DocTours Newsletter October 2014
There has been a lot of interest in our new medical placement in Timor Leste which desperately needs more doctors, nurses and midwives to continue to provide healthcare to the local community. We also share the moving experience of an Aussie nurse who has been volunteering at a hospital in Cambodia. There is another surprising photo from the AMSA photo competition sponsored by DocTours. Finally, there is a blog from Tracey at Curious Interested about volunteering and how it can make a difference to your work.
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Something Awesome? Nursing in Cambodia
Nurse Annabel from Queensland is volunteering in a Phnom Penh hospital and took with her 130 care packs donated by the Catholic School Children in the Toowoomba area. She wrote the following:
“Words can’t express how grateful these patients were to receive the care packs. The recipients are literally Cambodia’s poorest people. They are interviewed at the door of the hospital to determine their poverty status prior to being seen by a doctor or nurse. They must provide documentation to prove they ‘deserve’ the Government to pay for their stay, food and medications. If they do not meet the level one poverty band, they are simply turned away.
We may not have the same colour skin or speak the same language, but a smile is Universal, and that is enough for me. This experience is demonstrating how much we take for granted. Here are some photos from yesterdays exchange. Tears were shed, bonds were formed and trust was built in spades.
When I was on ward round this morning, the patient’s I gave care packs to yesterday lit up when I walked in and when we got to their bed space, I was hugged and held multiple hands.” “I can’t believe it’s the start of my last week already. I have fallen in love with the patients and seems the staff are learning a great deal from my education. I have been asked to stay on, but alas work at home doesn’t allow for my leave to be extended. Ms Rotha the Nursing Director said on Friday, ” I call Australia. They say ok. You can stay.” It was such a lovely sentiment. Looking forward to another emotional rewarding week.
Something Awesome? Sailability!
Some readers have asked for the link to our Sailability film and so we have attached it again below. Sailability is a national not-for-profit that introduces disabled people to the joys and freedom of sailing. The disabilities may be physical or intellectual and include downs, autism, cerebral palsy, stroke, paraplegic, visual impairment, dementia, etc. An army of volunteers are on hand on Sunday mornings to treat our special sailors with care and respect. The yacht club is an ideal venue for Sailability with handy access parking, easy wheelchair pontoon access and a sling crane set up as required. The fleet consists of six Access 303 boats each capable of taking out a sailor and a volunteer together. Life jackets are provided and a safety boat is on hand. Have a look at what we do: Sailability Middle Harbour
Sailability Middle Harbour are grateful for the time and energy of members from the Australian Cinematographers Society who volunteered their time to produce this 2 minute film of our sailors and volunteers in action.
The Doctours photo competition attracted an abundance of amazing photos taken by medical students as part of AMSA’s Global Health Conference in September 2014.
This photo was taken during a HIV testing and STI education trip to a remote Masai community in Kenya. A small tent was set up for the HIV testing, where people would go one at a time to be tested and receive information on HIV. Meanwhile, the STI education took the form of a TV and video player set up on top of a 4WD where people would come in groups and watch a video on STI signs, symptoms and transmission. This photograph shows the creative side of delivering health care in the developing world, where education and disease prevention can take you to many far off places, and take on many forms. Perhaps this is even more relevant with the outbreak of Ebola?
We will be posting some more fabulous photos on the Doctours volunteers Facebook
Curious, Interested? A note on …. volunteering
I don’t want to come across all preachy about volunteering … everyone does what they can, when the time’s right … but what I’ve observed is that volunteering is an awesome experience when it lines up with what’s personally important to us – it’s our commitment that leads to our work making a difference, and it’s our ability to make a difference that makes our work rewarding.
Read more here: Curious Interested on Volunteering