in
the Western world take healthcare for granted whereas in Southern
Sudan only 25% of the population have access to any sort of
healthcare and even that is very basic.
Zorina Walsh, Coordinator
for the St Mary’s Hospital, Isle of Wight-Juba Teaching Hospital
Contact details: email@example.com.
The KEMRI-Wellcome Trust
holds £25 million of competitively awarded grants, mostly through
the University of Oxford or
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. My placement
supported paediatric and surgical research in Kenyan hospitals.
This was a great opportunity to incorporate clinical and managerial
skills as well as my public health knowledge in a global health
Working in the Kenyan health
environment and academic environment has given me a great
understanding and appreciation of the efforts made in providing
high quality evidence and supporting health policies within a
resource constrained environment. I am grateful to NHS South
Central Strategic Health Authority for sponsoring me and
allowing me to gain such fantastic global public health
As part of the Improving
Global Health programme I was seconded to Cambodia from March to
June 2010 to work with MJP in their Health Department. The MJP
project was based in rural Cambodia and covered all aspects of
development in the Samlout district, and former stronghold of the
Khmer Rouge. As a Children ‘s nurse by profession, I found myself
working on 2 projects with a completely different focus. One, a
public health project to develop family planning awareness,
knowledge and uptake of contraception amongst men; and the second
to attempt to validate maternal mortality statistics, which proved
to be a very interesting project, highlighting a lot of
misconceptions and assumptions.
The experience was a
fabulous learning opportunity, the greatest of which was learning
flexibility and patience as nothing turned out to be as expected.
Conversations were conducted through a translator, so communication
skills and awareness of the components of communication were very
valuable observations which have helped greatly back in the
. Other learning was less
tangible but included developed confidence through realising that
one did not need to know a lot about a subject at the start to lead
a successful project, enhanced awareness of service improvement
tools and skills and the realisation that a question had to be
asked in many different ways of different people to build up a true
picture of a situation. On my return to the
I am using all these skills and am
leading a number of projects as a result.
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
We were part of the pioneering group of international clinical
fellows in the Deanery's partnership in Tabora, Tanzania:
"Improving Global Health through Leadership Development". We spent
3 months in 2009 working with the Millennium Villages Project on
health initiatives in urban and rural settings, aiding local people
to develop sustainable health services and working towards
achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Whilst there we
definitely became more resourceful and confident working
independently and in a variety of different teams and roles. We
also gained invaluable leadership skills to bring back to the
, as well as
forming multi-national enduring friendships. The project continues
to grow and evolve, with
professionals from a wide
variety of disciplines participating and bringing individual areas
of expertise and engaging with the local health care workers,
offering a unique possibility for personal and professional
development for all involved.
Contact details: email@example.com,
I was fortunate to spend 3
months on an international placement in rural Western Cambodia,
working for the
Improving Global Health
through Leadership and Development programme.
This well supported
placement began with surveying the local population’s family
planning needs and speaking to the community’s health providers.
Using this valuable information and being open to local ways of
working I was able to combine their successfully used strategies
with my own learning experiences to develop a method of promoting
healthcare services to the public. The staff have since been able
to use these methods and the confidence gained to further promote
healthcare services to more remote areas, demonstrating
With the upcoming shift in
management to more
local determination of need and appropriate commissioning of
services, the skills I have learnt will be invaluable. Realising
that we cannot assume local area needs until we ask, recognising
what already works and using local resources effectively as well as
being able to empower local communities and staff to make
sustainable changes and improvements are just part of what I feel I
have brought back to the NHS.
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I spent 6 months working in
Cambodia as a fellow in the Improving Global Health Through
Leadership Development programme, from September 2009-March 2010.
Initially, I worked mainly on a project to improve the Children’s
ward at Battambang Referral Hospital. During the latter half of my
time in Cambodia, I spent more of my time in the rural area of
Samlout. In particular, my work there involved working with the
agriculture and education teams to develop and strengthen
programmes to improve nutritional status.
Overall, my experience in
Cambodia was tremendous. At times it was extremely challenging, and
often pushed me well out of my comfort zone. Working within a
and health system broadened my view of how different and innovative
ideas can be developed. I learnt a great deal about resource
management and service improvement – skills which will surely be
useful in my future career. Teaching and training in a
resource-poor environment really forces one to be creative and
think laterally – and I think my education sessions back in the UK
will benefit as a result. One of the most important things I learnt
was the value of building good relationships within the community –
it takes time but is crucial to success.
Contact details: email@example.com.
I was in the first cohort of
International Fellows that
went to the Mbola Millennium Villages Project (MVP) based close to Tabora,
in Western Tanzania in October 2009. I was there on two separate
occasions and spent a total of seven months out there. The
several teams focusing on different areas, such as infrastructure,
agriculture and education. I was working with the health team and
our work was focused on the heath related Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs). We worked on
several projects in the villages, Kitete Hospital, which is the
Regional referral hospital and also in Tabora town itself. Two of
those projects I worked on were
identification and Family Planning.
There were many obstacles and challenges in both our personal
and work lives which, I feel helped us all to grow and evolve old
skills and develop new ones. We lived and worked with each other 24
hours a day, taking teamwork to a whole new level. Adapting to a
life with no running water, regular power cuts and a Tanzanian pace
of doing things was interesting. Life was simpler, but immensely
rewarding. Some of the things that struck me was the similarity
between the Tanzanian health system and that of the
, the amount of positive work that was
already being done by some enthusiastic and highly inspiring local
individuals and the fact that many of the challenges that one faces
when trying to affect change or hoped for improvement are the same,
no matter what country you are in (with some obvious differences
I had the opportunity to do develop management and leadership
skills during my time there as well as learn a lot about myself
personally. I realised that we are indeed privileged to have the
and that change is
a slow, but worthwhile process. It was a tremendous experience that
I would recommend to anyone. I hope that I may have left something
in the lives of the people that I met too, in the way that they
left something in my life.
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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