M a r k e t N e w s

Doc off to Tanzania to help locals desperate for care

Posted on : Wednesday, 31st August 2016

 A local pediatrician is part of a team going to Tanzania in November to provide medical care to people in remote locations.

 
Since 2010, Dr. Charlotte Foulston has made the trip every year, except 2013, to either Kenya or Tanzania. Each trip lasts about two or three weeks.
 
“The goal of the trips is to provide some medical care to typically low-serviced areas,” said Foulston.
 
There are generally medical clinics staffed with a health nurse but no physicians, she explained. If the patient needs hospital care, a referral is made to a hospital that may be a considerable distance away.
 
“That is difficult for people who don’t have access to transportation. If they are hospitalized they don’t have the financial resources sometimes,” said Foulston.
 
A Better World Canada, which has an office in Lacombe, arranges the trips. They try to engage local community leaders to organize the clinics, said Foulston. Typically there would be four to six doctors and it is not unusual to have about 200 patients arrive in the morning. The patients may have a fever, a chronic problem like high blood pressure, malaria, or ear infections in children.
 
“Some of the kids end up with ruptured ear drums because they don’t normally have that kind of medical care access,” said Foulston. “This is one of the poorest parts of the world and it is also one of the areas with the highest mortality in children under the age of five in the world.”
 
The goal is to build medical centres there and help the local population to be self-supporting in the long term, said Foulston.
 
Additional people for this trip are still required. They need doctors, nurses, lab technicians, pharmacists and physiotherapists.
 
“We always need lots of people with other skills than medical ones to help run and organize the clinics and set up,” said Foulston.
 
People with organizational skills are in great demand, she added.
 
There are group airfares as well as accommodation and meals for the trip. Each person pays for themselves. Foulston says there are fun group activities included. This may include a visit to a Masai village in Kenya, for example, which helps to promote cultural understanding. There are also opportunities to go on a safari with the team’s van drivers as guides.

Source : medicinehatnews.com
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