As a clinical assistant in the paediatrics ward at Nyangao hospital, Tanzania, Godfrey Kambanga has his work cut out for him. Understaffing, lack of training and resources has kept neonatal mortality rates amongst the highest in the country. His own patient roster can reach nearly 70 sick children and babies a day.
VSO volunteers and Dr Siobhan Neville and Dr Peter O’Reilly are paediatricians tasked with supporting the development and training of the Neonatal Intensive Care unit in Nyangao and other hospitals in the region. Working with them has given Godfrey a new set of skills and energy when treating his patients.
The UK’s foreign aid budget has been thrown into question over the last few months following unfounded criticisms from tabloid newspapers.
Volunteering overseas is one of the most rewarding things you can do. It will change the way you see the world. Here are just a few ways it can leave its mark…
Irish paediatrician Dr Siobhán Neville is volunteering in Lindi, one of the most deprived parts of Tanzania. Based across several local hospitals and health centres, she and partner Peter O’Reilly are supporting initiatives to improve newborn care and challenge the tragically high rate of newborn death in the region.
Children with disabilities in Northern Ghana are often neglected. The community isn’t sure how to best support them, meaning many are ignored, left out of school and mistreated.
Education is a direct route out of poverty. But for children with disabilities, access to a classroom is often denied. In Africa, it is estimated that less than one in ten children with disabilities attends primary school.
Mary Loureth Carnable is a disability specialist volunteering with VSO in Ghana as part of VSO’s ‘Tackling Education Needs Inclusively’ (TENI) project. The project aims at ensuring vulnerable children such as girls and children with disabilities have access to an education. Last year the TENI project reached over 17,000 children in Northern Ghana, including 1,200 children with disabilities.
In Lindi, Tanzania, exam results are among the lowest in the country and many students drop out of school early. English teacher, Rebecca Ngovano, has been working alongside VSO volunteer Paul Jennings to try and change this.
VSO Supporter, Chris Merry, signed up to cycle Ride London in support of VSO in 2014. It would be the biggest cycle challenge of his life. Not only did Chris have to contend with the 100 mile course, the weather turned against him. It rained all day. But this didn’t put Chris off the event, in fact, he did it again in 2015.
Chris shares his experiences.
Rahel Beyan is one of the nurses in Tigray, Ethiopia helping to improve conditions for mothers and newborns at Suhul Hospital. With the support and training of VSO volunteer Miriam Etter, she’s now working in the new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, helping to save young lives every day.