Dr Nadia Ahmed has been a wonderful asset to the Doctors Worldwide team since 2019, working on a multitude of different projects in varying capacities, as a doctor, content developer and consultant. Below, she discusses her experience on deployment in Malawi (HSS Project) and Bangladesh (PGF Programme), reflecting on the importance of the humanitarian and medical work undertaken for those on the ground, as well as her contribution to the work we do.
I’ve done two missions with Doctors Worldwide, and I hope there are more to come. The first one was in Mangochi in Malawi where I taught doctors and nurses and visited clinics to review clinical practice and service delivery. I had never seen such rural clinics – imagine doing consultations in the open, under a tree! The second was in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. There, I taught my specialist area of HIV, Sexual Reproductive Health and Gender Based Violence to a group of doctors working towards the Doctors Worldwide Postgraduate Fellowship, as well as working in the Rohingya camps spanning as far as the eye could see. This was followed by clinical shadowing and assessments of the doctors in camp clinics.
“Working with Doctors Worldwide was just what this doctor ordered!”
The work I was asked, and able to undertake, was exactly what was requested and needed, not by or for Doctors Worldwide or myself, but the so often forgotten actual healthcare professionals working on the ground. Furthermore, the focus was on education, a topic of huge importance and again forgotten about in rural areas and amidst the descent of NGOs et al within camps where, while the focus needs to be on resources and services, education enables capacity building and sustainability. In addition, Doctors Worldwide enables healthcare professionals like myself to do the “humanitarian” work I’ve always wanted to do and fit it in with my everyday life (although doctors are able to do longer stints). Some might question whether this makes a difference but I could definitely see, hear and feel the impact!
On both occasions I left feeling grateful, satisfied, humbled and inspired by the experience. I felt I was able to make a difference because the programmes designed from start to finish were what was needed and wanted, created with the input of experts in the humanitarian and medical field and those working on the ground, as well as being supported by the necessary national and international organisations. The doctors and nurses I worked with were all clearly enthused and grateful for the work being delivered by Doctors Worldwide. I remain in awe of the true humanitarian work they were selflessly carrying out, leaving me hungry to continue to support their work in whatever way I can.