Malawi / Personal Reflection / PGF / Sustainable Futures

Sustainable Futures: Education & Long-Term Capacity Building

09/02/2023 10:00am

Our Sustainable Futures campaign explores the values of Doctors Worldwide - integrity, collaboration, and clinical excellence - and how they are embedded in all of the work we do to ensure long-term, sustainable solutions to healthcare challenges. Today, Dr Nadia - who has been involved in our work on a variety of different projects since 2019 - shares reflections on the importance of education and training local healthcare staff.

I’ve undertaken two deployments 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 through the Health Systems Strengthening Project. 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 on the Postgraduate Fellowship in Refugee and Migrant Health (PGF) Programme. 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.

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“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 by the so often neglected local healthcare professionals working on the ground. Furthermore, the focus was on education, a topic of huge importance which is also often forgotten about in rural areas and within camps, despite the impact of education on supporting long-term capacity building and sustainability. 

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.

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